Stickman Readers' Submissions October 31st, 2005

Touts’ Tuktuks & Taxi Drivers

I thought after 3 trips in a short space of time to Bangkok I had it pegged..the rip offs that is.

Nope they seemed to get me this 3rd time around….

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From the moment I left arrivals it started, 450 baht to Bangers Central with no meter!

Well I should have said something but I had been on a plane for a while and my girl who I didn’t know all that well met me and you know the cheap charlie thing, call it face I suppose.

I let it ride…. NEXT TIME.. put the bloody meter on! I know it cost about 200 to 250 from the airport. Anyway doesn’t sound like much, well it seemed I was in for a rough ride in Bangers this time, it was if they knew I didn’t
want to look like a cheap charlie in front of my new girl.

Now I stayed in central Bangers and my girl who I worked damn hard to get last time was the only thing I was interested in. I think I had a sign painted on my back.

Get this prick! He is too stupid to argue about a few baht, he’s trying not to look like a cheap charlie!

Now it was raining like hell most nights in October and the taxi drivers as soon as you jumped in out of the rain would hold up their fingers 150 baht to soi 4 or back, the pricks …

Of course mister no cheap charlie would pay… Christ last time the meter never got over 70 to 80 baht, anywhere!

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But it seems they just won't put them on, they know it's pouring rain and you will not argue! The thieves! This went on and on..

Oh, the tuktuk guys they take it to a new high… the taxi couldn’t get us to our hotel one night because it was flooded! I mean flooded! So we jumped out, and walked around till we spotted a way to our hotel but the last hurdle was
about a foot of water about 30 meters from the entrance and we were soaked so, the tuktuk pulled up 100 baht to get us across the road! What do I say.. No? He had me by the balls!

Oh boy, they were getting me on this trip ..Well this tout come tuktuk driver outside the hotel the next day, said to me "If I take you to gem place and you stay 20 minutes I drive you free tonight and pick you up" hmm I thought.

Well throw in MBK and it’s a deal, ok ..

Well I did what he wanted he dropped us at MBK warned me not to drop ciggys on the ground which I already knew (Big baht fine) ok thanks for that anyway ..but it's useful info if you don’t know so some brownie points there ok

He was outside waiting that night also, he said where you go I said ‘soi 4 the Bus Stop eating place’ he said ‘no I got better place’ I say ‘no’, he say ‘why?’ I say ‘just take
me ok to the bus stop’… he had the shits too bad..

Well pissing rain again on way home hailing cabs I said put ‘meter on take me back’ ‘no I won't take then’! Hmmm I thought well a cab another and another I tried so bugger I just jumped in and said my hotel
by this time my girl was picking up on it and was speaking Thai to them and saying in a stern voice to them to put meter on! She knew I had the shits with being the fool farang anyway. Finally got the prawn to put the meter on 50 baht it came
too! I said to him see put meter on and I tip you 50 baht ok??? I just wanted a victory, be it small but something!

Well the tout come tuktuk driver said to me next morning ‘where your girl’ I said sleeping .. I take you tailor you look, I get gasoline for free and I take you free tonight.. Well ok but I ain't buying plus she was asleep
like most Thais like doing and I had not much else to do so off we went..

Now secretly I was always thinking of getting a tailor made sports coat to go with my jeans .. Well upshot was I ordered one and got diddled I found out later! But I like the coat but paid 1,000 to 1,500 too much. But much cheaper than anything
in Oz tailor made… Well look I had to hang my pride on something! So the tout was on a roll.. I thought he was going to offer his wife to me and I like meeting characters from different cultures and this guy had Bangkok clipped. I wanted roses
for my girl no worries we get! During the day I couldn’t see any ladies selling them but he had a seller.. oh you bet!, But I was happy and this tout was beaming I knew he must be getting kick backs, but the travel was mostly free .. nope
nothings free in Bangkok.. I learnt that.. Anyway I needed to book a car for Pattaya. My previous visit I took a stinking mini bus for 500 baht… it took 4 hours to get there and the taxi boys were upping the anti. I asked the tout yep you guessed
it he had just the place.. mind you they tried to sell me a holiday to Iran too but hey I am no fool I refused! Ok it cost me 1,500 baht to get us both down to Pattaya. It was now taken care of and we know once its paid they always turn up on
time that’s one thing off my mind.. But it's my last night in Bangers before Pattaya and the Bus Stop is closed for renovations.

By this time the tout I think got a raging fat every time I appeared. I was his bread and butter to this guy! I did have a laugh with and did get anything I wanted but he was getting kick backs a plenty which I didn’t care too much
….Then I said ‘ok take me to your seafood place’ then ‘ok no charge ok’ he loved me we got to the seafood place I said well I am going tomorrow he hugged me he said you so good to me hmm! Oh well he was fun, he said
something to the greeter at the restaurant like you remember who brought them here ok ..

Ok we picked out 8 prawns 1 crab I squid she picked the fresh veggies out and some other minor thing and garlic bread they bbq it… we ate, I had 3 or 4 gin and tonics and a water for her, I said checkbin…they said 6000 baht!
Her eyes popped out of her head… her monthly salary is 5000 baht, bear in mind! Now the prick got me ok good I paid the bill had the shits she knew it…. I think now what does a girl think then when you pay 6,000 baht her monthly salary or
more on dinner! Yep he’s a good hook down the track! It would be the same as paying the monthly salary for dinner here in front of a new girl she would think well well he’s got plenty! Now I was in Bangkok not Melbourne so I shut
up and paid the bill and went to a ATM to get some more money absolutely cursing that tout under my breathe and she actually in broken English said he got you. She knew and was not happy for me. I said I would rather give it to a beggar …Well
the next morning when our car for Pattaya arrives out front I am praying this tout is there and yes he appears now. I said to my girl explain last night ok.. she does & he says something like ‘I take you cheaper next time’…
NEXT TIME! ‘you got me you poofter you got me’… he went to shake my hand what a hide then I got him ‘GO just GO’! in front of his mates.. ‘never come near me again, ok GO, you finished with me poofter!

When I got back to Melbourne my mate who goes to Bangers and is no greenhorn said where was the seafood joint I said here or there somewhere why! He said the barstard got him to! BEWARE I will always asked for a price list …cheap charlie
or no cheap charlie! And put meter on in Thai! And stuff tuktuks …

Stickman's thoughts:

6,000 baht for that seafood dinner? That is OUTRAGEOUS.

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