From The Worst Of Pattaya In 2018 To Bangkok vs LA

Welcome to Sunday, Bangkok!

Another busy week in Thailand, what with the passing of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, the British cave divers involved in the Chiang Rai rescue mission recognised with the George Cross and MBEs, and the news that Lat Phrao sports the dubious accolade of Bangkok’s worst traffic.

Phew.

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

News

Hundreds of cats and dogs die in Bangkok shelter

This is the news that the Prawet animal shelter in Bangkok has come under fire by various animal rights groups for its inadequate care and disease infestation, leading to the deaths of hundreds of cats and dogs.

Dubbed “the strays’ hell” as the shelter is home to many former soi dogs and cats who’ve been rounded up by authorities, an animal rights network is claiming that around 70% of the animals housed there have died of various diseases that they’ve picked up in the shelter. Watchdog Thailand claims that a shocking 400 animals died in just two weeks while they were working there in November.

Authorities dispute the claims, saying that these figures are exaggerated and that they are providing adequate care with five vets in attendance every day. However, the photos and testimony provided by Watchdog Thailand do nothing to support this view.

Elon Musk calls for dismissal of Thai cave hero’s libel case

Billionaire Elon Musk has asked for a judge to dismiss the libel case filed against him by Vernon Unsworth, the British cave diver who provided valuable assistance to Thai authorities during the Chiang Rai cave rescue of the youth football team earlier this year.

Musk labelled Unsworth a ‘pedo’ in a tweet to his 22.5 million followers, as well as casting negative aspersions on his character in a published email to Buzzfeed News. This was in response to Unsworth dismissing Musk’s submarine, which he had sent to help with the rescue effort, as a PR stunt.

Musk claims that the public were aware that his insults “were not intended to be statements of fact” and were instead “imaginative attacks”, and thus protected by the First Amendment, hence his motion for dismissal.

Government approves bills legalising medical marijuana and same-sex civil unions

Showcasing its liberal side, the Thai military government have this week approved bills legalising the use of marijuana for medical purposes and same-sex civil unions.

The National Assembly passed the medical marijuana bill, which will allow possession of a small amount of marijuana for express medical purposes, in large numbers and it is likely to become a law shortly.

The bill allowing for same-sex civil unions is likely to take a little longer to get into the statute books, and will probably require a final approval by the new parliament following next year’s planned elections. The bill will allow couples of the same sex to marry provided they are over 20 years old and at least one of them is a Thai. It does not provide any provision for adoption of children.

Blogs

How to decide which country to live in with your Thai partner

An interesting blog here on what must be a very common dispute in Thailand: which country will you live in after you marry your Thai partner — stay in Thailand? Or move back ‘home’?

This decision almost always ends in a compromise — even if you’re happy to stay in Thailand or she’s excited to start a new life in the West — because one of you will still be giving up your culture, proximity to your family and all the benefits that come with staying in your homeland in favour of your partner having this for themselves.

We have to agree with the author — keep an open mind to the prospect of moving/staying according to your family’s needs. Just because you’re living in Thailand right now doesn’t mean that you always will be — in a few years’ time, it might make sense to move back to the UK with your partner, for instance, or even somewhere completely new.

Resentment breeds when there’s an inflexibility from one partner — make sure that you’re always open to making life better for the both of you.

The year’s worst stories from Pattaya

Anyone who reads even a little of the regional news from around Thailand will be aware that Pattaya always provides more headlines than it’s small area and population might suggest. And, of course, they’re almost always of the sleazy, violent or WTF variety than the rest of the country can manage.

Coconuts have valiantly rounded up their worst/best stories from the City of Sin in 2018, and they’re all here for your delectation. Enjoy!

Behind the scenes shots from Thai cave rescue film

The BBC have published a series of behind-the-scenes shots from The Cave — by Thai Irish director Tom Waller — on the infamous Chiang Rai cave rescue of earlier this year. The film is due for release in July 2019.

Forum Threads

Bangkok vs LA

A discussion here on Reddit about the similarities and differences between Bangkok and LA. On paper, they’ve got plenty in common: sprawling metropolises, horrible traffic, a smattering of interesting, local neighbourhoods amongst the tourist boulevards.

But, as anyone who’s spent much time in either can tell you, they’re really very different — particularly when it comes to culture, energy and soul. As one poster says, it’s the intangible things that differentiates cities across the globe.

What follows is an interesting discussion on both cities and what folks love about one or the other.

Dark skinned Thai girls vs light skinned Thai girls

For everyone craving a little slice of sexism and racism between Christmas and New Year, let us present this Thaivisa thread!

That’s right: it’s discussing the merits of dark skinned Thai girls and their lighter skinned counterparts, and why some men find some attractive over the other.

For all those claiming that ‘it’s not racist’ to be attracted to one shade of skin tone over the other, that may well be correct, but let’s just say that no one thinks highly of people who fetishise certain skin tones.

Ultimately, this is a pretty abhorrent thread. Read at your peril 😉

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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!

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