LOS Ain’t All Smiles And Mai Pen Rai
LOS Ain't All Smiles And Rai Pen Rai
By Jake Jnr
I'd been living in Thailand for more than a year and at first it was an exciting place to live in. It sure seemed so much more interesting than the country I lived in for 30+ years. Yeah I got the English teaching job, I travelled all over the country, I even married a Thai lady and got to know the place as well as I would have liked to. From what I've experienced there are many great Thais although Thais are as corrupt as they come and behind the all smiles they can be very nasty and cruel people, more so than I've found at home.
To cut a long story short, I was out drinking with an ex-pat German and his girlfriend. We dropped her off at her apartment and were confronted by the security guard and he started making a scene of us being there for who knows why. We left after he woke nearly the whole place up screaming for us to leave and calling for the police so we got the hell out of there and headed back to the bar we were drinking at before.
Not long after sitting down for our first beer there entered 10 or more boys in brown and grabbed us trying to force us into their police cars. I had no idea what was happening but was cuffed and thrown in the back of their van. They took me back to the station and on entering I was confronted with several inmates they had obviously arranged for me before I got there. I got beaten up badly and was knocked out unconscious. I woke up bleeding profusely from the eye and had to have half a dozen stitches. I spent the next week in the police station without anyone speaking English and knew nothing about why I was being held there.
I eventually got help from the consulate only because I had the opportunity to make a secret call from the hospital pleading for help. I was lucky to end up in a cell with a few of the more concerning Thai inmates who took care of me or otherwise I may have been burned or beaten by the mob next door that didn't appear to be as welcoming as their neighbours. The police treated the inmates like animals, beating them as hard as they could muster with their batons and other things I saw were more than frequent and horrible to see. It's a whole world to itself once behind the bars inside the police station. You could see a whole different side that they would put on when a consular official or visitor came, and then after they'd left they'd turn back into the evil brother. One or two good police sure but on the whole it's not easy when most of them make time there so miserable.
There would usually be 25+ guys in a room no bigger than a very small apartment. Sleeping back to back, getting bitten by who knows what. After I was charged with assault of a police officer, allegedly breaking his arm, being drunk and disorderly and who knows what else, I paid 30,000 baht compensation to get out of one charge, six months good behaviour for the other charges in which the maximum for what they charged me with was two years in prison. Damn I felt lucky.
Just a little advise: Don't be (too) easy going, be a little wary of new friends you make and the surroundings you find yourself in because don't expect too much help from the authorities if you wind up in a situation. If it seems too good to be true, pinch yourself, maybe it is. It might seem a whole lot of fun at the time but you never know the other person's intentions. You're the foreigner. You're the guest. It's their country. Don't think it couldn't, doesn't and possibly won't happen to you.
I thought long and hard before deciding whether to publish this piece… In my experiences, the Thai police have been just fine, but then I have also heard a few tales like this one too.