Started off with trying to exit the Jungceylon carpark in Patong, Phuket, late on a Sunday night. After watching a film in their tawdry cinemas, I was assured by ticket sales staff that I should present my ticket stub with the car park card for free exit.
Getting to the exit gate and I was told I had to go to an ‘elevator’ to get my ticket stamped. As there were already three other cars behind me (it was around 9.30pm at this stage), it caused quite a kerfuffle and tempers (mine included) were starting to fray.
The poor woman at the exit booth (whose key work skill must be ‘patience’), kept yelling ‘elevator, elevator’, doing little to inform us what we were actually meant to do. (I wanted to leave a car park, not go on an elevator?!?).
Anyway, minor ‘misunderstanding’ sorted out soon enough, and returned to my car to exit the car park (about 10 minutes later).
A Russian man had had his own adventures with the Jungceylon car park the night before. Firstly he was stuck there on the Saturday night with a flat battery in his white sedan. As it was very late, and wanting to get home, he left the car in the space and took a taxi.
As I was sorting out my own car park ‘misunderstanding’, other car park staff assisted him with his flat battery by jump starting his car. The assisting staff were given a gratuity, I don’t know how much.
But on reaching the exit gate he was told he had to pay 1,800 baht. (Presumably for around 24 hours of car parking).
With his fist full of receipts, around 3,300 baht worth, he was also told ‘elevator, elevator’. He got out of his car, there were another three cars backed up behind him at this stage, and went to find the ‘elevator’. Upon returning he was now told he had to pay 2,600 baht! How the amount had magically inflated to 2,600 baht remains a mystery but the cark park ‘gatekeeper’ was not to be messed with.
By this stage about eight young Thai gentlemen, with name tags, keys hanging from their belts and hand-held radios, had turned up to ‘assist’ in addressing my complaints and ensuring that the Russian man was not able to leave the car park before paying the 2,600 baht. The only common language among the Russians and the Thais in the situation was English and it was not going well.
Google Translate was getting a fine workout but wasn’t really helping.
During the extended ‘negotiations’ the cars behind were detoured around and allowed free exit.
Given the man’s travails in having a flat battery, having to come back to the steamy car park late on a Sunday night, the cars piling up behind him and the loss of face for just about everyone at this stage, the ‘smart’, good PR thing to do would have been to thank him for spending 3,300 baht at their expensive shopping centre, lifted the boom gate and waved him on his way.
But no, these young Thai car park staff wanted their pound of flesh and there was no way in the world that barrier was going to be lifted until the man had paid every baht he ‘owed’. Three police turned up to try and sort things out but all departed in exasperation, knowing the car park staff were being pig-headed but unable to intervene because they would have caused their fellow Thais a loss of face.
At this stage the Thai car park staff were already starting to utter things under their breath and spitting out ‘farang’ in their deliberations.
During the entire two hour drama many other cars had the same issue of not understanding that they needed to report to the bottom of one of the ‘elevators’ to have their receipts stamped. There didn’t appear to be any signage or understanding of the procedure (until, of course, you go through this rather drawn out lesson in Jungceylon car park procedure). There was a sign outside the elusive ‘elevator’ but given there are seven other exits from the car park you’re unlikely to see them.
Apart from Jungceylon losing the patronage of at least two, or more, customers over their overly-officious and unprofessional behaviour, the system will surely remain unfixed waiting for the next stupid ‘farang’ to stroll innocently into the underground farrago.
The only bright light in the dingy car park fiasco was the pleasant young gentlemen sitting at the ‘elevator’ with his stamps and gracious smile, wearing full eye make up and blissfully unaware of the surly car park Nazis. He profusely apologised but I am fairly sure he was none-the-wiser about my lengthy explanation of the situation.
Give the man a pay rise!
For Jungceylon, I would urge better signage, in a few languages (it IS a tourist town), to inform us about their rather opaque car park procedures.
I did ask for a statement to include in this story from some of the ‘people with hand radios’ or a comment from the Manager. But there was none forthcoming. Our forum remains wide open for a response from management.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Phuket reports 4 new Covid-19 cases, breaking 7 day streak
Phuket Health authorities reported 4 new cases the Covid-19 coronavirus, breaking a week-long streak with no new reported cases on the island. The number of officially confirmed infections since the outbreak began in Phuket has now risen to 224.
Here are the details of today’s new cases…
Case 221: A 23 year old Thai woman, a secretarial assistant who lives Cherngtalay. The woman became ill on May 2. It was not reported whether any contacts had high risk exposure to this patient.
Case 222: A Thai woman, aged 29, an assistant manager at a convenience store who lives in Wichit, Phuket Town. She became ill on May 7. 12 people are considered at high risk.
Case 223: A 19 year old Thai man, a university student who also lives in Wichit. He fell ill on May 6. It was not reported if any people are considered at high risk from exposure to this patient.
Case 224: A 29 year old Thai man, a ‘public servant’ who lives in the Patong subdistrict. The man became ill on May 2.
A source, who has knowledge of the matter, has reported to The Thaiger that one of today’s new cases is an active policeman working in Patong. The information has not been confirmed by the Phuket Covid-19 Incident Command Centre.
The PPHO noted that all 4 new cases are under investigation, but also said that all 4 had a history of exposure to risk areas.
The Phuket Public Relations Department announed this morning that a total of 9,656 people have been considered at risk of contracting the virus, up 62 from the 9,594 reported yesterday. Of those, 9,432 have been found not to be infected with the virus.
The Phuket Provincial Health Office, which serves as the Covid-19 Incident Command Centre, announced this morning that 5,621 “persons under investigation” have been identified during their contact tracing.
Of those, all but 75 have been cleared, according to the PPHO. They remain in hospital, comprising 29 people confirmed as infected and 46 people still awaiting test results, down 6 from the 52 reported yesterday.
4pm. Kathu. A daily sight of people needing to line up accept the kind donations of food. A sight we will likely see around the island until tourists start coming back. July? September? Next year? Nobody knows.
Posted by The Thaiger Phuket on Saturday, May 9, 2020
VIDEO: 4pm, May 9. Kathu. A daily sight of people needing to line up accept the kind donations of food – The Thaiger
3 more Cambodians arrested as part of Phuket human trafficking ring
2 Cambodian women and 1 man have been arrested in Phuket’s Patong municipality as part of a human trafficking ring where children were routinely beaten with wire hangers if they failed to meet their 3000 baht per day quota selling floral garlands.
The arrests of 27 year old Chanta, 32 year old Lia and 32 year old Kaew (the man), were announced by the Immigration Deputy Chief at a media briefing in Bangkok this week.
Deputy Chief Aroon Saengchan explained that the arrests follow the raids in Patong on Feb 22 that saw 17 children rescued from the gang and placed in protective custody.
In those raids, 33 year old Ngo Sun, 33, whose nationality was not disclosed, and Thai national Suphattra Charoensuk, aged 22, originally from Koh Samui, were arrested for their involvement in the gang.
Not reported at the time was that in those raids, officers also arrested five Cambodians, Soi Phra Baramee 1 in Patong. All five were charged with illegally staying in the Kingdom.
Officers also found a group of Cambodian children in the house and placed them under protective custody, Col Aroon added.
Further investigation confirmed that Chanta, Kaew, and Lia also were involved in the human-trafficking ring, according to Aroon.
Officers got a warrant of arrest for the three Cambodians and “Officers eventually arrested the three on Apr 20.”
Aroon did not give any further details of the arrests.
SOURCE: The Phuket NewsKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Sub-district restrictions remain intact for 5 locations in Phuket
Phuket’s outgoing Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana has confirmed that the island’s sub-district lockdowns will end tonight (or technically at 4am Friday morning because of the national curfews). But five ‘at risk’ locations on the island will remain closed off with checkpoints to curb any further re-ignition of the Covid-19 infections on the island.
3 more cases were announced for the island earlier this morning, all in the Bang Tao district on the west coast. The order, issued last night apparently confirms that travelling between sub-districts (tambons) will be allowed.
The orders come amongst a day of confusion as conflicting messages are argued on social media and the specifics of government and provincial orders contradict each other. So many of the previous orders had a sunset clause of midnight tonight (April 30) leaving the various government institutions to extend existing orders or modify them.
On Phuket, these locations will remain in a ‘lockdown’ situation until further notice…
• Baan Bang Tao Nai, in Moo 2
• Baan Haad Surin, in Moo 3
• Baan Bang Tao Nok, in Moo 5
• Pracha Samakhee village in Baan Bang Khu, in Moo 2
• Bangla walking street
• Chaofa Garden Home village
• Soi Bang Che Lao, in Moo 2
Sumarising parts of the orders issued by the Phuket Governor…
As per the existing restrictions, no people or vehicles can enter or exit of these areas, excepting emergency and essential services, medical, telecommunications and postal services. Also exempted are the delivery of consumer goods, and on-duty police and government officials.
If people have an urgent need to travel out of the areas, they must first obtain permission and paperwork from their District Chief to present at the checkpoints.
People living in these ‘at risk’ areas are asked to avoid leaving their homes.
“If you need to go out, please wear a face mask and avoid places where people get together.”
Phuket Provincial Health Office officers will continue testing people of residents in these designated areas.
Last night the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha issued a notice explaining that all provincial and health orders issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will be extended past April 30, until further notice.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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