Sawadee 2000 – How I would Have Handled Things
My wife and family are from Ngao, about an hour from Lampang. I've been to Lampang many times and spent a fair amount of time in the north. I read Sawadee's original submission about getting terminated in the English program and losing the settlement. I then brought this subject up with my wife and asked her her thoughts and how a Thai would have handled things. She said that she would have done the same as Sawadee and simply walked away in order to preserve her future job. When I asked her why she wouldn't stand up for herself, her response was that she is too small to fight an entire school board and does not have that kind of power. I would love to stand up and say that I would have gone to court to fight all injustices and stood the moral high ground but it just depends on your personal circumstances at the time. It's so easy for one individual to say that they would never compromise on their morals but it's not always so clear. Sawadee has a family to support and I have no idea how much savings he has to rely on. Maybe this was his only option.
For myself, when I first started working, it was very difficult to get into my profession and you had to accept some pretty degrading tasks in order to get ahead. At my first job, my boss loved the feeling of power in taking a vile crap in the toilet and then asking me to clean the bathroom moments afterwards. Of course I could have told him to F Off and walked away but then I would be unemployed. I kept at it and over the years built up my own successful business to the point where I am quite wealthy today at 39 years old. With wealth comes the freedom to take on injustices which translates into power. In my case, had the same situation occurred in Lampang, I would have started off with finding out exactly who was at the core of the decisions to corrupt my name. At that point, they would have paid dearly. <You misunderstand. You'd NEVER KNOW who was behind it and besides, it would not be just one person but could be many parties involved – Stick> Whenever one wants to hurt another person, the very best way is to create constant fear that keeps them awake at all hours as the unknown is what creates the real fear. I would begin by hiring someone to discreetly lure away their son or daughter and keept them overnight. The following day I would have the child released unharmed and leave them with a note for their parents to back off. Secondly, I would hire a certain individual to break into their house and plant a substantial quantity of yaba in a hidden location, with a secondary amount in their vehicle. A policeman would be paid a substantial bribe to search the car. The parents would claim it was trap but the questions would be raised. Once the child is returned, a call is made to let the parents know that a much larger quantity of yabba is stashed in thouse and should they not back off, a call to the police will be made. Also I would advise them that their son or daughter might not be so lucky next time. By doing these unpleasant tasks, you are demonstrating your power and ability to destroy their lives in a far more profound way than they ever imagined. They will be so shocked that a falang is willing to hurt them hard and wreck their lives. I would also hint that if they ever try to touch me again, even in prison I have the power to make a payment and have their house burned down, bomb planted in their car or whatever. The important thing is to fight back so hard (and have the financial resources to follow thorugh on these threats) that they are fearful of you.
By demonstrating that you have the influence that can reach out even if you are sent to prison and will stop at nothing for vengeance, they will respect you in the same way a common Thai respects a Chief of Police living in a million dollar house with a BMW in the driveway. It's not respect of admiration but one of understanding how much their life can change for the worse should they interefere with the police by taking video of a bribe, etc. This type of revenge won't work as well in less corrupt societies simply because money doesn't but you the same power as it does in Thailand. I talked about this plan with my wife and told her this is how I would have handled things and her response was that I'm an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about. She said if you try and hurt a Thai in power, you will lose and she said she has never heard of any falang with power and influence. While I agree that I never have as well, maybe they keep a low profile as I will when we move to Thailand in the next few years. By keeping a low profile I mean following the law, being respectful to people who deserve respect and so on. However I will promise you that I have the means now to destroy any Thai should they threaten or harm myself or my family. Revenge won't be quick and without thought; rather it will be slowly and meticulously planned in such a way that the perpetrator will be begging forgiveness at my feet when I am done with them. I am not a violent person and actually condone violence however the simple fact is that there are people in this world, especially in Thailand that believe every falang is scared and and will run away when confronted, as Sawadee did. I am sure that if Sawadee had had the means at his disposal, this story would have had a very different ending.
Having said that, one has to know which battles to take on. It must be something so profound and injust that one is willing to go to prison should it come to that. I'm not going to just go up and shoot a jet ski operator because they tried to stiff me for 50,000 baht. (In that case, just sit there and pay nothing. Don't try and leave – just sit in a chair and wait and act dumb. They only want money and are not worth your time in going after their family as they are not personally trying to hurt your life. Eventually they will tire of you when they realize they can't get anything from you.) Although I will have wealth in Thailand, I won't show it with a nice car, gold and so on as there's no reason to go around asking to be a target. In all likelihood I will never have to resort to violence as I always attempt to avoid confrontation. I can say though that if I was in a car accident and the other party wanted money above and beyond what my insurance was willing to pay, that would be a mistake on their part. I would politely ask them to back off and then begin with a single message. I'm not out to try and change the world or take on the Thai mafia but I am willing to take on any Thai who I feel I can break. There is no reason why a falang can't have a position of power in Thailand and in large part I believe it's often the less successful falang that move to Thailand and as a consequence do not have the financial means to exert power and influence. The Thais aren't stupid and know this and that is why they can get away with so much. I'm not going to fight every policeman that asks for a bribe or anything like that but Thais talk and they will be aware of me in Pattaya and respect me for how I can change their life if they cross me.
Listen to your wife if you face any challenging situations in Thailand because if you don't, you might find yourself in a very, very awkward situation.
Oh yes, the Thais just love and respect all the foreigners in Pattaya…