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Different views on the 'happiness' of the nation


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Different views on the 'happiness' of the nation
By Kasamakorn Chanwanpen
The Nation

 

8c8a56433250d35d2ca6b2c567a6e79c.jpeg

Somchai Pisankhate (60) Motorcycle Taxi Driver

 

BANGKOK: -- ON A QUIET midweek afternoon, five days before the third anniversary of the coup, Somchai Pisankhate, a 60-year-old motorcycle taxi driver based in the usually crowded Victory Monument area, said in a tired voice: “Look around you. Don’t you think it’s rather quiet for a travel hub?”

 

Evidently drained as he looked for a prospective passenger, Somchai recalled when the area, once the prime transit centre for Bangkok commuters, was way more lively. 

 

“There were street vendors everywhere around the area we are standing on now. And there were pedestrians and passengers who were attracted by the street food and cheap clothes,” said Somchai, who has been a motorcycle taxi driver for nearly a third of his life. 

 

“But now since all the stalls have been removed from the picture, there are fewer people and fewer potential passengers, too.”

 

Somchai said he understood the National Council for Peace and Order’s effort to bring back, improve, and keep order in society. “But this is like an ecosystem,” he said. “You know, you cannot just take out one species and hope the rest in the system will remain unaffected, because we are ‘affected’.”

 

Three years ago, the country was stuck in an impasse, causing a standstill in parliamentary politics and also the daily lives of the people. The junta stepped in and said they would “return happiness” to the people. The step has had a dramatically different affect on people. Some have had their high hopes realised after the military took charge, while others have suffered more over the past three years, being deprived of their rights. 

 

While both sides compete for their piece of “happiness”, citizens such as Somchai feel they have been left out of the equation.

Before leaving to give a ride to a high-school student, Somchai hastily continued his outlook.

 

“This is why democracy is essential, I guess,” he said. “Politicians, no matter how corrupt people say they are, actually have to listen to us because they need our votes. Unlike this order-keeping regime which comes and goes and does not have to listen to us.”

 

Sakchai Pairoh, 43, who lives hand-to-mouth as a taxi driver in the centre of Bangkok, expressed a similar viewpoint. “I think things have seemed slow and stagnant in the past few years,” he said.

 

As he struggled to make a turn in jammed traffic, Sakchai said that if it had not been so quiet he would have made a decent amount of money that afternoon. “It might be true as people are saying … that the economy is very, very bad,” he said.

 

He said that he noticed people are more careful with money. In the central business district, which used to be a goldmine for taxis, drivers now find it more difficult to get a hire.

 

Asked whether business has been affected by online services such as Uber and Grab, the veteran driver said: “I’ve adapted to the change, too. I’m also on Grab. Still, things are slow unlike the last five years or so.”

 

He said he had not quite received his share of “happiness”. “I don’t blame them [the government] and I totally get their good intention. But we have to admit that maybe they don’t know what they are doing, hence the ailing economy right? 

 

“They are not professional in the governance area, so I think it’s best for everyone to return the work to those who are.”

 

In the area known as the fashion and lifestyle hub of the middle to upper class – around the area of Siam Square, in the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre – one citizen said she was “elated to be under the politician-free regime”.

 

Retired government official Samruay Petchpong enthused that the country was so much better now because there was peace in society and stability in Parliament.

 

“I’m happy for the country now that there are no demonstrations in the street. People can live peacefully,” she said. “And I’m happier now compared to three years ago also because now we don’t have nepotism to cripple the system. I didn’t like that very much.”

 

Student Thipparat Songsang, 20, had a less than optimistic view of politics.

 

“I don’t know. I’m moderately happy as life is supposed to be,” she said. “But I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. Politics is kind of distant.

 

“Things are all the same to me no matter how politics changes. The poor stay poor and the rich stay rich. And I still see the same old problems in the deep South, here in Bangkok and everywhere. What’s the difference?”

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30316133

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-24
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'He said that he noticed people are more careful with money. In the central business district, which used to be a goldmine for taxis, drivers now find it more difficult to get a hire. '

 

No K. Sakchai, plenty of customers just waiting for you to turn on your metre!!

 

 

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motorcycle taxi

14 minutes ago, sungod said:

'He said that he noticed people are more careful with money. In the central business district, which used to be a goldmine for taxis, drivers now find it more difficult to get a hire. '

 

No K. Sakchai, plenty of customers just waiting for you to turn on your metre!!

 

 

 

Edited by RotMahKid
wrong
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

“This is why democracy is essential, I guess,” he said. “Politicians, no matter how corrupt people say they are, actually have to listen to us because they need our votes. Unlike this order-keeping regime which comes and goes and does not have to listen to us.”

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill. :clap2:

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There is not going to much happiness in any place that dishes out 15 year sentences, almost a death sentence in a Thai prison, for sms messages and fb comments, then lets off killers if they are rich or connected. The social injustice and political oppression here is not a recipe for smiles, imo.

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Having read the headline and the following diatribe. I find it very hard to believe that a guy like somchai, the Taxidriver would  (god bless him) have the intelligence to make the comments he is have meant to have made. Another load of BS thrown down our throats.

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Somchai wearing way too much foundation, Redshirts need a new makeup artist....& scriptwriter for that matter.

 

Ps

I thought "the junta" didnt allow dissent or criticism, please make your mind up....

Edited by onthesoi
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Somchai wearing way too much foundation, Redshirts need a new makeup artist....& scriptwriter for that matte

 

My My how low can you go

 

Some on here just do not get it do they, mainly because their life is being filled with help from the G party while others suffer.

 

talk to anyone local out of the country and you will hear the truth and its not nice. Ask them when they are going back and they say never with this lot going on.

 

So propaganda rules and there are many here who simple believe what they are told as they do not have a brain to ask a question, I guess it was all down to the schooling.

Edited by wakeupplease
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9 hours ago, DLang said:

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Now there's a dedicated worker.

 

Matching his hair with his work vest and surrounding buildings. 

I thought he looked a bit like the Terminator, or maybe it's the Perminator.  'If you want to live come with me'

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15 hours ago, sungod said:

No K. Sakchai, plenty of customers just waiting for you to turn on your metre!!

Sakchai (Somchai?) is a motorcycle taxi driver. There is no meter.

You agree to price before you ride.

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4 hours ago, onthesoi said:

Somchai wearing way too much foundation, Redshirts need a new makeup artist....& scriptwriter for that matter.

 

Ps

I thought "the junta" didnt allow dissent or criticism, please make your mind up....

So for the record you are stating unequivocally that he is a red shirt plant?

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3 hours ago, Srikcir said:

Sakchai (Somchai?) is a motorcycle taxi driver. There is no meter.

You agree to price before you ride.

If you were to do it Thai style, you'd ask afterwards. 

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7 hours ago, Srikcir said:

Sakchai (Somchai?) is a motorcycle taxi driver. There is no meter.

You agree to price before you ride.

It never amazes me how quick people are on here to try and get one up on another poster to prove their superiority, but in most cases never read the article properly in their quest to prove themselves best. 

 

2 different people, one is a motorcyle taxi  driver, the other a taxi driver.

 

Somchai Pisankhate, a 60-year-old motorcycle taxi driver based in the usually crowded Victory Monument area

 

Sakchai Pairoh, 43, who lives hand-to-mouth as a taxi driver in the centre of Bangkok

 

But don't worry, you weren't the only one, the guy under my post realised his mistake and edited it.

 

But thanks for your diligence in stating motorcycle taxis don't have metres, cant say I'd noticed.

 

 

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Time for a poll indicating that 97% are happy.

 

Can't the PM just use Article 44 and order everyone to be happy?

 

Or maybe write another song extolling the waves of happiness the Junta is spreading over the country.

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9 hours ago, baboon said:

So for the record you are stating unequivocally that he is a red shirt plant?

Your words not mine, "the record" of what I said has already been stated.

 

Are you stating unequivocally that Somchai made those sophisticated statements and analysis as claimed by the article?

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