Thailand’s Finest… “Farang Teachers!”

I’ve not been in jail in my life. Not even to walk inside one.

I’ve been on the front porch of a jail and it seemed that any
moment myself and 2 friends could be joining the 30 naked
guys that we could see plainly through the curtainless window
just 4 meters in front of our faces, crammed into their small
holding cell…

But, we paid our 1000 baht fine and they took 4 of our “illegal”
Beer Laos’ – 2 light and 2 dark, and sent us on our way with
the rest of our 2 cases and some wine and whiskey.

Now – that small brush with Thailand’s Finest was no easy sweat
off the bollocks. There was a lot of stuff going on right there
which I’ll have to write about in a future post.

This post is about Thailand’s “other” finest… the teachers.

Specifically the teachers at the school where I teach now. More
specifically, the farang teachers at the school where I teach now.
There are 12 of us I think someone said… Some from USA, UK,
Holland, and Philippines.

I’ve been living here for over 2 years. Years they’ve each lived
here: 7, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 6 months, 6 months, 9 months, 7 months,
5 months, and the Filipina girl we’ll leave out of this since she and
I are the only ones that don’t partake…

Partake of pot smoking.

Now, I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life. But, I’ve
worked in the mental health system in the USA and counseled
those that have been. I understand addiction. I guess you
could say I’ve been addicted to exercise in the past when I
did triathlons.

I’ve tried pot. Exactly 3 times. It was a horrible psychedelic
experience the first time and so the next time wasn’t until
12 years later. That time I felt what I was “supposed” to feel,
but still – I wondered why people liked that feeling. I hated it.

The last time it did nothing for me. Personally I could care
less if people do it. I had many friends in the states that did
it. No worries. Get caught in the states – get a year probation
first time – or something lame… even if I’m caught WITH
them I’m likely to get a blow-off sentence plus I’d pass any
test.

Anyway… so here we are… living in a foreign country where
they take drug use of any kind (except alcohol!) very seriously.
In fact, there is an often quoted number of 2000+ people that
were killed in some manner (all kinds of manners really) during
the last drug user and dealer “witch hunt” that occured just
before I got here.

Apparently Thaksin wanted to appear tough on drug use – and
so he authorized the police to take care of business –
shooting to kill when necessary. Many were shot in
the back… which shouldn’t surprise those of us who live here
– they fight the same way – bottle to the BACK of the head
without warning.

I hadn’t SEEN drug use here in Thailand among any of the locals
in Ubon and I knew many. However, I was told that it was popular
among a certain group of young people – even 15 – 18 yr olds AT
school.

I went to play some ping-pong at a co-workers house just a day or
so after coming to this school as a new teacher 9 months ago. I
brought my girlfriend, who had never seen anyone use drugs, or
even knew the name of the drugs… These clowns sit down and
start packing a bowl into a rose apple. I was shocked that these
guys, seemingly bright guys, were going to smoke POT in Thailand
inside a house that was surrounded by other houses at 7 pm on a
weeknight – in front of my innocent Thai girlfriend!

I was pissed – and yet, it’s gotta be expected I guess. People do
what they want when they want without regard to others in the USA
and it was business as usual I guess.

My girlfriend and I went upstairs and pretended to use the computer
while the 4 teachers smoked pot bowl after bowl. My girlfriend asked
me a LOT of questions. She was scared as hell. She had known victims
of the drug manhunt and probably was imagining that we were next.

Understandably.

So – we bailed out after that. Not returning… I’ve been a social recluse
since. I was told that the Filipina girl and myself were the ONLY ones
that didn’t smoke pot in the office! Not including the Thai teachers.

So, I didn’t want to hang out with anyone since my girlfriend and I do
everything together and I sure didn’t want to put either of us at risk
for some ambitious cop or neighbor with a plan to get 50,000-200,000
baht from a group of farang pot smokers.

I didn’t need the stigma attached to hanging out with them either, as
all long-term residents of TH know, the locals talk about EVERYTHING
we do. EVERYSINGLEFARKINGTHING. If you’re going out with 2 girls,
everyone knows. If you’re banging your maid, everyone knows. If you’re
smoking pot on the ferry to Koh Samui – the entire town knows and will
tell everyone that doesn’t know.

Yes, this happened too. One of our teachers from the states was smoking
bowls ON THE FERRY to Koh Samui. A Thai teacher ON the ferry saw it
and told the entire school that farang teachers from our school were
doing it.

That happened about 5 months ago. Did they smarten up? No, they
got worse.

I heard this first hand from 2 of them that were there and this is
how it was relayed to me… The two of them were at “ferry pot smoker’s”
house. I’ll call him, “Rick”. An Aussie guy acquaintance had lent Rick a
weed eater to cut the grass for a party that was to happen that next
day at the house. The guys Thai wife came, and with them came a 16
year old German kid that was here in Thailand on an exchange program.

As the wife and kid walked into the house, Rick and another teacher
were, of course, smoking pot… it’s a very regular part of their lives.

Rick asks the wife and kid if they want some Tuna Melts. They say,
sure!

Rick goes and makes some tuna melts. In the meantime the guy that
was cutting the grass came in and so there was Rick, the Aussie, the
other teacher, the wife, and the kid. The guys start smoking pot
again. The Aussie starts acting like a monkey – and blowing smoke
right into the kid’s face – and the kid is kinda freaked out. He’s trying
to avoid it, but apparently the Aussie guy is pretty belligerent about it
and blowing it repeatedly in the kid’s face.

Anyway, so they eat their tuna melts. And the kid starts flipping out.
He is having some kind of drug induced or mind-induced experience
where he thinks that Rick has laced the tuna melts with some LSD or
other drug!

Now, who is to say? I don’t know this guy THAT well to vouch for him
that he WOULD’NT do something like that. I’d like to THINK he
wouldn’t -but the whole story is very strange.

So, the kid went to the hospital and was there for 2 days. He told
EVERYONE he possibly could that Rick drugged him with the sandwiches.

He wrote internet stories about it. He told people at home. He told
doctors, nurses, and teachers from our school!

I’m sure I haven’t heard even a PORTION of the stories that have
gone on here in 9 months. I hear little since I ask little. If someone
volunteers it – I hear it.

It’s like a dream! Well, it’s a writer’s paradise anyway… so I’ll just
try to lay low until I can get the hell out of here and closer to some
sanity – maybe back to ISAAN!

ANYbody have similar experiences here? Or, if you want to write in
support of drug use here in Thailand because you’re on top of the game
write that too… tell me that I’m being paranoid…

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.