No Zoning, No Problem


I’m no fan of government regulations, yet I expect others who have more money and power than I do to behave in a way I find tasteful and responsible. Obviously, I have set myself up to be disappointed. Here in Chiang Mai, where I rent a house in a chaotic neighborhood where rapid growth roared unchecked, this raging, ill-considered orgy of development left a warren of tangled, un-named streets, inadequate sewers, and those few sidewalks that exist glutted with motor scooters.

Even though I’ve never had enough money to have anything built, I’m sure I would howl at the first zoning or building regulation I came at odds with. Here, no one need howl in that way. Those with influence and desire always have their way. Who knows, there may be no planning or zoning boards. Even if they had laws regarding development, no regulations on the books would be enforced. If building codes here are anything like traffic laws, then anything and everything is fair game.

I guess this all comes under the category of “acceptance,” as in “if you want to stay and be happy, you must learn to accept your new country, warts and all.” After a little over six months, the pink cloud has dissipated. 

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