Puwa

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About Puwa

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  1. Actually the Daily News headline doesn't say "nasty" or any similar epithet. The original claim is either a poor reading of Thai or someone's nasty effort to stoke trouble by inserting the epithet and blaming it on the Thai original. It just says that a group of "young colored men" was arrested for visa fraud involving fake marriages.
  2. I know Kavi is a well respected journalist, but this piece is shoddy. Rather than mention all important mistakes and setbacks in integrating ASEAN (academic year, free movement, visa-less employment), he lazily focuses on airport lanes, I guess in hopes of suggesting some pregnant metaphor. He would accomplish more with facts he would by fancy.
  3. Dropped Pin https://goo.gl/maps/wbRmX8WMQRK2 VPF Group (1973) pig farm. Some days it stinks, but it's in a spot where traffic passes by, so the effect is temporary.
  4. The PM is an accomplished choreographer.
  5. Not trying to be cute, it's just that there are many threads, past, present, and surely future, comparing and inevitably arguing over CM international schools. I thought it would be more relevant to the OP to raise a different question.
  6. Through direct experience of having a child enrolled, two schools; through indirect knowledge gained from decade's worth of friends and other parents sharing their views, most of the others.
  7. Once upon a time, we had a great fitness center in Chiang Mai, Platinum, that closed up at the end of 2008. The steps to its demise might be instructive for anyone trying to guess the future of their own membership gym. It started out as a great find-- full equipment, big swimming pool, sauna, steam, massage, unobtrusive trainers, yoga studio, juice bar, a good clientele, its own building and a big parking lot. (Photos of the old gym are still viewable on Google). I think we paid 9-11K per year for both my wife and me. The owner or frontman was a minor Bangkok tv or film actor who would show up from time to time, known as a nice guy. One of the clever marketing tactics was to offer free or nearly free memberships to airline stewardesses as a way to draw other customers. After a few years, trouble started. First was a noticeable cutback in maintenance and housekeeping. A showerhead or doorknob might break and not get fixed for weeks, if at all. Bit by bit, you notice that things aren't as clean as they used to be. Then the sauna and massage area were shut down. Because our gym had a nice outdoor pool, we got another big hint when the water kept going green and the management's efforts to correct it couldn't keep up and the pool was more or less permanently disabled. Meanwhile, the treadmills and stationary bikes are going out one at a time, just from ordinary wear-and-tear, and not coming back online. Another huge clue came when we noticed that the gym only turned on the air conditioning when members came to work out. Enter a hot, humid gym and wait for 20 minutes or so for it to cool down. With the gym falling apart, the owners started a membership drive to bring in new people and secure commitments from old members. But the condition of the place made us wary of making that commitment-- the spiral downward towards insolvency had begun. We decided not to re-up and sure enough a few months later the place went bust. Such a pity, really, because it had better facilities by far than any other gym in town. I don't think there was a problem with the lease or rent. It closed at the end of 2008 citing problems with "internal management," and apparently members got full or partial refunds. Great gym killed by poor strategy, leadership, and management.
  8. The good one
  9. So the police just take the kid's word that it was a BB gun?
  10. Corrrect on both counts, but to answer the question, we moved to Chiang Mai when our child was 4 and left when he was 15. (I think the "Bloody Yank" is either a new Burger at the Duke's or an unfortunate mishap at your local rub n tug.)
  11. oh how wrong you are
  12. In theory it might be possible, and at least it uses Thailand's competitive advantage. But to actually benefit Thai people, not just the GNP, would require land reform and much better regulation of fertilizers and pesticides. Otherwise it will go into a contract-farming system in which farmers destroy their own soil in a few years and the corporations move on.
  13. This thread might help
  14. Neighborhoods, schools, houses-- these are all practical matters which you will sort out without too much trouble. Another question is how long you plan to stay. Coming with a two-year-old, you've got 8-10 years before Chiang Mai schools, even the good international ones, go pale compared to educational opportunities back home. We arrived with a three-year-old, enjoyed an 11-year run, then moved back for education reasons. Honestly, it wouldn't have hurt if we had come back 2 years earlier. Today, our local (free) public high school, an eight-minute walk out the kitchen door, offers better classes and better teachers, is better organized and run, provides laptops, has a proper library, offers clubs and groups galore, and points the way forward, to university and beyond, far more helpfully than any of the CM international schools. Greater diversity too, in that our local mechanics and firemen send their kids to the same school, alongside doctors, lawyers, teachers, and everyone else. Our son comments how much he prefers it to school in Chiang Mai-- academically, socially, day to day. He actually thanked us for moving back because he likes his new school so much. By all means, avail yourselves of everything that is enjoyable in Chiang Mai-- food, weather, swimming, mountains, elephants, cheap nannies-- while you can, and be ready to make the right choices for your child whenever that time comes for you. Good luck!