Don’t Piss Off The Locals
I never cease to be amazed at the stupid things that foreigners do when they come to Thailand.
I will give a bit of background then recount a couple of recent experiences. I arrived in Thailand two weeks ago for a four month stint. I start a new teaching job next year at an exclusive high school in Melbourne – as there is not much casual work around 4th term I thought this would be a good opportunity to travel.
I have been over here many times and even lived in Chiang Mai for two years. Some of you would have undoubtedly read about my meanderings – with even the slightest perusal of my past missives. I say that to let you know I am not a first-timer with rose tinted glasses, but a realist to the dangers of travelling and working in Thailand. You would have read how I was assaulted by a lunatic in "Love and Assault in Chiang Mai" – so even if one is completely minding one's business – trouble can still land unexpectedly at one's door. Even more so for the eclectic bunch of drunkards and wastrels who disgrace the farang name by forcing themselves upon the poor hapless Thais.
For this current trip – I did a bit of research before I came by joining TLL and cranking up a few names and phone numbers. I hit pay dirt with the first lady I met over here so have not bothered to ring any of the other girls at this stage.
She is an air hostess with one of the very large Asian airlines and lives in Bangkok. She offered to pick me up at the airport two weeks ago. She is a lovely genuine woman (38 and I am 52) and I count myself very privileged to have been able to associate with her. She has a nice car and offers to pay for many things (unlike other Thai girls whom I have dated).
We spent the first two nights down at the floating markets – just getting acquainted and seeing if we really liked each other. I have seen her on several occasions since and she has even swapped some of her shifts so we could be together. We just spent two nights down at Cha Am (horrors – did not take any notice of the spelling) – I arrived back in Bangers yesterday. She had today on standby and was not called in so we are off shortly to Ayutthaya to spend one night there.
She has been very shy and it has taken a while for her to get comfortable with me. She told me when we communicated from Australia that she was not after sex, but a genuine relationship. Suffice to say, I have had to take things very slowly on several fronts!
I have been staying in Soi 4 on Sukhumvit. I don't particularly like it there but it is a close walk to the BTS – then onto just about anywhere for some great ahan farang and some good shopping.
I am using this as a base while Miss Air Hostess goes off to foreign places – then we are able to catch up again every few days.
Here is where my story kicks in. I am not a drinker so have never even tasted the stuff or frequented bars. I see how many young guys in my country are sucked into the binge drinking culture in Australia and how it can ruin their lives (I know – I teach them). I sincerely believe that nearly all the deaths on our roads, in bars and out on our streets can all be linked to alcohol.
I also believe (after what I recently witnessed), that most of the 100+ Aussies that get lugged home from Thailand in a body-bag each year – their demise can mostly be linked to the dreaded drop of brown-water.
About a week ago I was walking past the Nana Hotel at about 10pm. I heard a commotion and saw an older Farang stagger out of the bar that is at the front of the hotel (I think it is called 'Golden'). He stumbled down the stairs and hit his head on the pavement. He seemed to be totally out of it. Two Thai guys grabbed his arms and legs and lugged him out of the way of cars trying to drive into the car park. I went over to see if I could assist. I put him in the recovery position and checked his vital signs. He seemed to be still in the land of the living, but obviously very drunk.
I went off and had something to eat and a nice foot massage. When I passed by about 1 1/2 hours later – hey presto – here he was across the road at the entrance to the Nana Plaza (where all the girlie bars and pole dancing places are), with an apparent new lease on life! He had his finger in the face of a young Thai guy and was shouting in his face and abusing him. I could see the Thai guy was angry – but graciously turned his back and started to walk into the plaza. Some guys just don't know when to quit – our village idiot followed him into the plaza yelling and shouting at him.
The guy turned and came toward him – I knew our friend was in for it now. He got smashed in the face and went down and bashed his face on a step. He had blood pouring down his face and staggered out on to the footpath. I was very worried at this stage because there are many cauldrons of boiling oil right at the entrance – if the fight progressed on to the crowded pavement many people could be scalded. The Thai guy threatened to punch him again but did not.
The Farang staggered up toward the skytrain – but lo and behold he got into another altercation with another bunch of Thais. I could not hear what he said from my vantage point across the road – but he insulted another Thai. He was punched in the face and ran out on to the road – he almost got hit by a car. By this stage I was thinking 'why the hell doesn't somebody put this guy out of his his misery' – he was a one-man train wreck. There was a bit more of a ruckus then he disappeared around the corner heading toward Nana BTS.
Some guys are so stupid and not only endanger themselves but the innocent public around them. If he had upset one of those boiling pots of oil many people could have been badly hurt.
Now if this does not whet your appetite for the self destructive ways of drunken idiots – try this one for size.
I sometimes stop to chat to some of the working girls who frequent this area. There is one girl I am quiet friendly with and she often stops to chat to me. I am well aware that if I am not a paying customer – then I am taking up her valuable time. I sometimes give her a tip from time to time so she has no problems stopping to chat to me.
I am writing this at the moment from Central World Plaza, near Siam Paragon. When I walked up here this morning she saw me on the street and stopped me to tell me what happened last night. I was around this area and went back to my room about 11 PM – but must have missed out on all the action.
She is a fiery little piece of work and I would hate to get on the wrong side of her. She told me that a drunk POM (Don't worry guys – we love the POMs – our Kiwi heritage comes from you guys, haha), stopped to chat to her last evening. She said he offered her 250 baht to go with her long time. Now to put that into context – apparently short time is 1,000 baht and long time is about double that. So what he offered her was a real insult.
My fiery little friend up and planted the guy one straight in the face. Instead of taking it like a man he whacked her back and she fell over on the pavement. She then said the moto taxi guys that sit outside 7 Eleven – rushed up and grabbed him. It sounded a bit like when the Aussies were due to play the Kiwis last year in the Tri Nations. We (I am actually a Kiwi, though I live in Australia) let the South Africans soften the Aussies up a bit so then we could take them to the cleaners in the next match. Well according to my little Thai belle – the moto dudes did what the South Africans did to the Aussies – they 'softened' this bloke up a bit until the cops arrived.
They were all ushered down to the nearest constabulary and 'negotiations' ensued. He was offered the choice of spending some time as a guest in one of His Majesty's finest accommodation centres – or allowing himself to be escorted down to the nearest ATM and parting with a cool cold 20,000 baht. He very wisely chose the latter. So the poor hapless prick – what he thought was going to be a cheap evening romping around in the hay with a naked dolly-babe for 250 baht – ended up costing him a bashing from a hoard of angry Thais and dipping to the tune of 20 big ones into his account.
As mentioned before – I have spent many months travelling and living in Thailand. Except for the one occasion when I was unfortunate enough to cross paths with a raving psychopathic lunatic – I have never really had any trouble. Like all of us – I have been hassled a lot and ripped off on many occasions. However now (for my own safety and peace of mind) I don't make a fuss and certainly never get aggressive. The average Thai is a decent human being and will treat us with dignity and respect if we treat them the same.
I just sincerely hope that some of these blokes get the message into their thick-heads before they all do us a disservice – or worse still – go home in a body-bag.
The first of your two stories sounds like Darwinism at its best.
The second, hmmm, not so sure about that. Had he received a beating from the moto boys only, then you can sort of understand it, him having had a go at a woman is a pretty cowardly thing to do. But having to part with 20,000 baht? Hmm, I don't know that that is right…