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Thailand Bureaucracy

I know that we need them and they can do some good, but boy are they hard to find. I’m talking about government bureaucrats. Whether in Thailand or America these officials surround us, but locating the right one can be time consuming.

I think most of us have sat in a restaurant and wanted something and then motioned for the server to come to the table. Sometimes the waitress might say “Sorry, not my table.” and keep walking quickly away. The better ones well add “But, I will get someone to come over.” And eventually the correct server will arrive. Government officials take this customer service up just a notch. Here is an example.

I live in north central Thailand in a farming community. Right in front of my house is a narrow road that follows the Nan River. Between the erosion caused by the annual rainy season and the natural shifting of the riverbanks, a section of this road is now like a giant cliff. It actually has a great view but unfortunately it is an accident waiting to happen.

Road Repair

In order to rectify this problem for the last two years, dump truck loads of dirt were dropped into the abyss. This year during the heavy rains, the same solution was applied and the results lasted about two weeks. My Thai wife and I decided to see if we could help, so off to the local administrative government building we went.

Goodbye Dirt

The 1st bureaucrat/waitress said “Sorry, not my table, but I will send someone else over.” The 2nd bureaucrat/waitress said “Sorry, sold out for now, have to wait.” The 3rd bureaucrat/waitress also said “Sorry, not my table.” Come to find out the side of the road that runs along the Nan River is another department’s responsibility. So now we have to go to another restaurant/government building and start all over again.

Now where did that waitress/bureaucrat go...?

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