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Thu 23 Mar 2017
How Old is Old Enough?
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 30 April 2002 00:00

Here they go again, another new law to stop teenagers like us having our fun. The interior minister is bringing out a new law to stop people under 20 years old going in karaoke booths. They say that they are afraid about them doing something they shouldn’t do in the booth. Most people who are using the service are teenagers. I believe it’s because they aren’t old enough to go to a real karaoke place, so they go to a karaoke booth instead. I am sure that this news will be big for a while and then it will be gone like the wind.

Believe me it has happened before.

For example, not long ago they tried to stop teenagers under 18 years old going out after 10 o’clock at nighttime. It was big news for a while but then a few weeks later everyone forgot all about it and it has never showed up in the newspapers again.

This reminded me that once I did a project about age limits at Sriwittayapaknam School. I was about 11 years old back then and some laws I found shocked me. For example, I did not know before that you have to be older than 18 to buy cigarettes. I was surprised because I have bought cigarettes for my dad since I was about five years old.

Also I remember another law that said you have to be 18 years old or older to join a snooker club. But my friends and I have been playing at snooker clubs since we were fourteen years old. No one seemed to care that we weren’t old enough to be there even when some policemen saw us there in our school uniforms. One of my friends was even smoking in his school uniform near those policemen. They still didn‘t care. They didn’t even tell my friend to stop, they just kept playing their game. I have been curious about that a lot since then. Even now it bothers me sometimes. Why didn’t they say or do anything to us? I am sure most shop owners care more about money than our ages. But what about the policemen?

I went to a karaoke bar the other week with my friends. It was the first time I had been to a real karaoke bar. This place is in the center of Paknam. I was so excited when my friend asked me to go there too. My friend goes there often. He said that we don’t need to worry about policemen at all because they never come to go there. We stayed there singing until about 2 a.m. then we caught a taxi back.

After that time, we went back there often. Something like three or four times a week. I know we are not supposed to go there because we aren’t old enough. But if we don’t go to karaoke bars, night club, pubs, etc., where else can we go? Where can we have fun together? If you can remember when you were a teenager, you will understand how we feel.

I think instead of the government saying "what we can’t do", they should maybe say "what we can do". Also if they don’t want us to go to those adult places, they should find somewhere for us teenagers to hang out with friends at night. Somewhere like a basketball court, a football pitch, some youth clubs, etc.

Adults keep stopping us from doing things to the point where there is nothing for teenagers like us to do. Now, do you think you can blame us? Give us something fun and exciting to do. I think this is a better method than stopping teenagers like us from doing things. Teenagers like challenges and teenagers love to be with friends.

We might do lots of crazy things in adult’s eyes but really we just want to find something fun to do with friends. I wish they would understand.