This is a disturbing story out of Pattaya’s Jomtien beach in Thailand… (below)
I don’t have an opinion on what probably happened, I’m not going to speculate what likely happened… but, it’s pretty disturbing and maybe part of a trend recently if it really was an act of revenge for the Thai man losing face over an argument about beach chairs. A guy that runs a beach chair service on the beach is a businessman. He’s out there everyday interacting with tourists that have money to burn so to speak.
Tourists in Pattaya come from all parts of the globe. They spend money on nice hotels, girls, guys and elephants. Some of the local people – guys that drive tuk-tuks, guys that rent beach chairs out for a small sum of money must have a certain resentment that builds up over time when dealing with so many foreigners, many of which are not kind… they don’t typically display the “map pen rai” attitude that the Thais’ have become accustomed to…
With the prevalence of internet use – information is shared among ALL now. Maybe it used to be that only repeat visitors really knew the prices charged for things… the bottom-line value on things like a tuk-tuk ride, beach chair, kilo of mangoes… But now – EVERYONE KNOWS the value of things in Thailand. So many tourists are “edu-micated” as Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies would have said… There’s not a lot getting past tourists now – they know the value of goods and services in Thailand. They don’t want to pay anymore than anyone else is paying. Tourists that come on a budget, or those that are especially cash-conscious can see their visit to Thailand turned into a stressful event because they are haggling over every 5 baht difference.
A Thai man that is running a business in Thailand has some pride. Even a beach chair rental guy. He’s worked in the same place, or around the same location for a number of years. Maybe he raised his kids there. He has friends there. He has a wife there. He has a reputation. He is in his own country and doing things the Thai way. Maybe he has some frustration that builds up over the years. He watches tourists come and spend more money during one week than he might make in 6 months. He sees them wear diamonds, gold, fashionable clothes… they treat themselves to the best in Thailand – because they can. To them, he thinks, 5 baht is nothing… not worth a thought. But he’s wrong…
To a Thai it might appear that this is the way tourists would be expected to think… to act… like 5 baht isn’t worth half a piss. But, in truth I know some people that can get enraged over a 5 baht slight especially when they are trying not to be “cheated” like when dealing with Thais’ that create prices on the fly… sometimes a tourist gets something for 20 baht. The next tourist – 25 baht. The next is a local, she gets it for 15 baht. The next is a guy the Thai can tell has just stepped off the plane. He is asked for 50 baht.
It’s a market economy. I really believe personally that people should pay what they agree to pay – whatever makes sense to them – and if it’s 5 baht higher than what someone else pays – that’s life. Next time in your mind you know that you too want to pay 5 baht less because you saw someone else get it for that. Your opinion changes. But, if you bought it the first time for 5 baht higher – then you agreed that it was worth it to you – or, you wouldn’t have bought it.
Oh yea, I’m frustrated if I hear that someone got something for less than I did. But I don’t give it another thought until I go and need the good or service again – then I want the lowest price I’ve heard about someone getting.
Buying rambutan for instance. My girlfriend can go and buy a kilogram for 20 baht like we did last night – with me sitting there on the motorbike in front of the guy as he gives her the price. There is no price on the fruit itself. He chooses the price. He added 5 baht from what he usually charges – because she told me he charged her 15 baht before. She wouldn’t tell me this before she bought because then it becomes an issue to me. But, afterward – mai pen rai – he made 5 more baht. I don’t cry over it. There are other reasons for fluctuations in price from day to day. The supply of rambutan here in the south fluctuates as the days go… Sometimes a guy might have a truckload. He might let them go for 10 baht per kilo. In 2 days he might be down to his last few and maybe others close in proximity to where this guy sells his rambutan don’t have many either. The prices go up.
Or, maybe the truck is nearly empty and the guy is anxious to go get another full truck of them because the next truckfull will be of the finest rambutans of the whole season. He might give you 2 kilos for 10 baht.
Buying CDROMS might be the same. Maybe the one YOU want is one that the guy doesn’t have any more of – and he sells the hell outta them. Maybe he wants 5 baht more because the demand is higher. He knows he’ll get 5 baht more from someone even if it’s not you. Why should he give it to you for 5 baht less than he could make. He’s sucking betelnut for energy, not you. You can pay 5 baht more for something you want, and if you don’t find it WORTH the extra 5 baht – don’t buy it – just go away and be happy knowing you wouldn’t pay more than it was worth to you.
Tourist attitude sucks here most times.
A guy in Pattaya on Beach road was beaten to death a little over a year ago for arguing iwth a guy about returning a music CD that didn’t work in his CD player. The CD seller didn’t take returns. Never did. Most Thai places DON’T. Never did.
This guy started yelling at the guy selling them. He was jumped by a bunch of Thais’ who beat him senseless. I think he died- though my memory of the article might be flawed… I’m pretty sure he died from it.
Over 100 baht?
How long does it take you to make 100 baht in your country? A few minutes? An hour at the very most.
This guy died for less than what it took him to make in an hour of work.
Thais’ don’t play around for certain things. Loss of face is one. You really, really need to understand the concept of face before coming here, or shortly upon arrival. There is no concept more important to you as a visitor. Get into a traffic accident and cause someone to lose face, or get drunk in a bar and cause someone to lose face… yell at a beach chair rental guy because you think he’s trying to charge you 50 more baht than is “fair”.
I’m not at all sure what happened with the two girls that were shot to death on Jomtien beach, but I’m not at all surprised if it does end up to have happened because the beach chair rental guy lost face in his home country, on his home street, surrounded by his friends, co-workers, and family…
I wouldn’t be surprised at all… I don’t agree that it’s something that SHOULD happen in Thailand – but I’m not the one writing up moral standards of behavior for the Thai people either.
I just know that the REALITY of living here shows us that Thais’ kill for things other than what foreigners kill over sometimes. The level of embarrassment one might feel during an argument for a foreigner and a Thai might be (must be) entirely different. For some Thais’ it is a catastrophic blow… a loss of face so great that only killing the offender makes it right…
Remember that next time you ride in a tuk-tuk, rent a motorbike, get into an accident, get drunk at a bar, hit on someone’s girlfriend, argue with a bargirl over what is owed to her at the end of the night, and in EVERY situation you find yourself in Thailand.
Two Russian women killed in Pattaya
Two Russian female tourists were shot and killed in a popular tourist beach resort about 100 kilometres south-east of Bangkok early Saturday, police said.
The 30- and 25-year-old women were shot by an unidentified gunman on a beach in Jomtien which is just south of the popular tourist resort town Pattaya at around 5 a.m.
Witnesses said they heard gun shots, then saw a Thai man flee the area on a motorcycle. The two women, who were staying in a nearby resort, were found dead next to beach chairs on the beach, police said.
Police found an empty Coca-Cola can, an almost empty alcoholic beverage, female shoes and a mobile phone at the scene.
Police initially suspected that the women, who checked in at the Dragon Beach Resort Hotel last Friday and planned to check out early March, were killed because of some conflict of interest in the sex business.
But officers say a local beach chair concessionaire is a possible suspect, because witnesses saw the Russian tourists quarreling with him earlier.
The press attache of the Russian Embassy in Thailand, Alexey Bulkin, confirmed Saturday the murder of two Russian women, who arrived at the Dragon Beach Resort hotel on February 16, and said an embassy official had been sent to the resort to monitor the ongoing police investigation.
Pattaya and Jomtien to its south are popular beach towns that have seen an increased number of Russian tourists in recent years.