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Go For The One

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[This issue of the GAI Newsletter is written from the perspective of the Chairman of the Board - Mr. Garry Bradford]

When I see the word 'reality' I think of programs like MasterChef, My Kitchen Rules, The Block, Survivor, or even The Bachelor.

So is that reality or fantasy?

Being in Thailand is a great opportunity to measure what I consider to be 'reality'. Thailand is known as the land of smiles but underneath that smile, is reality. Like most places, they have their problems... poverty, domestic violence, unemployment and crime. They handle a lot of these things differently to the way you and I would handle it.

An example of this is: one of our staff was run into on her scooter by a truck (not her fault). The way this is handled is by having both parties go to the police station, and the person at fault is then fined by the police. The police then negotiate a financial settlement between the injured person and the person which caused the injury.

This is definitely a different way of handling it. 
Reality also struck when I ended up with a bug that knocked me around for about a week. I finally ended up in the hospital to get a once-over by the Doctor there and then to be given some drugs to deal with the issue. It was all done in about 40 mins, compared to hours in an Australian hospital. Just before I left, the Doctor informed me that Mae Sot is the most infectious area in Thailand. Yep, this is reality.
Then, getting a taxi driver that doesn’t speak English... Wow I wonder why, oh that’s right, I’m in another country - Thailand. I manage to ask her a question about safety by pretending to punch her and grab the cash. I forgot that I had other people outside, watching me with bulging eyes. Jel (my taxi driver) then drew out beside her seat, a 30cm cleaver. Yep, there are some unsafe areas here. Then later, I spoke with a person who I arrange to meet up with and they said, "Okay but I need to get home before dark." Yes, it is dangerous and not good to be wandering around at night. That’s part of the reality of being in a town on the Thai/Burma border.
Then there’s the CRASH-BANG outside... I rush out and there it is:

a big pink garbage truck

that I find out comes everyday to collect rubbish.
This is Thailand, the land of smiles. Oh yes, just so you know... more of the excitement that happens in my street that’s 300 metres long, we had 19 dogs singing at 1am in the morning walking up and down our street.

Welcome to Thailand.
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