Stickman Readers' Submissions June 18th, 2008

Rain in Rawai, Once Again

It’s Monsoon Season and the winds bring more than rain to Phuket.

mens clinic bangkok

You may have read in Stickman a few weeks ago about a man being knocked off his bike and shot for three-hundred baht.

The following week an expat bar owner was driving home from Karon at three in the morning with his thirteen year

old Thai niece and they were kicked from their bike, the man shot and robbed and the girl who was also hurt

had her mobile phone stolen.

A few weeks later the British Ambassador flew down from Bangkok to have a meeting with the governor to complain

about the safety standards here. Okay,’ he said. We have crime in England also but when it’s concentrated to one area

and a particular group is targeted, it’s time to do something about it.’

wonderland clinic

This meeting was widely covered in the Phuket Gazette.

This past week, right after the Ambassador’s fine speech, two students from the British International School

celebrating their graduation were knocked from their bike and robbed in Patong at three in the morning. They are in the hospital with broken bones, spleen and liver damage, injuries too numerous and too horrible to keep writing about here.

I’m thinking that no matter what, this is a yearly occurrence just like the grass shooting up on my front lawn with the spring rains.

The same thing happened last year, a man getting shot from his bike near the Icon Pub just down the street from me. And the man just robbed of three-hundred baht – that happened two blocks from me; the road is dark and twisting, a perfect place for a
hold up. And if you read the story, the man was lucky to find an ambulance a block away. It had been called by the previous victim, so they traveled to the hospital together. It seems that the bad guys were making a night of it, robbing everyone
they could. The expatriate was seriously hurt.

There is a beer bar by Nai Harn lake that opens at midnight and stays open until five am. This is the bar the victim was coming from. Staying open this late is clearly against the law so you know that money is changing hands someplace.

I woke up at two in the morning one night and decided to see what was going on there and it was busy, full of young

punk white guys with tattoos and shaved heads and older men that had beer bellies to accompany their own tattoos. A hoard of hookers and a few unsavory looking Thai guys. Okay, I came, I saw, I had one drink and left keeping in mind what a Thai policeman
told me years ago.

"After twelve o’clock at night, you should be home in your house. After that, any Thai that is on the road has been drinking and it’s only a matter of time before you have a problem."

I was talking about this rash of crime against visitors and expatriates to an English friend of mine who has been here

longer than I and has a Thai wife. He told me that his wife keeps showing him the Thai papers where Thai people are also being knocked from their motorcycles and being robbed all hours of the day, many seriously hurt.

I did have sympathy for these poor people that were injured and robbed but I couldn’t help thinking that they had not helped the circumstances by being out so late on a motorbike where you are completely vulnerable. They should know better I thought.

After all I had lived in Phuket for ten years and have never been robbed. Until now, robbed three times in one week.

I had a hooker over my house from a bar in Rawai, it’s not like she’s from Patong – I thought. I took some pictures of her with my digital camera and set it right on my desk where my cell phone was charging, in plain sight. After all, if
it was missing in the morning I would know that the girl had it in her pocketbook.

When I woke up in the morning three things were missing… the girl and you know what else.

Call the police,’ my friend said. I just smiled at the thought, Yeah right.’

Go to the bar and kick up a storm.’ he said.

Well, this is a big bar with two bartenders, a dozen hookers and a few Thai guys hanging around. So I said to my friend "No thanks, I don’t feel like having a hole in the back of my skull from a high heeled shoe or a bottle smashed across
my face."

Well, I wanted another camera so off to Central department store and I picked one up for twelve thousand baht and I did not get to even take one picture with it as I went out for a drink to a different beer bar in Rawai. It was quiet there, me and seven
girls crowding around.

The next day I discovered that my new camera was missing and four thousand baht out of my wallet. They had opened my shoulder bag, unzipped the pocket, emptied my wallet, put it back and searched around until they found my camera. Thank goodness that
I had not bought a new phone yet.

The day after that I went to the bank and withdrew twenty thousand baht. Damn I wanted a camera and I was going to have one. A friend of mine from America called. He was in Karon and wanted to go for a drink and off I went not thinking of the money I
had in my bag. We had a good time, went to a bunch of bars and talked to a gaggle of girls.

The next day I went to the supermarket to pick up some bread, eggs and things and when I opened my wallet it was empty. It had happened again. The look of shock and disbelief on my face must have been something to see.

Now of course, I am broke and still don't have a camera so I have to take out – say – another thirty thousand baht.

All in all an expensive week for me.

Did I learn from this? Yes, I did.

I learned that:

I am a stupid idiot.

I have my head up my rear.

I must be considerably more careful.

One can get robbed at any time, anywhere,

In Rawai because I have lived here for so long I just wasn’t thinking.

Out of the three times that I was robbed I was seriously drinking only once, my fault this one. The other two times they were just too slick for me.

I feel like a mark with a big sign on me now, no matter where I go.

I think that if you go to a bar you are potentially in danger.

Well that's just the way I feel and while I am ranting away, will you allow me to say the following: I refuse to use the f’ word in referring to us whites. It’s as if you were in America and were calling yourself a ni==er. It just doesn’t
make sense for us to propagate this slang which is used in a derogatory way against us by the Thais. To call any girl selling herself at a bar in Thailand a 'bargirl’ is doing yourself and everyone else a disservice. I think we
should start calling them hookers or whores to make it clear what they are.

While I’m at it, not a bad report in the Crazy Girl submission but marred by the fact the author kept referring to his 'tallywacker' as if anyone would be interested in a running update. What are you- five years old-?

Stickman's thoughts:

I am sorry to hear of your losses. There is no doubt that crime is on the increase in Thailand and Westerners make an easy target because A) many have lots of money and carry plenty as well as valuables with them and B) many Westerners really have no idea just ho dangerous Thailand is. Yep, I can remember the time when I thought Thailand was safer than the West. No way. It really isn't.

And I VERY much agree with what the copper told you. A lot of this really nasty crime happens after midnight. Fortunately, I am not one for really late nights out and am usually home by that time.

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