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kandahar

Time Travel

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Nice post, good man. Always good to see a contribution as opposed to retribution.

I am sorry to say, I don't know London. I passed through an airport there once and found it a hel_l of a lot better than the previous stopover in an airport in France and that is about the end of it.

I agree, some of the past is better left in the past. I don't miss the bad stuff. I remember driving through a burnt-out section of a major city in the strife-torn 60's. Bad stuff happened there and lives were lost, families torn.

In my old homeland, metal detectors greet you at school doors now. Armed policemen roam the halls. And on and on and on.........

This place hasn't met that fate yet. Again, the family values are what keeps a smile on this face.

Yes, change is inevitable. But for some folks, the battle to keep it at bay is a worthy one, even if it is a losing one. In CR, I don't think it is a battle. At the moment, the good stuff is still the "present". I appreciate that. I don't take it for granted, nor do I think that this is just the way the world is. No, I see it as VERY valuable at this time in my life and I didn't see that value when I was younger. I didn't really know what I had.

Thanks for you input on the postings of VF.

And yes, jubby and his balls...... What kind of day would we have without a report like that? AND he makes us all a little more proud of our own in-laws while he is at it. I have an alcoholic BIL but he keeps his hands to himself.

Thanks, don't get me wrong, there's plenty about the past in my city, and the present come to think of it, which i wouldn't ever want to change. I think my main point was that time marches on and we often see that as a bad thing and can get caught up with what is wrong with how things are now by way of comparison.

People often comment about how bad violent crime is in London now, it's true there are many knife attacks and some of our young people have a very hard time just walking to scholl in safety. But it was always like that to a degree, maybe it wasn't reported as much at the time, I don't know.

As far as family values are concerned that is a very good point, nowadays so many people are living far away from their families. In my country in the late 70's early 80's there was a lot of what is called 'social mobility' this is often seen as a good thing, people getting better housing and better paid jobs further away from where they grew up. I think there is a side effect of that in that it can tend to unravel the fabric of the local community. For example, London has a static population of around 8 million, this swells every day to around 11 million, then sg=hrinks back to 8. This means that 3 million people travel for well over an hour, into London every day for work then go back home again, what kind of community does that develop? I hear people in my area talk of when they could leave their doors unlocked and pop round their neighbours house to borrow something etc. etc. whilst that is true one reason why they could leave their door unlocked is because they didn't have anything worth stealing!

I know material possesions can't replace community values but many people couldn't wait to move away from those communities as they wanted better housing better schools and some fresh air to breath.

London is, and always has been, a mixture of rich, poor and everything in between. I suspect that is true of many other cities in the world.

I don't think you need worry too much about Thai society, from my limited exposure, the values of family transcend any material gain. There are young people who appear, on the surface, to be wrapped up in the latest cell-phone or whatever but I think, deep down, they still have enough of the values of their society to continue having something that is worth so much more than any technological advance.

If you look at the youth of any generation you may well think you have cause to worry, I remember seeing a TV program about some of the young men in the US military serving in Iraq (whatever your views on that conflict are irrelevant for this example) and one of their commanders made a comparison with the same generation from the 1940's he said 'they would match up to any of them, I have no doubt whatsoever about that'

Praise indeed.

Thanks again for the OP

Biff

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Nice post, good man. Always good to see a contribution as opposed to retribution.

I am sorry to say, I don't know London. I passed through an airport there once and found it a hel_l of a lot better than the previous stopover in an airport in France and that is about the end of it.

I agree, some of the past is better left in the past. I don't miss the bad stuff. I remember driving through a burnt-out section of a major city in the strife-torn 60's. Bad stuff happened there and lives were lost, families torn.

In my old homeland, metal detectors greet you at school doors now. Armed policemen roam the halls. And on and on and on.........

This place hasn't met that fate yet. Again, the family values are what keeps a smile on this face.

Yes, change is inevitable. But for some folks, the battle to keep it at bay is a worthy one, even if it is a losing one. In CR, I don't think it is a battle. At the moment, the good stuff is still the "present". I appreciate that. I don't take it for granted, nor do I think that this is just the way the world is. No, I see it as VERY valuable at this time in my life and I didn't see that value when I was younger. I didn't really know what I had.

Thanks for you input on the postings of VF.

And yes, jubby and his balls...... What kind of day would we have without a report like that? AND he makes us all a little more proud of our own in-laws while he is at it. I have an alcoholic BIL but he keeps his hands to himself.

Thanks, don't get me wrong, there's plenty about the past in my city, and the present come to think of it, which i wouldn't ever want to change. I think my main point was that time marches on and we often see that as a bad thing and can get caught up with what is wrong with how things are now by way of comparison.

People often comment about how bad violent crime is in London now, it's true there are many knife attacks and some of our young people have a very hard time just walking to scholl in safety. But it was always like that to a degree, maybe it wasn't reported as much at the time, I don't know.

As far as family values are concerned that is a very good point, nowadays so many people are living far away from their families. In my country in the late 70's early 80's there was a lot of what is called 'social mobility' this is often seen as a good thing, people getting better housing and better paid jobs further away from where they grew up. I think there is a side effect of that in that it can tend to unravel the fabric of the local community. For example, London has a static population of around 8 million, this swells every day to around 11 million, then sg=hrinks back to 8. This means that 3 million people travel for well over an hour, into London every day for work then go back home again, what kind of community does that develop? I hear people in my area talk of when they could leave their doors unlocked and pop round their neighbours house to borrow something etc. etc. whilst that is true one reason why they could leave their door unlocked is because they didn't have anything worth stealing!

I know material possesions can't replace community values but many people couldn't wait to move away from those communities as they wanted better housing better schools and some fresh air to breath.

London is, and always has been, a mixture of rich, poor and everything in between. I suspect that is true of many other cities in the world.

I don't think you need worry too much about Thai society, from my limited exposure, the values of family transcend any material gain. There are young people who appear, on the surface, to be wrapped up in the latest cell-phone or whatever but I think, deep down, they still have enough of the values of their society to continue having something that is worth so much more than any technological advance.

If you look at the youth of any generation you may well think you have cause to worry, I remember seeing a TV program about some of the young men in the US military serving in Iraq (whatever your views on that conflict are irrelevant for this example) and one of their commanders made a comparison with the same generation from the 1940's he said 'they would match up to any of them, I have no doubt whatsoever about that'

Praise indeed.

Thanks again for the OP

Biff

You are welcome for the post. Thanks for your observations.

I write stuff like this often enough. I just usually send it out to a mailing list of relatives and close friends. This particular one seemed more appropriate for this crowd.

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Just reading through this again and seeing if I can find places where my thoughts have changed since it was written. In little ways, I can say "yes, slightly" but overall, it still reflects the way I view the place.

I have trouble reconciling some thoughts, though. I am often reminded that business people here are nonchalant, to say the least, about following up on customer inquiries. My Thai wife replies to every email inquiry she gets about her business. She returns every call, even missed calls and makes follow-up calls as new info comes to light. To me, that is the correct way of doing business and it is the way I have seen it done in other places almost my entire life prior to coming here.

Things are changing in the old country where I come from in that respect and maybe one day, it will be more like it is here, where you can inquire about a service or product and likely be ignored. As I saw that beginning to happen in the old country, I attributed it to younger generation lazy employees initially, but later, I started to run into business owners who did the same thing, especially self-employed contractors. Some of them I knew personally and I knew what they did every day and where they were during the day, namely the coffee shops or bars. Myself and others learned quickly not to call those guys because it would be a waste of our time and efforts. Better to call an unknown and see what if we could get lucky in finding a dependable business man. But inquiries being ignored is what I have found from my first day here and the attitude puzzles me and intrigues me, to the point that I spend a lot of time trying to understand it.

Here, the people aren't in bars or coffee shops, they are sitting in their businesses, apparently awaiting new customers or old. But they don't answer e-mails or return calls. Many times, if you reach said business person on the first call attempt, they put you off and say they will look into your request and get back to you but they don't get back to you. It isn't that the requests are for something unusual; it can be a request to a roofing supplier for roofing materials that he has in stock and delivers. It can be to an electrical contractor for a wiring job. It can be a request to any company about any product or service that they are in business to provide. It isn't that they avoid the English speaker or writers. They do the same thing to my Thai speaking/writing wife and to most of the friends she has. The friends all report and complain about the same behavior. Most people I know report the same behavior, whether they are locals or Farang. And yet, the wife has insurance sales friends, stock-broker friends, who work days, nights,weekends trying to drum up new business, So, I see that some who's success is dependent on self motivation only, are very hard workers and return a response of one kind or another to every inquiry. But the people who work from block and mortar buildings don't seem to care at all. Why is this? Will time alter this, for better or worse?

I recently advised a person on this forum to seek home schooling for a young child that is in need of education and this very thing is why I suggested it. It is an opportunity to take an impressionable young person and to instill in him/her a desire to succeed and to provide the guidance on behaviors that will help that person to succeed. Those things aren't taught successfully in schools here and I suspect they aren't taught at home at all. And I wonder why?

I do know a lot of places lose business with my family because the businesses don't seem to care about a sale. My advice is always, "Okay, forget them and go to another". And we do. And then maybe to another and another. And yet, if you walk into any of those businesses, order your product and present your money, you get the service or product. Why do you have to have a face to face meeting to get anything done? Why do the people list a telephone number, e-mail address or web address if they aren't going to bother doing business through any of them? It is almost as if it is still forty years in the past and they don't have those tools available to increase their sales. They DO have them but yet, they work as if they do not. I wonder what goes through their minds as they decide against utilizing these things. I wonder about it a lot. I wonder about it too much, because I can see NOTHING that makes any sense of it nor can any Thai person add anything that makes sense. The ones I ask are just as stumped as I am. So, are they that stuck in the past or is it something else?

Edited by kandahar

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Just reading through this again and seeing if I can find places where my thoughts have changed since it was written. In little ways, I can say "yes, slightly" but overall, it still reflects the way I view the place.

I have trouble reconciling some thoughts, though. I am often reminded that business people here are nonchalant, to say the least, about following up on customer inquiries. My Thai wife replies to every email inquiry she gets about her business. She returns every call, even missed calls and makes follow-up calls as new info comes to light. To me, that is the correct way of doing business and it is the way I have seen it done in other places almost my entire life prior to coming here.

Things are changing in the old country where I come from in that respect and maybe one day, it will be more like it is here, where you can inquire about a service or product and likely be ignored. As I saw that beginning to happen in the old country, I attributed it to younger generation lazy employees initially, but later, I started to run into business owners who did the same thing, especially self-employed contractors. Some of them I knew personally and I knew what they did every day and where they were during the day, namely the coffee shops or bars. Myself and others learned quickly not to call those guys because it would be a waste of our time and efforts. Better to call an unknown and see what if we could get lucky in finding a dependable business man. But inquiries being ignored is what I have found from my first day here and the attitude puzzles me and intrigues me, to the point that I spend a lot of time trying to understand it.

Here, the people aren't in bars or coffee shops, they are sitting in their businesses, apparently awaiting new customers or old. But they don't answer e-mails or return calls. Many times, if you reach said business person on the first call attempt, they put you off and say they will look into your request and get back to you but they don't get back to you. It isn't that the requests are for something unusual; it can be a request to a roofing supplier for roofing materials that he has in stock and delivers. It can be to an electrical contractor for a wiring job. It can be a request to any company about any product or service that they are in business to provide. It isn't that they avoid the English speaker or writers. They do the same thing to my Thai speaking/writing wife and to most of the friends she has. The friends all report and complain about the same behavior. Most people I know report the same behavior, whether they are locals or Farang. And yet, the wife has insurance sales friends, stock-broker friends, who work days, nights,weekends trying to drum up new business, So, I see that some who's success is dependent on self motivation only, are very hard workers and return a response of one kind or another to every inquiry. But the people who work from block and mortar buildings don't seem to care at all. Why is this? Will time alter this, for better or worse?

I recently advised a person on this forum to seek home schooling for a young child that is in need of education and this very thing is why I suggested it. It is an opportunity to take an impressionable young person and to instill in him/her a desire to succeed and to provide the guidance on behaviors that will help that person to succeed. Those things aren't taught successfully in schools here and I suspect they aren't taught at home at all. And I wonder why?

I do know a lot of places lose business with my family because the businesses don't seem to care about a sale. My advice is always, "Okay, forget them and go to another". And we do. And then maybe to another and another. And yet, if you walk into any of those businesses, order your product and present your money, you get the service or product. Why do you have to have a face to face meeting to get anything done? Why do the people list a telephone number, e-mail address or web address if they aren't going to bother doing business through any of them? It is almost as if it is still forty years in the past and they don't have those tools available to increase their sales. They DO have them but yet, they work as if they do not. I wonder what goes through their minds as they decide against utilizing these things. I wonder about it a lot. I wonder about it too much, because I can see NOTHING that makes any sense of it nor can any Thai person add anything that makes sense. The ones I ask are just as stumped as I am. So, are they that stuck in the past or is it something else?

I have often wondered if this reluctance,( when you work in a corporation/government dept. in many societies) - to respond to the electronic or impersonal request is simply because the person can. If you are working for money only, in a job in which you have no vested interest or owe no allegience to, it is very easy to become so disenchanted that the ability to ignore requests from potential customers or enquirers can become a hit back against the job that you have to endure.

Instead of looking at what you do and thinking 'I don't really want to be here, but I need to eat, so I might as well do a good job, because that way I feel good about myself and can take pride in what I do, boring/tedious though it is', I have seen many people take pride in being rude, spending their time at work looking for ways to avoid it, taking pleasure at scoring points against the business that enables them to pay their bills.

The only way to ensure appropriate responses to electronic or phone enquiries in a lot of big corporations is to monitor them.

It doesn't explain why there is so little response here though from the small business which is often family owned. The only thing I can think of is that it is not a personal enquiry. You aren't meeting face to face, you cannot judge whether you want to do business with this person. For a modern business that wants to make a profit, this is not a sustainable attitude.

But how many small businesses really seem to want more than a 'tick -over' profit, to be in business but not want to do anything other than open up in the morning, sit around all day, sell to a few customers, have a chat , then go home. There seem to be a large number like this. Perhaps not the owners of the businesses - but certainly many staff seem to have this attitude.The exceptions are the ones we have to seek out and use, in any country.

We may also have to consider that some businesses may feel that it is very easy to deny or alter a verbal agreement, but promising something on paper - even electronically - may just be a step too far. Society expects you to provide a remote means of getting in touch with your business - but you don't have to like it or use it. Short-sighted, infuriating when you're waiting for a response, but - in the long run- bad for them.

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