Stickman's Weekly Column December 18th, 2016

When She Is Scorned


When English playwright William Congreve coined the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” I very much doubt he had Thai women in mind even though it fits the Thai female psyche perfectly.  Women are women the world over, but there does seem to be something with Thai women where they go to extreme lengths when seeking revenge.

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When the other half told me that she would be flying to the deep south, I asked her why.  She didn’t want to tell me.  She said I wouldn’t approve and left it at that.

The other half is no great fan of the south where most locals share little in common with her Buddhist leanings.  And it’s not like the south is full of attractions for a city girl.  I could not understand why she wanted to go and she did not want to tell me her reasons.  She simply told me to trust her and not to worry.

What was up?  Did she have someone on the side?  No, I didn’t think there was any chance of that whatsoever and that never entered my mind.  But something was up, and it had to be something she knew I wouldn’t like, hence she wouldn’t tell me about it.

As the weekend drew closer, details emerged.  She, her sister and two of her sister’s friends would be flying to Hat Yai.  They had something to take care of.  But again, she would not tell me what.

I racked my brain trying to understand what was going on.

Was it some sort of glamorous party on which they would splurge more money than I would approve of?  No, their nights out were always in Bangkok and if they were going to do something really glamorous, it would be Singapore or Hong Kong, not Hat Yai.

Had one of them had been sucked in to some sort of scam whereby they would carry narcotics or other contraband across the border between Thailand and Malaysia and be rewarded for it?  She insisted it was nothing like that.  Again, I believed her.

There were 4 girls and I knew two of them – my other half and her sister.  The other two girls were friends of her sister who I’d heard about but never met.  Everything revolved around the sister so it had to be something to do with her.

I’d noted that the sister had not been her usual self and while she didn’t pop around to our condo that often, it was obvious that recently she was not a happy camper.  It had to be something to do with her.

The other half’s sister, Ann, had been in a long-time relationship with a Thai guy called Ben.  They’d been together for 3 years.  They didn’t live together but spent most of the time at one or other’s place.

Ann and Ben worked for the same multinational, Ann in sales and Ben was a supervisor. The company was to open a new branch in Hat Yai, and an opportunity had come up for branch manager.  Ben had been offered the position.  It would mean a large increase in salary, but he would be apart from Ann.  They talked about it and decided that the opportunity was too good to decline and he should go for it.  Domestic flights are cheap and they could take turns at flying to spend the weekend together.

Other staff from head office were offered positions in the new branch so Ben would have some familiar faces around him.

One of those familiar faces was Tan, from the sales department.  She was a close friend of Ann’s.  Ann asked Tan to keep an eye on Ben who was a good-looking dude who once had the reputation for being a bit of a playboy.  Ann didn’t think he would play up, but nonetheless she wanted to know that she had nothing to worry about.  Tan was only too happy to help Ann, who had helped her get a position in the sales department.

Ben moved south and adjusted well to his new job while Ann got used to being in a long-distance relationship, 1,000 km away from her beau.

There was much to do and the first few weeks were very busy for Ben who did not get the chance to fly to Bangkok.  Ann understood and knew he had to get things running smoothly so she didn’t fly down to spend the weekend either.  What was the point when he was working every day and had little free time to spend with her.

Time flew by and before they knew it, they’d been apart for 2 months.  It was then that Ben called Ann.  He had something important to say to her.  Ben wanted to split up with Ann.  When Ann asked Ben why, she was shocked at his response.  Ben was getting married!

Ann freaked out.  She couldn’t understand how her boyfriend of 3 years, the guy who had shared her bed for most of that time and the guy she thought she would spend the rest of her life with did not just want to leave her, he was about to marry someone else!

Ann called her former colleague and friend from the sale department, Tan.  She didn’t let on to Tan what Ben had told her.  And wanted to know if Ben had been up to anything untoward in the south.  Had Tan seen or heard of Ben spending time with anyone?  Was there any gossip that he had been up to no good?  Tan had seen nothing and as far as she knew, Ben spent all of his time in the office and didn’t have time to meet anyone.

Ann became depressed, and went from a bubbly, pretty lady to being skinny, depressed and frankly unattractive.  She missed sales targets, in fact she wasn’t selling anything. Used to monthly commissions in to 6-figures, she was now surviving on her meagre base salary.

Ann didn’t reveal what had happened to anyone and it wasn’t until friends and family enquired that she opened up and told them that Ben was marrying someone else.

When Ann told her sister – my other half – and a couple of friends what had happened, they were all furious.  Not furious with Ben, but furious with whomever was now involved with Ben.  That person should have known that Ben had someone in Bangkok and as such they were very much in the wrong.  That person would have to pay!

Ann called Tan and asked her to keep a close eye on Ben.  If Tan saw something, Ann asked her to record it on her mobile phone and send the video to her.

Thais live their lives on Facebook.  They post about themselves and they post about their friends.  At times, some are injudicious with what they post and can inadvertently reveal things about others.  If you want to know what your other half is up to, check out her friend’s Facebook pages and you might just find something.  Many leave their security settings open so anyone can look at their page and find out all about their lives.  A little detective work on the part of my other half digging deep in to the Facebook pages of friends of friends had her discover what she had suspected – Ann’s friend Tan was rooting Ben!

My other half provided proof to her sister and a meeting was called with my other half, Ann and two of Ann’s friends.  What Tan had done was a betrayal and had to be punished.  They would fly to the south of Thailand and teach Tan a lesson.  They would give her a hiding, mess her up physically and return to Bangkok.

Now at this stage it’s probably worth pointing out that these women are not thugs and looking at them you’d not think they had any ill thoughts or intentions about anything.  All 4 are middle-class, university-educated, Bangkok-born and raised.  They all have good jobs and salaries way above average.  All drive their own new car, all have the latest model iPhones, all can tell you the relative merits or otherwise of the various 5-star hotel buffets downtown.  None is what you’d call hi-so, but all have worked hard, done well and enjoy the spoils of their labour.

I tried to explain to the other half how ridiculous what they were planning was.  Violence solved nothing and why target Tan when Ben was just as guilty?

When I talked about the ridiculousness of it, she shot down every argument I came up with.  In her mind – and in the minds of the other ladies – their plan was not only rational, not doing something was not an option!

When I raised the not so delicate matter of the fact what they were planning was a crime and that there could be police involvement and criminal charges, her response was simply that if the matter become a criminal investigation – something she considered extremely unlikely – they would pay off those investigating it!  At one point she said that if charges really were laid, she would flee to New Zealand.  She would not budge.

They also had the idea of posting to Tan’s Facebook page and other social media saying that Tan was a filthy slut and calling her other unkind names.

I tried to point out that Ann could lose her job but there was zero fear that there would be any blowback for any of the four.

They felt that they had to respond in a sufficiently strong way so as to right the wrong. That would be the only way to return to a sense of balance and harmony.

It did not matter to these girls that people’s feelings change and it is certainly not unusual to fall out of love with one person and in love with another, especially when there is distance involved.  These 4 ladies were adamant that revenge had to be sought and that was the only way balance could be restored.

The weekend came and at the very last minute the trip south was cancelled.  The trip to the south of Thailand never went ahead.

Ann called things off.  She saw that what they were planning could cause her to lose her lucrative job with high commissions and it was that, rather than any sense of what they were planning to do was wrong, that made her decide to call it off.  Fear of losing her job and her lucrative earnings trumped getting revenge.

Thai women have an unusual view of love and relationships and some of the concepts they believe in are rather different to those of the average Westerner.  That’s just one reason why a Thai woman you get involved with may be very concerned to establish with a degree of certainty that you’re not already in a relationship.  Thai women know what other Thai women are capable of and many are terrified about what might happen to them if they get involved with a man who is already in a relationship with another Thai lady.

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Where was this photo taken?

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Last week’s photo was taken from the platform at the Thonglor BTS station, looking east towards the distinctive purple-coloured Noble condominium building.  What about this week’s?

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Stick’s Email Inbox – (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.)  Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week’s column.

Map-reading in The Land of Smiles.

The funniest thing this week happened when I tried to take a taxi to the Samsung Service Centre.  Handing the driver a map in Thai, and then having 3 drivers argue about where the service centre was.  The places they wanted to take me were nowhere near where I needed to go.  So I told them, “I just gave you a map.”  They looked at it again briefly and then continued arguing.  Instead I told them to take me to the corner of the cross streets listed on the map and I’d find the location from there by myself. Some people…

A Rainbow experience.

I had a new experience in the new Rainbow bar (Rainbow 5?) recently.  I invited a girl down for a drink but had no intention of taking her out of the bar.  When she asked me to pay the 700 baht barfine, I said I was drunk and not interested in sex.  Then she asked me to pay it so that she could sit with me.  I pointed out that I had already bought her a drink so that she could sit with me.  ‘Ah, but if you give mamasan 700 baht, I won’t have to dance when it’s my turn,’ she replied.  I politely pointed out that I am not in the habit of giving bars 700 baht for a girl to STAY in the bar.  Maybe this new approach is a sign of how the bars are struggling to find enough naughty boys to meet the increasing financial demands of bars and girls.

A hot shower is part of civilised living.

Given the choice, I would always have a hot shower.  If there is no choice, I will take the cold shower, even if it means using a plastic bowl to scoop up water to throw it over my body.  I still shiver in silence after the initial gasp!  Maybe, some days, it is too humid for a hot shower, but I can at least start off hot and then gradually turn the dial so the water comes out tepid or even cold.  A strong blast of hot or warm water in the morning sets me up for the day.  It’s part of civilised living, along with shaving in warm water.  Before going to bed, a warm or hot shower relaxes the body.  I fall asleep more quickly, rather than having to shiver under the bed-clothes.  It is also easier to get the dirt off one’s body with warm water.  I get quite annoyed if I find the hotel I’m staying in has turned down the boiler and the shower water is barely tepid.

Thai women are hot stuff.

My first Thai missus had hot showers in Bangkok & Farangland.  And my current girlfriend / partner who lives in Thailand uses hotter water than me in the shower.  I have to turn it down a notch or I feel like it’s too hot.

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The toothbrush conundrum and Thai dentists.

A few weeks ago you pointed out that it is difficult to buy ‘hard’ toothbrushes in Thailand.  I think it is hard to buy them anywhere now.  At the New World Supermarket here in Hawkes Bay, about 90% are soft or extra soft, a few are medium, and there is just one model deemed to be firm.  When I was a kid in post-war UK, you could buy soft, medium, or hard.  Hard ones were popular in the north of England, softer ones in the south.  Then hard ones went out of fashion because dentists realised that hard ones can damage tooth enamel and irritate the gums.  I have not always had happy experiences with Thai dentists.  Some have been straight up and honest, but I remember one female dentist I went to requesting just a clean and polish.  She put some kind of cover over my eyes so that I couldn’t see what she was doing, and then started picking at my fillings with a scaler.  Of course one loosened and needed filling again, upping the cost of the visit!

Visit the Biergarten while you still can.

I’ve popped into the soi 7 Biergarten a few times lately, if only because it’s clear that one of the last remaining old-era haunts is doomed.  The entire block is evidently being prepped for a big upgrade, God forbid another mall, condo or hotel.  The night market across the road has long been bulldozed and the little shops and bars on the left as one walks up the soi to the Biergarten are now all boarded up.  Is it long overdue?  The Nana area is prime real estate and the last to fall to big developers along lower Sukhumvit, if only because it’s mostly owned by Indians who traditionally prefer cash-based small-holdings hidden from the tax man.  Evidently, land prices have risen enough to offset this model.  I wonder about demand though.  Do we really need another Asoke and Phrom Phong on the same strip?

Thermae entertainers are no bargain.

The girls’ pricing at the Thermae goes against the laws of supply and demand.  You’d think that if they charged only B1,000-B1,500, more would get customers.  I also thought that with the odds against them, many if not most of the girls would go home without making a satang.  You’d think they would be disappointed or upset and not come back again.  The only thing I can imagine is that the girls hear the B2,500 figure and come with that expectation.  After all, that’s big money for most of them for 1 – 2 hours’ work.  Since that’s what they expect, they won’t take less.  They’re ready to spread their legs if they can get B2,500, but not for less.  They don’t want to hurt their pride and would rather go home empty-handed, I guess.  It would make a good economics case study.

Lousy Thai massage in Australia.

In Australia, as retail slides and there are more empty shops and the trend is for developers to build apartments on them, or Thai or Chinese massage shops to open in that space.  They are prolific and many are staffed by Thai students who have a few hours training and charge $60 – $75 / hour.  You hardly see one shut so they must be doing well.  I know some do happy ending but lots run on poor quality massage!

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Girl Of The Week

Jordan, escort with PureBangkokEscorts.com
Jordan is cheerful and curvy – and great if you like a bit of meat on the bone.

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The boss of Bangkok Bunnies runs his bar like a business and not his own private drinking parlour as some bar bosses have been known to do.  Earlier this week he fired all the agency ladies in his bar and Bunnies, as it is often referred to, has returned to being coyote / agency-girl free again.  That’s a whopping 40-odd girls gone, girls who other bar owners will now fight over like they are football club managers and each of the coyote dancers is Lionel Messi looking for a new team to play for.  Some unlucky bar boss(s) might just find themselves with a group of lazy, over-priced girls at the peak of high season.

Cactus in Soi Cowboy has long stood out from the crowd as a bar where the boss, John, did things his way.  It may be but a single shophouse bar that had but a small number of dancers, but it had a cult following, partly due to the fantastic food owner John served up twice a week….that is, until recently.  John delights in tantalising the taste buds of those who like good, honest, home-style American cooking.  Sadly, Cactus is no longer the place to fill your belly after John was outvoted by those he referred to as his partners and food nights ended due to what was described as erratic turnouts in recent months.  What the partners mightn’t realise is that John’s cooking was the reason many stopped by.  More than a few only visited when John was cooking – but they would stick around for a few beers after they’d eaten.  But the end of food nights is not the only change at Cactus…

John was typically cryptic in an email he sent out this past week in which he encouraged people to visit the bar Thursday evening and get fxxxed up.  Nothing was stated outright, but the impression was that the owners of Long Gun may have acquired Cactus with John mentioning that Cactus could resemble Long Gun III.  Coyotes started on Friday with word that the music would catch up with the times.  With coyote dancers and John’s fine cooking off the menu, Cactus remains Cactus in name, but not in spirit.  Remember this sign John had outside Cactus just a month or so ago?  Cactus is far from my favourite bar, but it’s something different to the cookie cutter bars that comprise much of the gogo bar industry these days.  Sadly, it seems that the Cactus we have long known is no more.

The opening party for Butterflies this past Thursday was a great success.  The huge bar was full before 9:00 PM and largely stayed that way until closing.  The free buffet featured good pizza and girl numbers are swelling with many lookers said to be among them.  Given what the owners of Butterflies did with Billboard, hopes are high for Butterflies.  It is all coming together at exactly the right time for Nana Plaza which seems to be well placed for a big high season with more fun bars than the other two major bar areas put together.

Dollhouse may be under new management but tradition continues with plans to repeat the Snow Party on New Year’s Eve where the bar is filled with Styrofoam packing balls as they try to replicate a winter New Year’s Eve.  It’s always been popular so if you find yourself out and about on Soi Cowboy on the last night of the year, drop by and check it out for yourself.

 

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Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy, New Year past.  Photo courtesy of Dirty Doctor.

 

A few readers have asked how Smooci, the escort consolidation app / site I mentioned a couple of weeks ago works.  How can a session with a Bangkok escort cost less if you book her through Smooci as opposed to the escort agency she is associated with?  This blog entry on Smooci should answer some of those questions.

Following on from the mention in last week’s column of Africans selling drugs at the corner of Sukhumvit Road and soi 13, one night this past week a bunch of Immigration Police descended on the area disguised as motorbike taxi riders.  All were decked out in the distinctive orange motorbike rider vests.  Ten or so Africans were arrested and taken away. These goons are as resilient as cockroaches and some returned to peddle their evil a few days later, and were less conspicuous, operating a little bit up soi 13.  The day after that they were gone again in what appeared to be a game of cat and mouse with the boys in brown.  Time will tell if this was a one-off bust or whether the authorities are serious about putting the goons out of business.

The weekly column article about Jim Eger and the Freezer Geezers where it was suggested they may have, at the very least, connections to a three-letter agency was one of the most popular column openers of the year, generating a heap of feedback as articles about foreigners up to no good tend to do.  This week I received an email from someone who claims to be a long-time friend of one of the freezer geezers.  He claims that his friend was allowed time out of prison to visit one of the top private hospitals in Bangkok for treatment for a serious health condition.  This just adds to the intrigue and, frankly, smells of an extraction.

Crazy commercial rental rates in downtown Bangkok know no bounds with word that the new gastro bar 8 on 11 (on Sukhumvit soi 11, opposite The Old German Beerhouse) has a dizzying monthly rental figure.  Some say it is one million baht per month while others say it is just 800,000 baht per month.  Business owners in downtown Bangkok are working for the landlord.

The dazed and confused foreigner featured in last week’s column wandering Sukhumvit has been identified by a couple of readers as a Brit called Ben.  He was once an offshore oil worker until booze got the better of him.  He used to be a fixture at Jools on Soi Nana but with that venue one of the casualties of 2016 it might explain why he has been wandering around the area aimlessly.  Could he be looking for his old drinking hole?  It had been said that he was put on a flight to the UK but somehow managed to get himself straight back to Thailand.

The one I call The Mad Scientist is back to his old ways in downtown Bangkok, scrawling indecipherable equations in marker pens on lampposts, signs, bus stops – anywhere with a flat surface.  I had not seen his scribblings for some time but he has made a comeback and last week along Sukhumvit in front of sois 15, 17 and 19 and right outside Terminal 21 there was much evidence of his frenzied mind at work.

 

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The Mad Scientist‘s handiwork outside Terminal 21.

 

I am sure most long-term readers know that my favourite Mexican restaurant in Bangkok is Sunrise Tacos.  I love everything about the place from the high quality ingredients like imported Australian beef and avocados from Australia & New Zealand, to the reasonable prices to the large portions (if you’re hungry, the fajitas or the burritos will fill up even the biggest eaters).  But I have to tip my hat to Charley Brown’s in Sukhumvit soi 11 which is consistently busy when other Mexican restaurants aren’t.  I mentioned several months ago that the whole block and sub soi where Charley Brown’s is located will be demolished to make way for another sky-rise.  The good news for fans of Bangkok’s oldest Mexican restaurant is that a new location has been found just a few sois away and Charley Brown’s will continue.  The current venue will trade until around March and it’s hoped that the move to the new venue will be seamless.  More on the new location nearer the time.

Too often you hear about Western guys getting involved with a Thai woman and things going pear-shaped.  Bargirl or Bangkok girl it doesn’t matter, many foreign guys end up with the wrong type of Thai lady or find that the lady they thought they would grow old together with was someone they couldn’t wait to tear themselves away from. In Thailand recently, I bumped in to an old friend who suggested lunch.  We met up at a swanky place with him turning up in a shiny German limousine.  Over lunch I would learn that he had married an American-educated Thai lady from a family with many business interests.  As he told me more about the family he had married in to, I started to think this fellow had his the jackpot.  They have money and solid, old-fashioned values.  And in what is not always the case with well-to-do Thais, they were totally accepting of their daughter’s choice to bring a foreigner in to the fold.  This fellow is not the foreign equivalent of this family and as best I know is not super wealthy and neither does he look like David Beckham.  What he does have is a quiet calm about himself and a sold work ethic with a willingness to roll up his sleeves and do the hard yards, a personality type that appeals to a woman from that sort of background.  While you hear many stories about foreign guys getting involved with the wrong type of Thai lady, there are cases where a foreign guy who I think it would be fair to say was basically a regular Joe back home hits the jackpot in Thailand.

With wine classed as a luxury good and attracting a higher tax than other types of alcohol, the price of wine in Thailand is high.  Expensive drops such as Penfold’s Grange which goes for NZD 700 (around 17,500 baht) here can go for upwards of 50,000 baht a bottle in Bangkok.  From time to time you hear of bottles of quality scotch like Johnny blue going for upwards of 10,000 baht.  But what about this bottle of Hennessy for sale in Siam Paragon at 181,500 baht a bottle?  And what is even more amusing is the in small print in Thai it says that the price won’t be discounted.  I know some Thais enjoy a fine drop and the wealthy have silly money, but yikes!

 

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In Siam Paragon, make sure your wallet is full.

 

The ad in the Thai Airways magazine for a new development on Phuket with units starting at a whopping 7 million US dollars is not representative of the prices of real estate on the island.  Yes, Phuket has long had the reputation for being pricey but you can still always get a good deal in Thailand if you hunt hard, even on Phuket.  This week a good friend purchased a condo of more than 80 square metres close to Patong Beach for just 2.6 million baht.  That would be cheap in Bangkok for that size – in Phuket it’s a bargain.

The population of Thailand is around 68 million people, right?  What do you think it is projected to grow to by the United Nations in 2050?  In the 20 or so years I have known Thailand, the population has increased around 7 or 8 million.  I thought over the next 35 years it would increase at a slower rate still given the low birth rate and thought that by 2050 the population of Thailand would be at around 80 million.  Nope, the projections are that Thailand’s population will actually be around 62 million people then, about 10% fewer people than now.  Such a projection comes with all sorts of ramifications and adds fuel to the argument that Thailand should open up its borders and allow migrants to call Thailand home, and make the path to residency and citizenship easier.

Yesterday, the ThaiVisa forum announced a new law which comes in to effect at the end of the year whereby those entering Thailand without a visa at a land border crossing can do so a maximum of two times per year.  It would seem there is no such limit if flying in to the country.

Further to the frustration of visa runners who can’t figure out how many visits / how much time in Thailand on certain classes of visas causes the Immigration computer to alert the officer comes word that even the most respected visa run company in Bangkok does not know the exact criteria that triggers said alert.  This visa run company says that somewhere between 6 and 10 visa exempt entries cause the Immigration officer to get an alert.  So there you go, even the visa run firms don’t know!

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Which bar is this?  Angelwitch, of course!

 

In Phnom Penh, a Khmer lady steals $88,000 from a sleeping Finn’s hotel room.

The New Zealand Herald reports on a Thai woman stabbed 15 times in her Auckland home.

Passengers travelling via Bangkok’s Don Meuang Airport are being urged to get there early as passenger numbers swell and delays are expected.

A drunk Brit is thrown in a cell for his own safety after his vehicle collides with a motorbike on Ko Samui, killing 2 Thai men.

An Aussie mining company is shocked at the forced closure of a mine it operates in Thailand.

Thai police say the death of an American professor in Hua Hin was not murder.

The Bangkok Post is scathing of Thailand’s new Computer Crime Act.

SunbeltLegal

Ask Sunbelt

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors is here to answer all of your Thailand legal questions.  Please feel free to send any questions you may have and I will put them to Sunbelt and run their response in the next column.

 

Question 1:  During our marriage we regularly bought Thai gold which we took with us to Europe.  I would now like to liquidate it in Thailand.  What are the regulations and / or restrictions on bringing gold back into The Kingdom?  Do I have to declare it over a certain weight?

Sunbelt Legal advisors responds:  Thai Customs has informed us that all gold needs to be declared when entering the country and you need to go through the Red Lane for items to be declared.  For gold bars there is a tax of 7% and for gold jewelry or decorative items there is a tax of 20%.

 

Question 2:  I was recently on a meditation retreat with a Theravada monk who made the following claim, “In Thailand, if someone is drunk and cycling on the wrong side of the road with no lights or helmet and gets hit by a truck then the truck driver is the one who is seen as being at fault – because the truck is bigger.”  Is this correct?  Also, is there any difference between how the law is actually carried out and what the actual law is i.e. the law says one thing, but the police regularly enforce it in a different way?  Also, would there be any difference in how this situation with the cyclist and truck driver would be treated in the different regions in Thailand (Bangkok, Isaan, Phuket)?  The monk lived in Thailand for 10 years in the ’90s.  He was in Isaan.

Sunbelt Legal advisors responds:  We suspect your monk was speaking metaphorically because under Thai law the cyclist would be at fault if he was on the wrong side of the road with no lights, no helmet and drunk.  The law is the law regardless of where in Thailand it is but of course some police officers will choose to enforce it differently.  It really depends on the officer and the situation but the law does not say that because the truck is bigger he is seen at fault.

 

Question 3:  I occasionally have been known to indulge in smoking marijuana.  It’s not something I need, but if I feel reasonably safe from police and other problems, I will partake.  What is the culture and legality of this in Thailand at the moment?  I have a perception that smoking pot is not allowed.  In Cambodia it’s quite liberal and you can openly smoke pot, but I’ve never seen it in Thailand and I am not going to ask some African drug dealer where to score.  I’d love to see an article about this subject, or have it addressed by your legal people.

Sunbelt Legal advisors responds:  Under Thai Law, cannabis or marijuana is illegal to use, possess, sell or distribute.  Use of cannabis can result in imprisonment not exceeding 1 year and a fine of 100,000 – 1,000,000 baht.  Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors always recommends to not use illegal substances in Thailand.  The issue is taken quite seriously and it could result in not just a fine and imprisonment, but deportation and blacklisting.

 

Question 4:  I am thinking of relocating to Thailand and am concerned about personal items which may or may not be legal to own in Thailand.  Specifically, I own a home poker set with casino quality chips and a removable felt table cover that mimics a poker table.  The total number of chips is only sufficient for 9 players so I am clearly not going to be starting a casino but I am concerned over the legality of it all given the strict laws around gambling in Thailand.  Would it be illegal to import the chips and table either on my person or via a shipping company?

Sunbelt Legal advisors responds:  Gambling is illegal in Thailand unless it is the government run lottery or horse racing at legally allowed courses in Bangkok.  The Gambling Act of B.E. 2478 of 1935 divides gambling into two types; List A which consists of games that include wagering on animal games that are considered torture, dice games, traditional street games, Roulette and slot machines are also included on this list.  List B covers every other form of gambling; billiards, bingo, blackjack, mahjong, raffles, sports betting and such.  Penalties for List A games can go up to 5000 baht and 3 years in prison.  While List B games see a maximum punishment is up to 2,000 Baht and a prison sentence not exceeding two years.  While the importation of gambling equipment is not covered under the Gambling Act, the importation of gaming equipment is strictly forbidden.

 

LadyboysBangkok

Christmas-in-Bangkok2

Christmas decorations outside Terminal 21, 2014.

 

Next Sunday is Christmas Day.  I don’t have any religious leanings but Christmas still represents a family day, one of few days spent with family, a day when this website and other ventures are put to the side.  At the same time it’s high season in Bangkok and there is an expectation that the column will be published.  So next week I will publish a column but it might be a little lighter than usual.

 

Your Bangkok commentator,
Stick