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About Genmai

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  1. Sorry, next time when in their "apathy" they come to pull me and two others out of the jungle in the middle of the night I will make sure to chastise them on your behalf for not doing enough to protect the people.
  2. Some time ago when I was new to Thailand an acquaintance of ours invited my partner and I to visit her Lahu hill-tribe "friend" in the hills of Chiang Rai because she did not want to go up there alone. The "friend" turned out to be an unstable guy with a drinking problem and romantic interests in our acquaintance. He kept drinking, started yelling and getting rowdy and eventually grabbed a big knife. We slowly stood up and backed out of the bamboo hut and started walking to the main road. The time was about 1am and it was pitch black outside. We realised just how stupid and naïve we had been about the whole thing: we were out in the middle of no-where (the Lahu guys had driven us out to their village), our relatives did not know where we were, all our belongings were in the hut with a crazy drunk Lahu guy and all we had were our pyjamas and my partner's cell phone. By a stroke of luck we had a tiny bit of coverage and promptly called the police. The police triangulated our location and were there within 30 minutes. The whole time they stayed on the phone with us. When they arrived they took us up to the hut, held back the hill-tribe guy while we collected our things and then drove us down to a hotel in town. The first 10 minutes in the car together with us they were coldly grilling us with questions about why we were there. When they realised that we were really just some overly trusting dumb tourists that had made a mistake they relaxed a bit and said "Ok, we see. We are asking you this because that particular village is famous for heroin production". The rest of the way we laughed and joked about stuff and at the end they took a photo with us in front of our hotel, big grins and thumbs up from us. They sent it to their bosses via Line to "show that they really are out doing work". Seeing them coming for us up the mountain road that night in their pickup was the biggest amount of relief I have ever experienced. Had they not come for us I think the three of us might not be alive today and no-one would have known what had happened to us. There is a lot about Thailand that grinds my gears. Here where I live in Chiang Mai every single day of the past year a black plume of smoke from burning plastic rubbish and leaves starts coming up from a neighbour's yard at 5pm on the dot, every day. There is a police box standing about 40-50 metres away. Nothing ever gets done about that burning, or about the loud bikes racing up and down the freeway at night. Things like that grind my gears and make me question the effectiveness of law enforcement in this country. But every time I am also reminded that had it not been for the help of the Chiang Rai police department that night, I would likely not be here today.
  3. I'm glad you asked. It could be referring to the "Q mark" of quality given to "Good Agricultural Products" Speaking of which: 'Q mark' rated fruits, veggies fail toxic residue tests I haven't seen this being reported on in this forum. One would expect that anything resembling "qualitative agriculture" produce would not be sprinkled with dangerous levels of toxic chemical residues (11 of which are prohibited substances). That article was posted on May 4th. This morning (May 6th) we get a response from the Department of Agriculture: DOA hits back over chemical residue claims Pretty standard response from Thai officials. Farangs don't understand "quality" the same as Thais it seems. How the hell are 100% of all red chillies samples loaded with chemicals? I thought those are one of the least fussy crops around..
  4. The United Nations' human rights council is headed by Saudi Arabia - one of the world's few remaining absolute monarchies where under a strict interpretation of sharia law executions have recently reached their highest level in two decades. 82 people have been executed there in the first three months of 2016 alone. By comparison: 157 people were executed in 2015, a further increase from 90 people in 2014. The majority of executions are carried out by beheading: Other methods include death by firing squad and public stoning in cases of adultery. Besides violent crimes such as murder and rape the death penalty is also applied in cases of adultery, being gay, renouncing Islam and drug trafficking. Foreign nationals have been executed, as well as those who were minors at the time of their crime (which is, ironically, a practice that is prohibited by international law under the U.N. Convention on the rights of the Child). As bad as Saudi Arabia sounds they cannot hold a candle to China where information about the death penalty is a state secret. Amnesty International believes that China executes more people than the rest of the world combined. Iran has executed more than 1000 people in 2015 alone, according to UK based human rights group Reprieve. Iran and China are both member states of the UN. The United Nations is an organization that claims to protect human rights and campaigns to end violence against women while at the same time acceping into their ranks and bestowing key positions to the very nations that lack any kind of transparency and continue to commit the very same crimes against humanity that the organization claims to condemn. I have serious doubts that any UN-based investigation into human rights violations in Thailand would amount to anything but a complete farce. For the investigation to come up with any incriminating evidence would be complete hypocrisy. It would open the door to investigations into things like China's illegal invasion and annexation of Tibet (amongst the myriad of China's crimes against humanity), Iran's opression of women and Saudi Arabia's penchant for mutilating children and mentally ill prisoners. China has too much influence and Saudi Arabia has too much oil to make sure that this investigation never goes anywhere or exposes anything.
  5. Thank you all for your patience and your words of advice. I realise I have problems with people and I am doing my best to tread lightly in this situation. Without going into too much detail I can say that I can emulate most normal behaviours but it only works if I know what the appropriate patterns are. So far I've been polite, friendly and smiling with the people I find coming onto the land. But it seems the general consensus is that as an outsider there is nothing I can do to stop people whom I don't know from coming onto the land and into the house that I am renting. If this is the case then I need to start looking for alternatives. The reason we moved out here is so that we can be left alone to work quietly, not make any noise or bother anybody and grow our own food. I've had success doing this for several years in both rural New Zealand and Japan where people tend to respect personal boundaries and one could easily spend weeks without talking to another human. What are the options for people who want to have that kind of existence in rural Thailand? To be left alone, undisturbed in the sticks?
  6. I very much doubt this is any of your business. Perhaps not. But the nature of it is somewhat relevant to the question of how advisable it is for the OP to make a fuss about the situation. A relevant question as some might be wondering whether my work could have a potential to bother the neighbours somehow or cause an inconvenience of some sort. This is not the case as my work is artistic in nature. There is no noise, no smell, no runoff or anything of that sort. That wasn't really the point I was getting at. What's more relevant is the legality of this 'work'. Unless you're fully above board with a work permit etc, you might be best advised to not rock the boat. It only takes one disgruntled neighbour to drop you into a world of shit. Ah, I see what you mean. Everything is fully above board in terms of legalities.
  7. I very much doubt this is any of your business. Perhaps not. But the nature of it is somewhat relevant to the question of how advisable it is for the OP to make a fuss about the situation. A relevant question as some might be wondering whether my work could have a potential to bother the neighbours somehow or cause an inconvenience of some sort. This is not the case as my work is artistic in nature. There is no noise, no smell, no runoff or anything of that sort.
  8. The landlords are close friends of the family so there is no contract or paperwork of any sort.
  9. Hi everybody, I'm new here and I would like some help with an issue I've been having. Earlier this year me and my girlfriend (Thai) started renting a small plot of land with a house in rural Chiang Mai for the purposes of gardening and having a studio where we can do our work. The place has been unoccupied for the last several years and so the landlord has been paying one of the neighbours (a local rice farmer) to take care of the fruit trees, cut the grass, etc. Since we started renting he (the farmer) has continued to come around and take care of things which is nice because occasionally we have to fly to Bangkok or overseas for our work and he keeps the place in order. He knows all there is to know about the plants on this property since his best buddy used to live on the same plot of land and many years ago they planted it up together. The problem is that because we are not there all the time (we live in my girlfriend's parents' house 15 minutes drive away and only come to this place to work) we can't keep an eye on what's going on. Nearly every time we come things look out of place: doors that were shut are open, tools get moved, rubbish shows up all over the place and fruit is picked. We can understand that sometimes he wants to park his farming equipment here or harvest ripening fruit but there have been times when we pull up in the driveway to find the gate open and a bunch of random people walking around, picking leaves, using our water and parking their bikes in front of the house. They smile sheepishly, say that they are his farm workers/family and quietly slip out. This happened again two days ago. We are new here, fresh from Bangkok, never lived with rural farmers before and so we are trying our best to be understanding, patient and non-confrontational. But I really do think I'm about to lose my shit. Last month when we came back after being away for a few weeks we found the entire yard had been planted with cantaloupes. Literally every usable patch of soil. Apparently he had asked the landlords since we were away and they gave the OK. I was going to tear them all out but a close family friend advised us against it. The farmer has agreed to clean everything up once the harvest is finished. So now I would very much like to start planting out our garden but instead am stuck like an idiot waiting for all these bloody cantaloupes to mature. Apparently they are "45 day" cantaloupes. I have no idea what the hell that means. It's coming up to 45 days since planting and they don't look like they're going anywhere. It's a complicated issue because he and his family have lived next door for many years and have obviously regarded this plot as their own seeing as how nobody has been living here. And he has been getting money from the landlord for coming in and doing maintenance. The maintenance is nothing that we couldn't do ourselves but we don't want to stir up anything bad with our neighbours by having his services terminated. So we've told him that because of all these problems we want nobody else but him entering and we are changing the locks on the gate and him and us will be the only people who have the key. He has understood this. What I want to know is how to handle the situation if we arrive one day again to find random people walking around our place. Should I keep social order and kindly ask them to leave? Should I start yelling and kick them out? Can I get physically confrontational? I don't have good "people skills" and I'm worried that any violence on my part could spark revenge and compromise my girlfriend's safety. Should we involve the landlords in this? I don't want any cantaloupes or people on my land. I just want to be left alone to do my work while still managing to keep a somewhat reasonable relationship with the people next door.