Anything you can do to publicize the problem especially the impact that 100% wearing of helmets would have on reducing deaths and brain injuries, would be great.
The Thai stats would be totally unacceptable in Australia, but Thai’s just live with it. They buy their kids new motorcycles, let them ride on the road with little training and at an age when their peripheral vision has not yet fully developed. It is the same as giving a primary school kid a loaded gun and letting them play with it.
All schools in Thailand need to be encouraged to adopt some sort of motorcycle safety program as the parents seem oblivious to the problem. I think it has something to do with the Buddhist philosophy on fate – “meant to happen”. But if you are not there – it can’t happen.
I received the following analysis of the crisis in Thailand from a friend of mine who regularly travels through south-east Asia:
“It seems that the Thai’s do not learn from the mistakes made in history because they are not required to study it. What they really need is history to be made a compulsory subject in all schools and also a central marriage registry so that a man cannot have many wives and families in different provinces. This will stop the corruption that exists on both sides of politics. Salaries and incomes are based on an individual only having one family. However, due to poverty, there are many women who are prepared to be the second wife. Corruption money is then needed to support the other families and the ones doing it are those who make the decisions including politicians, police and soldiers. They need a strong leader who can re-organise their society from the ground up.
The government of Thailand is in crisis at the moment. The opposition party has lost the last 9 elections. They have not won an election for 21 years. They were installed by the last military coup until the people told the army what to do with the army’s choice of government by electing Yingluck with an overwhelming majority. The opposition has effectively taken their bat and ball and gone home refusing to play anymore. The country is safe so long as you avoid the hotspots where the protesters are making trouble. If the pro-government crowds ever assemble the crowds will be twice as big. Yingluck has been doing a good job under the circumstances. If the Thais respect democracy they should wait and vote her out at the next election. If you start forming mobs to try and overturn an elected government that was elected by an overwhelming majority, you set the precedent for your own demise :- “Live by the sword – die by the sword.””
Birkenstock sandals are available in the men’s shoe section in the Paragon Department Store on the second floor of the Paragon Shopping Mall.
You can access the paragon shopping centre directly from the Siam BTS Station.
Once you get to the second floor ask for the men’s shoes department. You may need to seek further directions from staff but eventually you will find a small area where the Birkenstock sandals and shoes are sold.
They were very well priced on the day I went there and I purchased a beautiful pair of sandals for 4322 baht.
If you come across Birkenstock Sandals in the market they are fakes and a total waste of money.
Google street view is now available for Bangkok and so I have extracted these links and views to assist you to find your way to the U-Baan Guesthouse. These street views will give you valuable landmarks to find your way.
The address and phone number of U-Baan is:
961 Soi Rat Ruam Charoen
(Via Soi Krung Thonburi 1) Klongsan
p. +66 88 499 1503
If you are coming from the airport you could take Airport Link till Payahtai station. Transit at BTS Payahtai station to Siam station (center station). Change to Silom line at same floor to BTS Wongwaityai station (end of the line of silom line). Get out at Exit 3 get down at the stairs on left hand side you could take the elevator to get down. Soi Krung thonburi1 will be in front of you.
When you exit BTS Wongwaityai Station you need to see Khlong Ton Sai and the image below shows you a large blue, yellow and red sign which is the first landmark.