A Policeman’s Perspective On Thailand
When Canadian men go to Thailand, for some reason they become the victims of the most ridiculous scams. As annoying and irritating as it may seem, when they get sucked in, they go… big… really… BIG. If it's financial devastation, of biblical proportions, there's a very good chance that a Canadian man is at the bottom of it. It seems that older Canadian men become sponsors; buy houses that they can never own and get involved in financing fraudulent enterprises. One man approached me, here in Canada, who had been swindled for $140,000 CDN.
The people I am referring to are older Canadian businessmen who are uncommonly smart academically and professionally. They are quite competent intellectually. They're smart, however, they're NOT "street smart". Most of them haven't had affection from a woman for a long time. Typically, they have just lost a loved one; got fired or been replaced by their employer; developed a vexing medical condition or have just gone through a debilitating divorce. Hence, they are very vulnerable to the Thai princess who holds up the sexual fantasy of the Thai "girlfriend experience" and chants, "No like Thai man. He drink to mut. Kitty luv only you."
When Canadian seniors go to Thailand, these feline predators are just waiting for them, hence, the name 'Kitty' in my last paragraph. Although Thai bargirls / freelancers are very much their intellectual inferiors, they're cunningly "street smart" and that's what counts in Thailand. It makes ALL the difference. As a result, senior Canadian men fall for amateur bullshit schemes and female ploys by women who are 20 years their junior and who have no education. It's almost as if they put their brain in their left shoe the moment they stepped off the plane.
These schemers are successful, the majority of the time, because, from the victim's point of view, for the first time in his life, a beautiful woman, half his age, is giving him the fxxk of his life: She professes love for only him: He believes. The end result, however, is that all too soon she ends up with most, if not all of his money. He then comes back to Canada broke and disillusioned: He believing, she deceiving, what need lovers ask for more.
I want the readers to know, that I have been a policeman in a major Canadian city for 37 years; I am 61 years old and have been to Thailand twice. During that time, I never got married and so I still have ALL my money and NO emotional baggage to upset me. I am happily looking forward to my retirement next year, starting with a 2 month vacation in Thailand.
I became "street smart" at a very early age when I was a "rookie" policeman. After a mandatory 5 year service, in uniform, I received a 6 month lateral transfer to the Morality Squad where I was assigned to work "undercover". The reason the supervisors did this was to have new young faces approaching the street prostitutes that they wouldn't recognize. My partner, who was permanently stationed there, would stay in the background while I worked the streets. We never switched roles because the prostitutes knew him. My partner's sole purpose was to back me up if anything went wrong. When we got back to the Police Station he would help me with the paperwork. * (arrest sheets)
I approached the prostitutes, on foot, and quickly engaged then in conversation. My partner would wait, out of sight, in the undercover car, to back me up when the time came. The "street hookers" had to mention two things: a specific sexual act and a price for that act. I would then give a hand single to my partner and he would assist me. I produced my police badge and arrested them on the spot for: "Communicating for the purpose of engaging in Prostitution" contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada Sec 213 (1). In the space of 6 months, I arrested 154 female prostitutes.
The point of telling you this story is that if I had the opportunity to "do it all over again" I wouldn't have arrested even one: I would have let them all go. Let me tell you why: It was a complete waste of time and taxpayers money. Upon conviction, they would pay a small fine, at that time $25, and the next day, they would be back on the street again. Getting arrested was just a cost of doing business to them and didn't mean a thing. The fine was paid and was regarded as a common nuisance.
Since I had posted exemplary numbers, the Staff Sgt in Charge was delighted and awards were presented; speeches given and favourable documentations were awarded: I remember a lot of hand shaking and back slapping for what my partner and I had managed to accomplish in so short a time.
If we went back today to the streets I "worked", everything would be exactly the same except for the "hookers' standing on the corner. They would be different: They would have different faces. My six month transfer there was the Police equivalent of arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic… every… single… day: Appearances were kept… The area was still unsafe… Nothing was accomplished..
It is my contention that the same thing happens in Thailand: When Thai Police engage in raids/crackdowns in the nightlife area it's a complete waste of time and resources. It just isn't logical to do what they do. The area doesn't become SAFER for tourists. All that happens is that bar owners; "working girls" and patrons get mixed messages from the Police. People very quickly learn that the raids are financially or politically motivated because they don't make sense. If real Police go on a raid, they do it to OBTAIN something: a murder weapon; drugs; contraband; a gun; a wanted person; financial documents or other inculpatory evidence.
Meanwhile the bar owners are asking questions along this line: How long do you think it will last THIS time? How can we somehow be exempt? How much money will we lose? Should we pay MORE money? OR should we just lay low and wait for this to pass? Should we comply with the Police while they are here and when they go away we'll go back to what we were originally doing? Thai Police teach their citizenry this lesson: When the cats away… the mice can play… Nothing more.
If the result of these crackdowns made tourist areas SAFER, I would be all for them. A much better strategy for the Thai Police to adopt and a much simpler one, is: "To Serve and Protect". Thai Police officers should be making the nightlife areas safer, especially for tourists, by quietly maintaining a presence in case help is needed. Everybody wins, there are no losers. Tourists will return to Thailand because they feel safe; There is less chance that drunks will get assaulted and robbed; bar owners will make more money and "working girls" can work in a safer environment. People would respect the Police, instead of dreading their appearance.
In Canada, we do not have "Tourist Police". The reason we don't is because they are truly a waste of time and taxpayer's money. When I was "walking the beat" in the entertainment area I would ALWAYS be especially kind to tourists. I was taught to do that by my supervisors. They always, said, "Show them special care & consideration because they are our guests." "YOU, may be the only opinion a visitor gets of Canada". If a tourist was lost; the victim of an assault or had their wallet or passport stolen they could rely on the Police to help them.
In Thailand, the exact opposite occurs: If a tourist is the victim of a crime or is in a dispute with a Thai person, discrimination EXPLODES in his face. He's marginalized by the very person he called to help him. This creates feelings of isolation because the tourist is forced to deal with a law enforcement officer who is clearly biased in favour of his countrymen. The reason this "dynamic" happens is because it is ingrained in the HEAD of every Thai Police Officer NEVER to lose face to a foreigner.
One has to realize that Thai Police are not very well educated; they have no sensitivity training and they are not very well supervised. When "low salary" and "low self esteem" are added to the toxic mix, an officer who takes "bribes" is created; extortion flourishes and injustice prevails: Tourists have very little, if any, rights. When that starts to happen, the WORST scenario is created for a civilized NATION: The criminals are wearing Police uniforms.
***Note to Reader***
I was going to end my submission, with the above paragraph because I thought the last 6 words were the most powerful in my arsenal. However, I have changed my mind about this notion: I decided, instead, to challenge myself in an attempt to end this submission with 6 words that would humour and delight. If I leave this submission the way it is, the reader is left dull and uninspired. So,… here goes: * Please note that I am not a Thailand expert, like Stick is, I just want to share with you. This is what I do:
When in Thailand, keep a low profile. Speak your truth but don't SHOUT it at people you don't know: You can attract more bees with honey than you can with vinegar. Try to stay OUT of altercations… If the Thai Police get involved, you'll come out on the losing end: Don't fight a fight you can't win. If you take a bar girl back to your hotel don't give her any information that allows her to contact you when you return home. Don't leave valuables unattended and STOP throwing money in her face.
If possible, visit Thailand with a friend. If you go by yourself, try to make friends with somebody you meet. Make him your best mate: That way you can watch out for each other in case something bad happens. Don't complain if you have to pay more than a Thai person: That's just the way it is. You won't change anything by getting upset. Twenty years from now it won't make a bit of difference, anyway. However, if you get your nose broken, it may ruin your vacation. Put things in perspective: The victim who smiles at the thief, steals something from him.
If you are in a bar and order an open drink, don't leave it unattended, especially if people you don't know are sitting at your table. If you have to go to the washroom, order a fresh drink when you return. Don't stay out too late at night when everybody is drunk. That's when the "lager louts" come out and want to fight. By that time, you should be in your Hotel getting laid.
I always thought there was a sort of bond between policemen (and military guys) from different countries. The Thai coppers would be most upset to be criticised by their fellow constabulary brother!