Category Archives: Expat Issues

All expat issues such as where to buy or get a computer repaired, etc.

Pattaya Police stopping sober drivers for drinking

Pattaya Police stopping sober drivers will certainly drive foreigners from Thailand.

Pattaya Police stopping sober drivers but they allow assault and battery of motorcyclists during Songkran
Songkran is just one example of why Thailand rates having the world’s 2nd most dangerous roads

Pattaya Police are now stopping drunk drivers .  But they are also stopping moderate drinkers.  They are doing this in the interest of public safety.   But In my opinion public safety is of no importance whatsoever to the police.  Money is their Holy Grail.

In 14 years, I’ve never seen the police stop a driver for running a red light or driving the wrong way.

And I mean,  not once.   Small wonder that Thailand  tops every country but 1 number  out of 200 countries  for having the world’s most lethal roads.  The reason is enforcing traffic laws to make the streets safe  doesn’t make money in a country where money is number one.

Songkran motorbike driver assaulted by water gun
A crowd of Imbeciles assaults a motorcyclist. . Many motorbike drivers die because of such assaults during Songkran

If you don’t believe me just come to Pattaya during Songkran and watch all the motorbike drivers getting assaulted by high powered water guns while the police watch.

But Pattaya Police stopping sober drivers? Or even moderate drinkers?   This is going to  kill the goose that has laid the golden egg.   Pattaya is Fun City.  It is a place to get hammered and to party all night long.  People do not come here for the cleanliness of its beaches.  And they don’t come here for the quality of its sidewalks.  Because there are hardly any to be found.

Nothing will change here.   Pedestrians wanting to cross the streets will still be scurrying across like a bunch of scared rats.  Visitors will still be walking down the streets dodging cars because there’s hardly any sidewalks in the entire city.   Thailand’s road’s will still be the 2nd most dangerous in the entire world.  Because the police care only about money.  While refusing to enforce the traffic laws or to punish bad drivers.

Related articles:  The Honda 250 CBR Broken Collar Bone Review

Pattaya Police give JB the Pattaya Breathalyzer Test

 

Customer always wrong in Thailand for 90 percent of Thai businesses

Yamaha SR400 bent front brake lever
Note how bent the front brake lever is compared to the clutch on the left side of the bike. I did not see this damage at the car wash but I immediately felt the difference after driving less than 200 yards from the car wash

In the United States Customer is always right but customer always wrong in Thailand  with 90 % of Thai businesses.  And today’s incident at the  car wash when an employee dropped my beloved Yamaha SR400 proves it.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Not all businesses in the U.S.  view the customer as always being right and certainly not all Thai owned businesses view themselves as being right and its customers wrong.  But for the most part U.S. businesses consider customer satisfaction as being the single most important goal for staying in business because they correctly view a business that has lost its customers to being out of business.

What happened at the Naklua Soi Potisan car wash today is a perfect example of how contemptuously  typical Thai businesses view its customers.    While getting my Yamaha SR 400 motorcycle washed I took a seat in the waiting room where I spent the next twenty minutes reading a book on my Kindle.   From this position I could not view my motorcycle being washed and even if I could my attention would still have been on my reading.  After a  few minutes I saw my motorcycle being wheeled up  to the waiting room where I could keep a close eye on how the motorcycle cleanup was progressing as one or two attendants continued to polish the bike’s mirrors and other small parts of the bike.  At last the woman temporarily  in charge of the car wash came in to tell me the bike was finished.  As I straddled the bike, I handed her the 100 baht  the shop charged for motorbikes, and then I handed her an additional twenty baht and told her that it was for tips that she should spread around to the employees who had been washing my motorcycle.  By this time several young Thai guys had gathered around my bike, most of them no doubt interested in watching me kick start the Yamaha SR400.  While handing the woman the twenty baht bill, I nodded around at the young men to clarify that the tip should go to all of them.

At first I didn’t notice the bent front brake lever.  I gave the bike a cursory inspection to ascertain that the chrome front fender had been polished so that I could view my face in it and I studied the tach, speedometer, and the top of the fuel tank to make sure that no spots had been left on them.  I next prepared the bike for kick starting.   This involved pulling in a cylinder decompression lever while manipulating the kick starter until a white spot showed up in a sight window on the engine that indicated that the piston was in the correct spot in the cylinder for easy starting.   When the little white bubble appeared I gave the kick start an authoritative kick and the bike started right off.

I never got more than  200 yards out of the parking lot when I noticed that the front brake lever had a completely alien feel to it.  When I looked down at it,  I noticed that it was  bent so badly that it no longer fit my hand correctly.  So I immediately pulled off to the shoulder of the road, stopped the bike and inspected the bent lever.  The clutch lever to my left was just as straight as ever but the brake lever had been bent far over.  At first I thought that one of the car wash attendants had bent the lever with his hands, but when I grasped it in both hands and tried to bend it myself I realized that a lot of pressure had to have been applied to achieve such a bend.  Thinking that one of the attendants had to have dropped my bike I got off the motorcycle to look for additional damage to the right side of my bike.  I found nothing that would indicate that the bike had taken a fall other than the bent brake lever.

But after resuming my journey, I noticed that my right rear view mirror had fallen out of adjustment.  However, the Yamaha SR400 has terrific rear view mirrors that give a great backward view of the road and never fall out of adjustment, even when I drape a grocery bag around one of them.  This made me very angry because now I knew that one of the attendants had fiddled with my mirrors on purpose.  Nevertheless,  the thought kept coming back to me that someone must have dropped my bike onto the concrete floor of the car wash and that the fall had bent my front brake lever while also throwing my right mirror out of adjustment.

After completing the two errands I had been on I returned to our condo where I found my girlfriend and security guard.  By this time I was certain that my bike had been dropped.  I’d have to drive ten kilometers to my dealer the next day to order a new brake lever, and there would be no telling how long it would take considering that only 50 Yamaha SR 400’s were delivered to Thailand from Japan in 2014.  But okay, people do make mistakes, and I certainly can afford a new lever for my front brake.  If only the woman I handed my 120 baht to for washing my motorbike had told me, “We are so sorry.  One of the guys let your motorbike fall onto the concrete. ” or if one of the young Thai guys had owned up to his mistake and apologized to me, I would have been satisfied.  But no…The woman even collected the 20 baht tip I had given her and they all had remained silent to protect the person who had dropped my bike.  I was real angry by now, saying to myself over and over, “most of them are babies.  They are completely irresponsible imbeciles who have absolutely no sense of responsibility.

By this time my girlfriend had noticed that the chrome finish on my right rear view mirror had been scuffed up by the fall my bike must have taken.  And our security guard pointed out how the rubber protecting part of the front brake lever had been torn when the bike collided with the concrete.  Then my girlfriend noticed how the rubber grip on the right handlebar had gotten scuffed up.  It really didn’t look that bad, but it was damaged nonetheless and was clearly more  evidence that one of the car wash attendants had dropped my motorcycle.

It was time to go to the condo office so that our assistant manager could find our condo maintenance man.  It was our condo maintenance man who had recommended this particular car wash to me in the first place.  I had no hopes of getting anything out of the car wash for the trouble it was putting me through.  But I’m certainly in a position to give this particular car wash a very bad name in our condo community.

Suppose it costs me 1000 baht for a new front brake lever.  I have no hopes of getting even 20 baht of that back from the car wash.  The reasons are:  1.  90 percent of the time when it comes to any disagreements between Thai business people and their customers it’s always the customer who’s wrong.  The business considers itself to always bevright and if an employee is guilty of wrong doing nothing is going to be done to him to punish him for his bad behavior.  This is especially true if the customer is a falang.  If you don’t believe me just read Neil Hutchison’s book, Money Number One.  In Money Number One,  Neil asks his readers (who are typically Middle Age and older Western men ), “Where do you think you rate in order of importance to your Thai girlfriend?”  I don’t have the book in front of me right now but it goes something like this:  1.  Money, 2. Gold, 3.  Family, 4. Friends,  5.  Any Thai person from the cleaning woman to the street beggar, 6.  The family water buffalo, 7.  The family dog, 8.  The flea on the dog’s ass, 9.  You”

Meanwhile our assistant manager is advising me to go to the car wash and she’s telling me that when I explain all of this to the owner or manager that the person in charge will lose face and probably apologize to me.    Her problem is,  she’s been around too many Americans and since most Americans believe if the customer is not being treated right the business will eventually go out of business for lack of customers.  Her old boss was American and now she has me to deal with me.  But I know that most of the time Thai businesses run their business to suit the needs of their managers, their owners and oftentimes their employees with the customer ranking dead last.  And in my case, I am going to rank number 9 which is lower than the flea on the dog’s ass.

So off I go.  I follow our maintenance man who’s heading for home with his wife who cleans for our condo.  When we arrive at the car wash I immediately spot the owner or manager of the place.  I drive right up to her on my Yamaha SR 400 and immediately point out the bent front brake lever.  Then I show her the abrasions on my mirror and the front rubber handlebar and tell her that I noticed the bent brake lever within 200 yards after leaving the car wash.

At this point, our condo maintenance man starts to explain the situation to her in Thai.

But it’s all my fault of course. After all,  it’s always the customer who’s at fault and never the business.  I should have found the bent brake lever before I even drove away from the car wash she tells me. Then she tells me that I had been reading in the waiting room which means that I was negligent by not watching her employees wash my motorbike….never mind the fact that this woman would prefer that customers wait in the waiting room and that this keeps them from interfering with employees who are busy washing cars and motorbikes.

I don’t understand all the Thai being spoken between the owner and our maintenance man.  But I do understand the Golden Rule, and that’s Thai always right;  Falang always wrong.  And don’t think for even one moment that I’ve made all this up.  Nearly all intelligent Westerners who’ve actually lived here for very long have come to the same conclusion, and I don’t care what country these Westerners have come from.  It’s the tourists who just don’t get it.

This whole thing is coming off just as I predicted it would.  No one’s losing face around here.  These people have actually had the balls to take a 20 baht tip from me and all the employees have stood together to protect the person who’s dropped my bike.  Nothing’s going to be said to the culprit.  It’s simple…Falang wrong, Thai right. We have no right to complain to such holier than thou Thais who somehow despite all appearances to the contrary truly believe that they are the master race.

I start to wai the owner of the car wash by giving her a little bow while holding my hands together in front of her as if I’m saying a prayer.   Then I tell her,  “I so sorry to have accident with my motorbike here.  I wrong.  You so right.  I deeply apologize.   You win.  I lose.  For now, but I am big boss at my condo and tomorrow I yack yack many people about how you people damage my motorbike and you are not sorry.  Perhaps you lose many customers.”

The owner replies:  “That is not fair.”

“I don’t care if it’s fair or not.  I can do.  And I will do.  You lose many customers when I tell everyone.”

I start noticing a couple of more Thai men coming up to us who have had nothing to do with washing my motorbike and who don’t appear to have anything to do with washing cars or motorbikes.  Perhaps they are boyfriends of the female owner or manager.  Perhaps they are simply neighbors or friends of the young men working for the car wash.  Obviously they have appeared to reinforce the group of Thais around me.  There is no doubt in my mind that if I keep on talking to the owner the way I’ve been talking to her, that I will be ganged up on by a group of Thai men and beaten up.  That’s the way so many of them are.  They itch for the chance to beat someone up, be it falang or another Thai and when they get their victim down they pounce on him with clubs or by kicking him as he lies defenseless before them.  This is not America or at least the America I grew up in when fights were settled man against man, and where two men ganging up on one man is considered dishonorable and cowardly.

Our condo maintenance man advises me to quiet down.  I take his hint.  I turn to his wife first and thank her for trying to help me.  Then I thank him for his help and tell both of them that it’s time to go.  I kick start my Yamaha SR 400 and drive away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Service for Pattaya Computer Repair

For me, there’s only one place to go for Pattaya Computer Repair and that’s Pattaya 2 U.  I’ve known the Thai couple who run the place for nine years and feel their professionalism is second to none.

Pattaya 2 U used to be on the third floor of Tuk com over on Pattaya Tai but recently its main operation has been moved to a much larger facility 2 blocks from the Tuk com building next to Tuk Coms main parking building.

One thing that has always distinguished Pattaya 2 U from the competition is that it specializes in computer repair far more than it does in sales.  There’s always six or seven technicians there who are working on computers.   If you go practically anywhere else and try to get anything done on a computer, even if you bought your computer there in the first place, you will be told, “We will have to send it to Bangkok.  You can have it back in three to five weeks.”   Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when one of my main computers is down I want it up and running again today, and if not today, tomorrow.  That’s the kind of service you can expect to get at Pattaya 2 U.

The extreme importance of providing incomparable customer service to customers is obvious the first time you walk in the front door and  are offered a coca cola even if you don’t spend one baht there.   And did I say that Pattaya 2 u focuses more on Pattaya Computer repair than it does on sales?  That’s exactly why I went in today to buy a new desktop, built exactly to my specifications.

Jack Corbett