Days of wine and woe

Most people will be aware of the phrase "old wine in new bottles" but maybe not know that it was coined from the phrase "new wine in old bottles" and stems from biblical times when it wasn't deemed to be a good idea to decant new wine into old leather storage satchels because the leather could be cracked and the possibility of leakage was likely to occur.

Could any of these phrases apply in today's scramble to form a government of unity and of the people?

Brian Corrigan


Special treatment

Re: "Top judge faces peer panel over 'tantrum'" (BP, May 14).

The problem with Thai society is that you have to be somebody to receive proper treatment, especially when dealing with government matters.

When you are a nobody it is no surprise that you will receive a less attentive or, sometimes rougher treatment than others.

When a policeman asks a driver to pull his car over and tells him that he is in the wrong lane 50 metres away, the latter has to resort to good memory and tell the policeman that he is a friend of his boss's father-in-law or cousin. If the driver is a big shot, as in this particular case, he can just review his identity and receive a big salute and drive away. So why should there be any tantrum?

Incidentally, I remember once I was boarding a domestic plane in the old Don Mueang airport. I was waiting in a row for ID card check, standing behind a well known politician/godfather of the central region. When it was his turn he did not present his ID card and his companion said to the young officer "Don't you know 'Than'?" The young man, probably just came out from school, looked bewildered with a no expression. The big shot was a little embarrassed, but as an experienced politician, he smiled and pulled out an ID card from his pocket.

Yingwai Suchaovanich


Kowtowing Asians

The kowtowing to phu yai regardless of their actions, values and intentions is not Thai specific. This is an Asian trait which we have been brought up with. Listen to your elders and do not challenge them for they are wise and experienced.

The Western style of asking questions and challenging status quo does not fit into this part of the world. We see the chaos it brings to Western societies where all sorts of movements come out to protest at the slightest of things. Everyone is triggered by everything and everyone has to accommodate everyone else.

We are at the crossroads where we ask ourselves which way society should move towards. There appears to be no easy answer.

Jeff Chong


Cheers to the Crutch

Thanks to Roger Crutchley for informing us that those rare individuals who pick up litter while jogging have been accorded official Scrabble status as "ploggers", although in my case an alternative definition might be "someone who jogs at a plodding pace".

Also, belated congratulations to Crutch on attaining his half century of years spent in Thailand a few weeks ago. By now he should qualify for a free bus pass (or a lifetime's supply of free beer) at the very least.

Chris Jeffery


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