Choices Matter

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parrot
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Choices Matter

Post by parrot » September 7, 2017, 6:54 pm

Seems like age makes you resistant to change.......perhaps why many of the old guys here will take about the 'good old days' in Udon. The good old days in Udon meant no AEK, no Bangkok Hospital, no Villa Market, virtually no 4 lane roads, lots more samlors than there are today, no Tesco, no Central, with one or two exceptions no decent restaurants, no Tops, no bowling/ice-skating, no McDonalds or Burger K.,no 7-11's........and on and on.
Today, I was reminded why growth, and the resulting competition is good:
I went to the older of the three Toyota dealers (on Taharn Rd) to check out a new vehicle. A salesman greeted me, asked what I was looking for, and when I told him, he said, "no have" and showed zero interest in engaging further. Okay, I replied, I'll check out the other Toyota dealers.
The salesman at the second dealer, near Big C, said they didn't have what I was looking for, but he suggested I look at a few other comparable vehicles. He took the time to compare the vehicles, upstairs, downstairs, in the front.....describing each and answering a variety of questions I had about them. I told him I wasn't ready to buy at the moment, but he took the time to write out a list of all the promotion items that were included......and a 20,000 Baht discount should I decide to buy.
In the old days, you had one Toyota dealer in town (between the statue/fountain circles). Take it or leave it. Today you have a choice.

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Charlieb
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by Charlieb » September 7, 2017, 7:25 pm

When I first moved here about 5 years ago I visited the same Toyota dealer with similar results I was ignored like they did not want my business. I told them to shove it and walked out nver to return

I subsequently bought a Toyota Camry from the dealer on ring road. At least they acted like they would like to sell a car.

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trubrit
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by trubrit » September 8, 2017, 6:34 am

parrot wrote:
September 7, 2017, 6:54 pm
Seems like age makes you resistant to change.......perhaps why many of the old guys here will take about the 'good old days' in Udon. The good old days in Udon meant no AEK, no Bangkok Hospital, no Villa Market, virtually no 4 lane roads, lots more samlors than there are today, no Tesco, no Central, with one or two exceptions no decent restaurants, no Tops, no bowling/ice-skating, no McDonalds or Burger K.,no 7-11's........and on and on.
Today, I was reminded why growth, and the resulting competition is good:
I went to the older of the three Toyota dealers (on Taharn Rd) to check out a new vehicle. A salesman greeted me, asked what I was looking for, and when I told him, he said, "no have" and showed zero interest in engaging further. Okay, I replied, I'll check out the other Toyota dealers.
The salesman at the second dealer, near Big C, said they didn't have what I was looking for, but he suggested I look at a few other comparable vehicles. He took the time to compare the vehicles, upstairs, downstairs, in the front.....describing each and answering a variety of questions I had about them. I told him I wasn't ready to buy at the moment, but he took the time to write out a list of all the promotion items that were included......and a 20,000 Baht discount should I decide to buy.
In the old days, you had one Toyota dealer in town (between the statue/fountain circles). Take it or leave it. Today you have a choice.
Well don't know how far you are going back or perhaps your own memory isn't so good these days . I came here first in 2002 and Central was certainly here , okay not so big and named Chareonsri Grand, it had a bowling alley a swimming pool and a cinema, also Tops were on the top floor.There were many , by my standard , decent restaurants, my regular haunt is still going strong, Mare Ya and there was a classy Italian place outside the center, can't think of the name of it now, get confused there is so many these days .Bangkok hospital was there, just different name.Okay none of the American fast, read junk, food places existed but there wasn't the amount of us foreigners around either to use them . Sure I know which I would have preferred.Your biggest problem seems to have been the car dealerships, but I had a Volvo in those days and they had a dealer, now they don't, so I too have a Toyota and I must agree with your commments on the original one, I bought mine in NBLP but now have it serviced at the new place near Tool Pro the ring road which is owned by the same person that owned the Volvo one , Khun Hanchai, the ex mayor of Udon .Needless to say the standard is almost perfect, I actually enjoy going there .Yes many more samlors sure but the most they charged was 20bht, now fewer but charge 100bht fot the same journey .Sorry John I definitely prefer the "good old days"
On a further note, the forum had just started, we mostly all knew each other, socialised together occassionally, didn't need moderators, we were all too grown up for that, now look at it, no further comment needed.Things ain't what they used to be . :roll:
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

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Re: Choices Matter

Post by mathusalah80 » September 8, 2017, 11:12 am

trubrit wrote:
September 8, 2017, 6:34 am
parrot wrote:
September 7, 2017, 6:54 pm
Seems like age makes you resistant to change.......perhaps why many of the old guys here will take about the 'good old days' in Udon. The good old days in Udon meant no AEK, no Bangkok Hospital, no Villa Market, virtually no 4 lane roads, lots more samlors than there are today, no Tesco, no Central, with one or two exceptions no decent restaurants, no Tops, no bowling/ice-skating, no McDonalds or Burger K.,no 7-11's........and on and on.
Today, I was reminded why growth, and the resulting competition is good:
I went to the older of the three Toyota dealers (on Taharn Rd) to check out a new vehicle. A salesman greeted me, asked what I was looking for, and when I told him, he said, "no have" and showed zero interest in engaging further. Okay, I replied, I'll check out the other Toyota dealers.
The salesman at the second dealer, near Big C, said they didn't have what I was looking for, but he suggested I look at a few other comparable vehicles. He took the time to compare the vehicles, upstairs, downstairs, in the front.....describing each and answering a variety of questions I had about them. I told him I wasn't ready to buy at the moment, but he took the time to write out a list of all the promotion items that were included......and a 20,000 Baht discount should I decide to buy.
In the old days, you had one Toyota dealer in town (between the statue/fountain circles). Take it or leave it. Today you have a choice.
Well don't know how far you are going back or perhaps your own memory isn't so good these days . I came here first in 2002 and Central was certainly here , okay not so big and named Chareonsri Grand, it had a bowling alley a swimming pool and a cinema, also Tops were on the top floor.There were many , by my standard , decent restaurants, my regular haunt is still going strong, Mare Ya and there was a classy Italian place outside the center, can't think of the name of it now, get confused there is so many these days .Bangkok hospital was there, just different name.Okay none of the American fast, read junk, food places existed but there wasn't the amount of us foreigners around either to use them . Sure I know which I would have preferred.Your biggest problem seems to have been the car dealerships, but I had a Volvo in those days and they had a dealer, now they don't, so I too have a Toyota and I must agree with your commments on the original one, I bought mine in NBLP but now have it serviced at the new place near Tool Pro the ring road which is owned by the same person that owned the Volvo one , Khun Hanchai, the ex mayor of Udon .Needless to say the standard is almost perfect, I actually enjoy going there .Yes many more samlors sure but the most they charged was 20bht, now fewer but charge 100bht fot the same journey .Sorry John I definitely prefer the "good old days"
On a further note, the forum had just started, we mostly all knew each other, socialised together occassionally, didn't need moderators, we were all too grown up for that, now look at it, no further comment needed.Things ain't what they used to be . :roll:
A double red letter day for me! I can't remember the last occasion, if ever, I have disagreed with JP, (rightfully considered one of the Forums most valued and respected members); but I do on this one. Further , much against my will , I find myself reluctantly agreeing with TB. :shock: I didn't decide to settle here, seeing Udonthani, (and for some five years Chiangmai), as replicas for New York, London, or Sydney. The lack of fast food outlets, new car dealerships, and Villa Mkts & Tops, (of which two I had never previously heard), in no manner at all adversely affected the pleasurable, relaxed lifestyle I enjoyed 'in the good old days'' So also, I cannot recall experiencing any difficulty in finding a 'decent' restaurant, when desiring to dine out; although I accept the description 'decent restaurant' is very subjective, and is open to many different interpretations, dictated by the expectations, tastes and accustomed lifestyle of the Diner. :-"
Trubrit's final comment is the most telling part of his post, and encapsulates why I am among those who mourn the loss of the lifestyle enjoyed in Udonthani in 'the good old days'. As the then Author of the social pages, which previously formed an integral part of the Udonmap Magazine, I spent a great deal of time among the expats, socializing and collecting material for my articles and, in consequence, there was little news of which I remained unaware. There existed, at that time, a great spirit of camaraderie and togetherness among the expats, who co-existed together like one big family. Sadly, as Trubrit so diplomatically puts it "Things ain't what they used to be"

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Re: Choices Matter

Post by wazza » September 8, 2017, 11:49 am

Went to the Toyota dealer near Big C 5 weeks ago, looking for info on the Harrier, they didnt even know what that was and walked away.... WTF, got the phone out, googled it and showed a female sales member, she looked as If i was and i am an Alien...

used their toilets and we all left... got told maybe BKK...

On the other hand, an new player on the market with a well proven collection of vehicles, offered 150,000 cash discount , loads of free accessories, ( on top of the mats and car cover ) yes these new players are where younger generation business people are and will succeed. relying on your brand / reputation wont always get you over the line.

For me the greatest thing i could list in a 2 second thought bubble, Grab Taxi

Last night 50 baht , from residence to Sports Bar, and 50 return, 5 min wait, many speak reasonable english and have decent vehicles.

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Re: Choices Matter

Post by stattointhailand » September 8, 2017, 12:17 pm

In the days to which you appear to be referring there was absolutely NO NEED for 4 lane "highways" as driving was an absolute pleasure. Due to the lack of vehicles, the standard of the one/two lane highways were far better than now with far fewer potholes in all lanes of the major roads. As there were far fewer cars/trucks there was no need for 3 or more Toyota dealers, so any "quality" staff were all employed in the one place instead of being spread thinly around. As for the likes of McD, I have visited once and eaten zero times in Udon, Tops I have visited more times on trips to KK than I have in Udon, the bowling alley at Big C I visited a couple of times 10 or so years ago (found it OK) and the one at Central I visited once (last month) and had to get them to polish the run up 4 times before a ball could be safely bowled without the risk of a nose dive down the lane ........ Visited the ice rink ???? a few weeks ago and as someone who has skated on dozens of rinks all over Europe (Ice Hockey fan) I can honestly say that I have never ever seen a rink in such a poor state ..... even the outdoor rink at the Barbican London which is only there for a week or so a year is kept in a better condition.
When I first came, AEK & Paulo Hospital catered for any medical needs. As for shopping, the shops and markets provided most of what was NEEDED and when you managed to get you hands on a jar of Branston or a non Thai bottle of beer it was a time to be savoured and enjoyed all the more because it wasn't an everyday occurance (bit like Christmas used to be when you got things that were unobtainable for the rest of the year). On the whole I have to agree with TB/Mat that sometimes NOT having something can be far better than having it rammed down your throat every day :-)

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parrot
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by parrot » September 8, 2017, 12:57 pm

For the record, I was referring to the 1996, pre-Thaitanic, period.

As we're not discussing religion or politics (yet), let me add:
We live 18km from town.....the road for the first 5 or so years here was 2 lane. The old style 10 wheel chokers plied the roads with sugarcane, tapioca, etc. at about 20km. The on-coming orange crush buses plied the same roads at about 80+km and did not slow for anything. It was not uncommon to find one in the opposing lane, forcing the obedient driver off to the shoulder. Those days are pretty much gone.....few if any of the old 10 wheelers left and the orange crushes seem to have been mostly crushed. There's only one road in Udon that I consider unfit for human consumption.....the lane going from kilo 5 ring road (airport) to the KK hwy intersection.
Living in the boonies, 18km from town, gives us the best of both worlds. Our village is as quiet as 20 years ago......clean, no industry, and not much more traffic than before. But with the 4 lane road into town, we can travel not just quicker, but much safer than in years past.
Paolo vs. Bangkok Hospital.....no comparison. Paolo was good....in its day......but Bangkok Hospital is a leap ahead (IMO, of course). As for AEK, I can't get the news of the owner out of my mind and thus has pretty much stopped going there.
On my first trip to immigration in 1996, I inquired with one of the seasoned veterans here what paperwork I needed. He instructed me, then encouraged me to bring along a bottle of JW to grease the wheels. Another veteran told me the immigration office has just been shook up and the new staff didn't expect such things. But apparently, pre-1996, things like that were the norm.

Different strokes for different folks.......unlike political leanings, I've nothing against those who prefer the days of old.
Oh, wait a minute.....I'm trying to remember the last time I saw 3 feet of water in the road at the fountain circle? That'd be about 2003.....but every year before that, it was normal at least once per year.
Nice lazy day here in the jungle

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stattointhailand
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by stattointhailand » September 8, 2017, 1:52 pm

I'm quite sure that you were able, like everyone else, to avoid visiting fountain circle for a few hours once or twice a year parrot, or perhaps it was a reason to visit and get some pics to send back to the "old country" :lol:

As for the traffic 18 or 20k outside town in the boonies it sounds much like I remember on the Nong Han road when I first came here. After taking evading action when seeing a bus heading in your direction a few times, like everything else, you adapted and pulled over when you saw them coming after that.
If the road conditions were so bad in those days, how come you could do Udon to Hua Hin in less than 8 hrs or Udon to the Koh Samui ferry in 13 and a bit hours whereas it takes hours longer now with the new 4 lane highways etc?

I'm sure everyone has differing ideas on what is better or worse, but many of the so called "improvements" that seem to have come to Udon in the last 15 years are changes to the things that made Udon so appealing when I first came. :-k

One thing I do regret from years ago is that I didn't make more of an effort to attend the "everyexpat & his dog" meetings at the night market. The few I did attend I enjoyed, but unfortunately they always seemed to clash with the footie on TV :(

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parrot
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by parrot » September 8, 2017, 2:17 pm

Last week we met the widow of an expat who died many moons ago. She's freshly married and her husband freshly retired and moved to Thailand. That got me to thinking how his perspective on things here......will be so different from mine. I view Udon-of-old a small bit in terms of the GI days and 90% on the pre-millennium days: no queues at the banks, no bank branches and banking only M-F 9-3 ish.......and sometimes not then because their computers didn't work. 25 Baht to the $ everyday for years.....and then! whoopie! If the dollar dropped to 30 to 1 today.....I wouldn't like it, but I'd feel ahead of when we first moved here.
Some folks pine for the days of old......I think about the days of old when I want to feel good about today.

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Re: Choices Matter

Post by JimboPSM » September 8, 2017, 6:19 pm

parrot wrote:
September 8, 2017, 12:57 pm
.....I'm trying to remember the last time I saw 3 feet of water in the road at the fountain circle? That'd be about 2003.....
Although it does not specifically mention the fountain circle, this post from back in 2012 by a member called parrot may assist as an aide memoire!
parrot wrote:
July 5, 2012, 6:23 pm
On 12 July 2000, Udon received over 12" of rain in a 6 hour period. Major flooding problems all over town. Most all of the homes in the old Voice of America housing area in Nongsamrong (next to BB Resort) were flooded, flood water nearly took out the bridge in Nongsamrong and many homes along the riverway there were flooded. The area across from the Air Base entrance was flooded. Downtown was under 2-3 feet of water for more than 4 days. Lots of flooding near Wat Ban Thad and the area near Maliwan (before Maliwan was built).
Taksin sunk 1+ billion Baht into a drainage system that wraps around Udon. It's not yet been tested with an extended heavy rainfall. Given the massive amounts of building that have taken place since 2000, especially in areas that were previously flood plains, I'd expect an extended heavy rainfall would result in more flooding? Where? Maybe the Maw Du in front of the Bangkok Bank on Phosri Rd can check his tea leaves.
Ashamed to be English since 23rd June 2016 when England voted for racism (and economic suicide)

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parrot
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Re: Choices Matter

Post by parrot » September 8, 2017, 6:35 pm

Thanks, JimboPSM, for the reminder on the year. From what the natives tell me, and from my first 4 years experience here, it was common for portions of downtown Udon to be flooded at least once or twice during the rainy season

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