Around Town

APRIL FOOL

 Quite a lot of people were caught out by the April 1 joke that the British embassy was moving to Pattaya following the sale of its residence in central Bangkok.  The cheeky rascals responsible even mentioned Soi 6 as the new venue with the clarification that a plot of land had already been bought.

NO STOPPING UTAPAO

Although substantial development is underway at Utapao airport, the military government is said to be entertaining even grander plans for the 2020s with a second runway and facilities to service 15 million passengers a year as opposed to the 3 million currently estimated.  Probably won’t happen without a hi-speed rail link to the airports at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang. 

MONEY IN THE BANK

 In response to a visa question:  an applicant for a one year retirement visa who has income of less than 800,000 baht equivalent can make up the difference with cash in a Thai bank.  But that money must have been there for three months prior to the application being made or two months if a first time and not a renewal. 

NEW MEXICAN

 A new Mexican restaurant has opened on Soi 17 leading to the Land Office in south Pattaya.  Run by Dave, and advertised as such, there is a menu of Mexican favourites such as tacos, burritos and enchiladas.  Vegetarians are catered for.  You can choose spicy or not. Closed on Mondays. 

UNDERPASS PROBLEMS

The new Sukhumvit underpass is currently open during the Songkran period but will close again for the last-minute essentials.  Apparently, the huge signs and lighting- not the responsibility of the contractor – are part of the delay and are handled by City Hall departments. 

LAMINATION PROBLEMS

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a shop offering a reliable lamination service, for example for a miniature version of your passport.  Strongly recommended is the camera and computer shop on Second Road, immediately opposite Soi 8.  Prompt and good value service here. 

RETIREE TEACHERS

It’s sometimes suggested that Pattaya’s retirees could be useful in teaching the local population English-language skills.  But the problem is the work permit.  On the other hand, retirees may not be up-to-date with modern communication methods or even be clueless when it comes to teaching. 

TOUR BUSES

Can it really be true that there are fewer Chinese zero-sum tours being organized in Pattaya?  The long lines of parked buses on Thappraya Road, which have temporary permission to be there according to City Hall, suggest otherwise. 

PATTAYA STEREOTYPE

 Strange how critics of the resort still categorize all Pattaya businesses as sex-related.  One would think that all the expensive condos, top class restaurants , exclusive restaurants and family-related theme parks might have changed the stereotype.  But, then again, bad news still sells newspapers in the UK. 

WAITER UNEMPLOYMENT

 Still a small number, but some eateries are now asking you to order your food by pressing buttons on a computer-menu at your table.  The food then appears some minutes later at a serving hatch.  Waiter-less restaurants are cheaper for the operators than the traditional type, but what about customer care?

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