Magic Words And Their Limitations Part 2
Fancy meeting my main mate Clive and his gorgeous Thai gal pal from Chiang Rai on a night out in Pattaya. Clive was a gangly Caucasian from Down Under, rail thin from head to toe except for his gut where it appeared as though he had swallowed a bowling ball at an all you can eat lunch buffet and it never digested. Clive had a huge smile, and a friendly way about him. He also had hair down to his shoes and he loved having that ravishingly beautiful raven haired light skinned Thai woman from Chiang Rai as his official arm ornament.
"She costs me a fortune, mate, but she saves me a whole lot also."
"Exactly how does she save you money, Clive?"
"Well she got me a good price on the bungalow we rented here in Pattaya. You should come visit, mate.
Why are you looking at me like that mate. It's not a hooch. It's a really nice bungalow."
"How else does she save you money, Clive?"
"Well she tells me not to bet on any of these Thai boxing club fights here in Pattaya because the Thais will fix the fight so you lose your bet."
It turns out that this was more good advice from Clive. When I was down in Best Friend Bar watching the fights some Thai guy tried to get me to bet on a Thai boxer against a Farang boxer in the main event one evening. I refused to bet with him.
These fighters were heavyweights. The Thai boxer was part farang and possibly weighed 180 pounds. The Italian fighter had blonde hair and possibly weighed 225 pounds.
I knew that the Thai fighters almost always won these club fights against heavier farang fighters. They usually tied up the larger fighters and beat him up with knees on the inside while the bigger men would expend a great deal of their energy attempting to disengage from the clinch.
Actually things didn't go exactly according to script in this fight. The Italian fighter would post his left open gloved hand against the Thai fighters shoulder when the Thai fighter went to throw a roundhouse kick off of his rear leg. The Italian fighter then pushed back against the Thai fighters shoulder and simultaneously under hooked his quadriceps just above the knee on the kicking leg.
The Italian fighter would then hoist the Thai boxer off of the mat into a fireman's carry and body slam his opponent onto the wood and canvas ring. The referee repeatedly refused to intervene. After taking the fourth or the fifth body slam, the Thai boxer quit.
I was really glad that I had not bet on that fight.
Giap was back at the Disco Duck Hotel. I thought that $20 per day was a great deal for a large clean hotel room overlooking a big swimming pool.
I had eaten some good shrimp at the Disco Duck Hotel restaurant that afternoon at lunch time.
In these days Pattaya would experience occasional brown outs for several hours per day on some afternoons. How long do you think that these shrimp may have been sitting in an unrefrigerated refrigerator over the course of a couple of days?
Come night time my stomach did not feel so good. Pepto Bismol and Imodium were ineffective. I was repeatedly making a bee line from the bed to the bathroom puking waterfalls and pooping like a loose goose.
When the Disco at the Disco Duck Restaurant lit up the sound system in the club (located directly beneath my hotel room) at around 8 PM the music got progressively louder and louder as the evening got later and later. Eventually the music was so loud that the walls of my hotel room were quaking and the bed was shaking a bit. My round trips from the bed to the bath room became increasingly frequent.
Giap was a rice farmer's daughter who could not speak a word of English. She wore a Buddhist amulet with a photo of King Monghut on it around her neck. Giap was beautiful and she did whatever she could to ease my suffering on that evening.
That $20 per day sure seemed like a lot of money for a rotten hotel room at the Disco Duck Hotel. A $30 visit to Pattaya General Hospital confirmed food poisoning and after an enema and some oral antibiotics I was feeling much better.
In those days the baht was pegged at around 25 to the dollar. The cost of a baht bus along Beach Road to South Pattaya was 5 baht. Those baht bus drivers were notorious for ripping off farangs. The best way to deal with the situation was to give them exact change, that way the could not rip you off or short change you.
On this particular evening I did not have exact change when I exited the bus. It was a crowded peak season evening with heavy traffic along beach road. I gave the driver a 10 baht coin. He attempted to drive away.
The passenger window was partially rolled down when I informed him that I wanted my change. He ignored me and started to drive away. I tapped on the door window and insisted that he give me my change.
The driver reached into a big dish of Thai coins and handed me 2 baht. Then he drove away.
I caught up with him because of the heavy traffic and demanded the rest of my change. He reached into the dish of change and gave me another baht.
I insisted that he owe me 2 baht more and the driver said "No, you farang. You farang."
As he was driving away laughing I busted out his passenger window with my fist. The thing that you have to remember about popping out glass with your fist is not to follow through with the punch. If you follow through with your punch the broken glass shards sever tendons in your hand and arm and you end up a bloody mess.
On the other hand if you withdraw your fist immediately after the lightning quick impact, you walk away unscathed and glass goes flying everywhere.
You would not believe the look on that thieving Thai baht bus driver's face when he saw pieces of his truck's glass window go flying all over his door cab, all over his seat, all over the street and all over him.
I was walking briskly <I would have legged it as fast as I could – Stick> in the other direction chanting the magic words 'TOURIST POLICE TOURIST POLICE. I chanted it like a mantra.
That thieving Thai baht bus driver shot out of his driver's seat like Carl Lewis roaring out of the starting blocks in the 100 meter sprint at the Olympics. He left his baht bus blocking traffic in the middle of Beach Road. Everyone was screaming and honking their horns.
The driver caught up with me in the middle of the market and grabbed me by the elbow. I said "TOURIST POLICE" pulled my elbow away from him and continued to walk briskly.
It was not like I was going to disappear into the crowd or anything. After all I was wearing bright yellow and black colored, checkered oversized bell bottom pants and had a bright red beard. So the second time that the thieving Thai baht bus driver grabbed me by the elbow I was a bit annoyed and considered planting a straight right directly on the bridge of the little man's nose.
I was dissuaded from this course of action however when I saw the 2 Thai police officers with their guns unholstered pointing at me and blowing their whistles from across the street. I raised my hands up high in the air and said loudly "TOURIST POLICE".
The 2 cops took me down to an ordinary police station booth in South Pattaya and gave me a seat. Once again I asked to see the tourist police. One cop roared back at me "I have the authority to handle this. We will have no Tourist Police."
The cops asked me what happened and I told them that the baht bus driver refused to give me my correct change after my ride despite the fact that he had a dish full of change next to him and when he pulled away I tapped on his window to get his attention and ask for the rest of my change and the window broke.
The Thai cop said that I would have to pay for the window and I offered him $10. He said that perhaps it was possible to get a window fixed in the USA for $10 but this was not possible in Thailand. So I offered him $20. The Thai bus driver shook his head OK but the Thai police said that this was not enough. I offered him $40. The Thai cop asked me if I would pay $60 or would I prefer to go to the police station downtown? I forked over the 1,500 baht.
The thieving Thai baht bus driver skulked out of the police station. The Thai police went bonkers when I asked them for a receipt for the 1,500 baht. "WHAT" he screamed in a loud voice. "YOU WAIT HERE" He returned in about 15 minutes with a paper written entirely in Thai and said "YOU SIGN HERE". I had no idea what that paper said.
I wrote down in English above my signature that I had just paid $60 to the police and signed it. The did not give me a copy of the paper and hollered "GO HOME AND GO TO SLEEP" as I left the station.
So those magic words had their limitations. That thieving Thai baht bus driver undoubtedly got his $20 but he'll think long and hard before he attempts to steal another 2 baht from some farang on holiday in Pattaya.
The boys in brown worked out the remainder of their night shift.
I went down to South Pattaya and held some pretty young Thai girl's hand while she put on a stage show with a bunch of other Pattaya gals. "Please I ask you favor…..hold my hand while this happen……I no like do this."
She held my hand so tight that she almost cut off the blood supply. She let out an occasional scream or moan while the
other beautiful Thai woman lit her up with her tongue right on stage. "Please no go and hold my hand. I no like woman do this me."
When I got back to the Disco Duck Hotel the beautiful Giap was waiting there for me. Since she spoke no English and my Thai was very limited there was no way that I could communicate to her about my night out on the town.
Those magic words do have their limitations.
While it must have been funny for anyone nearby to see, that was a seriously dumb thing to do. I would suggest that you were lucky not to get a beating…