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About AsianAtHeart

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  1. I think the numbers may have actually gone UP instead of down on account of the better roads. People are driving faster, and "speed kills" as they say. People here are not accustomed to such speeds, and have little awareness of how speed will impact them in an unexpected circumstance. They have no training, such as most drivers have in more well-developed countries, with respect to required stopping distances, hydroplaning, center of gravity and centrifugal forces, etc. It's nice that the PM has effected so much in terms of road repairs and resurfacing. The highways have definitely improved a lot. Unfortunately, the new speeds they support come with unintended consequences in this ignorant- and selfish-driver culture. Measures such as mandating 16-hour classes for license renewal will NOT change the culture, I'm afraid--not sure what can be done about it, really. Common road courtesy seems lacking as much as so-called "common" sense, and road rage is on the rise. Subtracting as much alcohol as possible from the equation may be the best that can be done for now.
  2. I disagree. While the right hand may be stronger and/or dominant in most right-handed individuals, it does not mean that the right hand does its best work on the steering wheel, leaving the less capable hand for all of the more intricate knobs, buttons, and shifting. For myself, I prefer to steer with the left hand, as I think it actually steers more smoothly than my right, despite being more right-handed. But maybe the more salient feature in favor of driving on the right is that if indeed the right hand/arm is stronger in the majority of people, in a perilous and tense situation, the driver is far more likely to pull toward the right, away from oncoming traffic, thus potentially saving lives. As for using Google while driving….what if I can juggle three balls and still steer quite well on a unicycle--not needing even a steering wheel of any kind? Will the police issue me a special permit to juggle my phone while driving? LOL! On a more serious note, for the more average commoners, what if they are holding the steering wheel with the same hand that grips their phone--thus looking almost straight at the device, and never releasing the wheel either? Would that be better than looking off to the side to check the map on the GPS? Heh…when I was in college, I used to hold my textbook against the steering wheel with both hands as I drove down the freeway, memorizing useful facts for the morning's test during my hour+ commute. Never had an accident. In those days, I could handily steer with my knees too--even through towns, as long as the curves were not too sharp, leaving hands free for eating breakfast or something. Ha! (Not that I would recommend such risk-taking for those less dextrous--seemingly the majority these days.)
  3. People didn't have cash cards or internet banking in the year 2000? The problem with your otherwise reasonable response is that any reasonable person could interpret the "proof of financial means" to include a bank statement or other form of documentation. It does NOT indicate that said funds must be presented in cold hard CASH at the immigrations counter.
  4. Cadbury, Here is some "mischievous" truth for you. And if you want more, you can read the regulations posted here: Note 11(2) and 11(9). The specific amounts those legal points imply are left for specification by publishing in the Gazette. Those points are paralleled as 12(2) and 12(9) here: and here: The amounts were published here, said to come from a special issue of the Gazette in June 2000: The actual Gazette publication specifying the amounts required for each visa type: Another topic of interest tangentially related to the need for cash at the border as a reason to deny entry--it would appear Thailand has been seeking excuses to keep foreigners out for some years now:
  5. I would hope that no anger would be involved in promoting good causes. But perhaps the addition of a "t" would make better sense here. Of course, expert scrabble players get more points for longer words anyhow--and they should be in the dictionary, unlike our unique entry here.
  6. Cadbury, I have never been asked to show proof of onward travel either. That doesn't mean it's not required. Being asked for something and its being required are two different things. I remember the first time I came, many years ago, the travel agent insisted that I come with a return ticket of the "dummy ticket" variety--just enough to get me into Thailand, but then get fully refunded for as it would not be used. I stayed in Thailand for longer than the validity of a round-trip ticket, and I knew that I would before traveling--thus, a one-way ticket would have been appropriate. But the agent said that proof of onward travel was required, so I had it. I was never asked to show it, despite the agent's insistence that such would be required. In later years, I have found that certain airlines, who know about the requirement, do require it--lest they end up having to return the passenger who was denied entry at their own cost. Other airlines do not ask for such proof. How long will it be, now, before airlines begin doing the same with proof of cash in hand?
  7. This "newbie" has been entering Thailand for many years more than Cadbury's 10. I have never been asked to show the cash either. But this year, after hearing the reports, I started carrying it. I think it's more of an excuse to prevent someone entering who they don't find appealing for one reason or another. Thankfully, that has never been an issue for me. But I don't plan to let them find such an easy excuse either.
  8. Shh! Cadbury doesn't want to hear that! He's sure a "newbie" could not know something he doesn't.
  9. I agree with your statement of whom are the targets. However, those I described are part of the collateral damage. Only two visa-exempt entries are permitted per year, regardless. This means living in a neighboring ASEAN country has just become more expensive for people needing to go to or through Thailand for any reason.
  10. I didn't answer because someone else answered it just a few posts later. I mistakenly assumed you would read it. I will again assume you have the ability to go back and do so now.
  11. This might seem easy to say, and perhaps you are just simplistic enough to believe in such a vain pipe dream as you describe. The facts are often different. Just as no two humans are alike, no two circumstances are identical either. There are not enough visa categories to encompass all of the possibilities. Consider, for a moment, the foreigner living and working in Laos. He/she has a valid one year work permit/visa to stay in Laos and would like to cross the border regularly to access some much-need supplies that are unavailable or high-priced in Laos. What visa type should he or she apply for? Non-immigrant? Business? …..tourist visa perhaps? But it's not really a genuine tourist situation, is it? So, the system has to be played--and tourist visa it is. This means heaps of tourist visas in the passport--just the kind that you might assume to be a "red flag." Of course, if Thailand doesn't want shoppers or their money . . . .
  12. The lack of competition makes for shoddy work. The building in which I type this right now has cracks in the walls large enough to see through--of the kind that would cause the entire building to be condemned back in my own country. But it's the norm here. The groundwork was laid too hastily, and after the walls were put up, it settled--with cracks opening in the walls as if an earthquake had struck. Mai bpen rai? If foreigners were actually permitted to do some of those 39 proscribed jobs reserved only for locals, perhaps the locals would learn from them how to do the job better. Learning from others is always a good thing. Competition usually has good results for all involved.
  13. Well said. Why should work be illegal? It's the opposite (laziness) that makes society go downhill.
  14. Unscrupulous taxi drivers already cheat you by claiming they have no change. If you come in with 20 thousand-baht bills, you may lose a whole one your first trip from the airport. Maybe immigrations should mandate having some change--might be a more practical mandate.
  15. As I understand, that is incorrect. The amount of cash required is simply less for visa-exempt entry.