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Everything posted by Stickman

  1. Stickman

    Future of this board

    No, that's complete nonsense that it is poorly run and moderated. I'd actually say it is far and away the best moderated board. Social media changed things a lot, and the mix and profile of expats in Thailand has changed markedly too.
  2. Stickman

    Future of this board

    I think it works well enough as it is. Obviously, you might have some concerns as as perhaps it is costing you more money to run it than you want to spend / is causing you grief or worry etc. Unless there are any problems that perhaps we might not be aware of, it would be a shame to see it change and a real shame to see it close down.....perhaps it's nice just knowing that it's still here and if you want to go and say something then you can?
  3. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    It's kind of a little different to that. Christchurch folk don't see themselves as superior, rather they just don't like rather a lot of people including many of their fellow countrymen.
  4. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    Generally speaking in New Zealand, the further south you get, the friendlier the people are - and Christchurch is a long way south of Wellington (where I was born), Auckland (where I grew up . consider my hometown) and Napier (where I currently live), all of which are in the North Island. But Christchurch is a bit of an anomaly. It feels very provincial even though (by NZ standards) it's a big city. I find the people of Christchurch have a chip on their shoulder about people from Auckland and from the North Island generally, and many are anti non-white. This is not paranoia - a good friend from Christchurch who lived in Thailand for many years often tells me of the feelings of many in Christchurch which are anti-Maoris and anti-Asians. Ok, not everyone in Christchurch is like that of course and I am sure you will find non-white immigrants there who love it and feel welcome, but it is much less cosmopolitan than say Auckland and there is a feeling of anti-outsiders there. I visited Christchurch for the first time in 1996 on business and made the mistake of saying I was from Auckland....big mistake. The anti-Aucklander sentiment was strong. I don't care for that sort of crap and hence I don't care for Christchurch.
  5. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    No, I didn't go. I am not a fan of Christchurch at all and it's a city I'll be quite happy not to visit again.
  6. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    Errr, one of "the few" journalists that went to Chch? This was the biggest news event in the world at the time and pretty much every journalist in New Zealand who could get on a plane was there within hours of it happening!!
  7. Stickman

    Nasiadai will be back again

    I'm not in the least worried about these US billionaires. They are spending a lot of money and most will probably never relocate permanently. Like I say, migration is good if it done right - the most basic example is attracting people who have the skills to make up for where there is a shortfall locally. If there are a few American billionaires amongst them, I say "Welcome!"
  8. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    Ditto that. Who is this guy?!
  9. Stickman

    Nasiadai will be back again

    I'm pro Immigration BUT with the proviso that migration is managed. You want the right sort of people coming to your country. Opening the border up to all and sundry as seems to be happening in parts of the world seems like a recipe for disaster....and I guess that is one of the reasons why Germany has a few issues. Of course, Western countries need to acknowledge that birth rates are low and if they don't encourage migration then they face a similar situation to Japan, population-wise...and all of the economic issues that a stagnant or falling population brings with it.
  10. Stickman

    Nasiadai will be back again

    Ever so minor correction made. Citation: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html
  11. Stickman

    Nasiadai will be back again

    Many developed countries have governments that have moved strongly to the left....and many of the problems you outline are the consequences of that happening. I don't know much about the government in Germany but I gather it is somewhat left-leaning.
  12. Stickman

    Disaster! The Pig and Whistle is now closed

    I heard that it's closed and there are banners hanging on the exterior saying space for rent.
  13. Stickman

    Nation - is set to shutter its printed editions

    The original branch near sois 17 and 19 closed at the start of this month.
  14. This 6-minute video doing the rounds has been viewed by millions and shows what happens when a Thai woman doesn't pay the taxi fare and is followed by the cab driver who curses her and records it all. Speakers of Thai will have a chuckle at this this, I know I sure did! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=493521561051758
  15. Property prices in New Zealand are way too high for sure, and I think so many of the problems in life here in Kiwiland come back to the fact that most house buyers are going to be in debt from the day they buy through to retirement. The sad thing is that whatever happens, there are going to be people severely hurting. If prices plateau or keep going up, young people are stuffed. If prices drop a small amount, anyone who bought in recent years will have issues. If prices drop a lot, there will be major economic ramifications. Things just went way too far, didn't they?
  16. Auckland house prices are up 120% since 2009. If there is a retreat of even 25% - which seems VERY unlikely - most will still be so far ahead it's not funny. Prices in Auckland might retreat 15% from their highs, then they will plateau and then they're going back up, albeit not as fast as they did the last time. The real worry is for those renting. As more properties go on the market, rental numbers will reduce and the price of renting is going to go up, especially in Auckland. I'd hate to be a renter in Auckland over the coming few years.
  17. Stickman

    Smog forces all Bangkok schools to close

    When I returned home after my first trip to Thailand in the late '90s of which just 2.5 days were spent in Bangkok at the end of the trip, colleagues thought I had taken up smoking for I was coughing so much, a cough that lasted for a couple of weeks. And when I visited Hanoi for the only time in early 2012, I returned to Bangkok with a cough that lingered on and off and which I did not manage to shake for some months. I do worry a little about the smog in Bangkok these days which is largely due to what's being said in the news, but as you rightly point out, the lack of date and the inability to know whether it really is worse now or not is a major frustration.
  18. Stickman

    Thailand pollution 2019

    Very interesting comment indeed. I have to admit since leaving Bangkok to return to New Zealand I do miss the place a lot and am always looking forward to my next trip back to Bangkok. I also often think whether at some point I might move back to Bangkok. When I return to Bangkok I really enjoy it for about the first 5 days as I catch up with old friends, visit old friends, eat in favourite eateries etc, but then the pollution, the crowds on the trains and hot+sticky weather get to me. There are always people moving on from Bangkok (although I bet they're replaced by newcomers to the city in much greater numbers) but I do wonder if at some people the number of people living becomes a tide because, as you say, Bangkok could at some point become unlivable.
  19. Stickman

    Do Not Learn Thai

    Completely disagree with pretty much everything in this post. Speaking Thai to a high level impresses Thais. It shows respect for Thailand and Thai people that you have made the effort to speak their language where most foreigners barely reach taxi Thai level. The only people who have not liked the fact that I speak Thai well are those who wished to lie to me or cheat me. Government officials are especially impressed when you speak Thai, or at least that has been my experience. Speaking Thai to a high level opens doors and wins people over very quickly. And if you can crack jokes in Thai and understand the language to a level where the person talking to you can speak naturally without the need to grade their language, they will, in most cases, by mighty impressed. Nothing allows you to understand Thai people and Thai culture like speaking the language to a high level. There is an argument that speaking Thai well gives you an insight in to the local culture you might not like but I'd disagree with that and suggest that you're finding that, perhaps it's time to change your friendship group / social circles.
  20. Brits trying to save money before Brexit sends the Pound plunging further in value?
  21. Stickman

    The End of Pax Europa?

    Most people wouldn't like my politics. I'm firmly in the David Seymour camp. Personal responsibility and personal freedom is what I believe in and ACT is the only party in NZ with that philosophy and they less than 1% of the vote.
  22. Stickman

    The End of Pax Europa?

    Yeah, people short of life experience is just what we need.....NOT!
  23. Stickman

    New Zealand Thread

    Maybe it's both....the findings are correct AND tingtong at the same time? :)
  24. Stickman

    Travel to Vientiane

    I always enjoy visiting the Nongkhai / Vientiane area....nice people, relaxed atmosphere and wonderful setting. From Udon Airport, there are minivans that wait until they have enough passengers and then go straight to Nongkhai and they can drop you at a hotel or at the border. The journey is not more than an hour from memory and it was something like 100 or 150 baht. I don't know what the story is with taxis crossing the border as I have never done that myself. Immigration overland entering Laos can be slow if you need to get a visa there....the wait can be 30 - 45 minutes - which is not really that long, but the waiting area is about as basic as it gets and is outdoor - so if raining or very hot, it's not that pleasant. That said, I have not crossed in a couple of years so things might have changed. I hope this helps....