German Beaten by Patong Beach Phuket Tuk Tuk Drivers – Is Thailand Safe?

You probably think I’m going to rant and rave about how Thais are beating the hell out of a farang that didn’t deserve it.

Nope.

I don’t know what happened in this latest incident, and neither do you. Do you realize how dorked up information can get by the time it reaches the press?

It’s 11pm in Patong Beach. The German guy that was beat up – and his wife, were both drunk (so the story says). They refused to pay a 200 baht fare for going about 800 meters in a tuk-tuk. The German guy insisted he was only paying 100 THB. Now, maybe that’s what they had agreed to before they got into the tuk-tuk, and maybe not. Maybe the German guy said – 100 THB – the tuk-tuk driver said, “OK”.

They took off, the tuk-tuk guy dropped them off where they wanted (Tai Pan Disco) and said – “200 Baht”. The German guy, not understanding that this is a typical Tuk-Tuk ploy, telling each passenger at the end of the ride that it was agreed upon to give 100 THB for EACH passenger, not both. The German guy insists he’s not giving more than 100 THB. He pushes the Thai guy down supposedly – and well, that’s a real dumb move when in Thailand and surrounded by Thais in Patong Beach at 11 pm at night. Actually, that’s a dumb fucking move anywhere you are in the world over 3 dollars. You’d have to be a complete idiot to do something like that over 100 THB. If it’s true, how that guy ever made it into his 50’s is well beyond me.

This German guy is in the hospital with a bleeding brain because of $3 fucking dollars USD. Hello? Anybody home?

Not to call the German guy a dumbass – because I don’t know how the deal really went down, but, when you come to Thailand you can expect to:

1. Have differences of opinion.

2. Have misunderstandings.

3. Pay more than you want to sometimes because you don’t understand the country and how things work.

That’s just the reality of it. If the German guy had said, loudly – 100 THB for both my wife and myself to go to Tai Pan. The Thai guy probably wouldn’t have tried to get 200 THB. That’s just my experience. I’ve never had a problem in this area… guys I know that have lived in Thailand for some time – also understand the game, and they don’t leave the deal hanging in the air – they clarify – and make it very clear – it’s 100 THB for “ALL OF US” or me and my friend, or whatever it is.

Because this German couple didn’t understand the game, it isn’t their fault either. The Tuk-Tuk guy could have explained – or tried – and that’s the best he could do. Do tuk-tuk guys try to get 100 THB off tourists when they can – sure they do sometimes.

Farangs that get violent with Thais first – never cease to amaze me. Just what the hell do you have to be smoking or shooting up to hit a Thai person first and then think you’re going to walk away a winner?

Not going to happen, not in this lifetime, and this German guy may yet find that out.

It’s a sad state of things in Patong Beach, Pattaya, for sure. These kinds of stupid interactions between tourists and taxi-drivers don’t need to be happening. Someone should straighten shit out down there. For the ultimate resource on the island, read more about Phuket here.

Will it happen?

Hell no.

Not in my lifetime, or yours.

Is Thailand safe?

You’re safe as a kitten here if you’re not foolish and take a lot of time to study up on how things work in Thailand. You’re safe as a kitten if you’re not prone to overheating over $3 USD. You’re safe as a kitten if you’re not taking chicks, ladyboys or guys back to your hotel, condo, or house. You’re safe as a kitten if you’re not marrying a bargirl or someone else to whom money is everything. You’re safe as a kitten if you’re watching your drink at all times. You’re safe as a kitten if you understand how Thais drive – as  a fellow driver, and a pedestrian. You’re safe as a kitten if you don’t drink the water. You’re safe as a kitten if you watch out for exposed electrical boxes and wires. You’re safe as a kitten if you don’t overdo the Viagra or Kamagra. You’re safe as a kitten if you’re not walking with your purse exposed to motorbike thieves. You’re safe as a kitten if you…

The story – >

Aussie’s Car Shot at in Chiang Mai?

I didn’t see anything of this in Thailand – sure I miss stuff, but this seems like a big deal.

*****
Melbourne teacher’s car allegedly shot at in Thailand
Posted July 12, 2011 08:18:00
A Melbourne teacher was treated in hospital after her car was allegedly shot at during a school trip in the north of Thailand.
Two teachers, from Ringwood Secondary College, were travelling in a car near Chiang Mai when the front windscreen shattered on Sunday.
One of the teachers, Lynda Cody, suffered a minor injury to the back of her head.
Thai police are investigating the incident and told the teachers their car may have been shot at.
The teachers were escorting a group of students to Thailand, but none of the students was in the vehicle.
They are due to return home on Wednesday.
The assistant principal has travelled to Thailand to provide support for the teachers.

I found it here:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/12/3267233.htm?site=melbourne

Update – apparently the woman was shot in the back of the head… luckily the bullet passed through glass and the headrest first before striking her! Christ, now we have this to worry about in Thailand?

Is Thailand Safe – 2009 – 2010 Season?

Is Thailand Safe for the 2009-2010 Season?

Tourist season is in full swing – and it’s not that swinging yet. I wonder what the outside interpretation of Thailand as a safe place to visit in 2009-2010 is…

From inside the country – it’s business as usual. The violence from the deep south has yet to spread to other provinces, and Prime Minister Abhisit seems to even be entertaining the idea of giving autonomy to those that are killing for it. Probably that would be a great way to have the country rally behind him as prime minister. Well, more people than are now.

Thailand always seems safe from the inside. I don’t know any tourists or resident expats that are nervous about going out and enjoying whatever city they happen to be in. I know a number of people in Bangkok and nobody has mentioned anything to me about not feeling safe in Bangkok or Thailand as a whole.

From outside the country the violence that stopped months ago seems still fresh in their minds. The news of your home country probably replayed it over and over – maybe more so than here in Thailand as they don’t like to scare the tourists that are in the country.

I haven’t heard about any new updates at the foreign embassies calling now an unsafe time to visit Thailand.

Things are rather stable at the moment – at least all appearances are that. The country is waiting on good things from Abhisit. Thaksin’s contingent is not all that patient and really would love to usher in another Thaksin Prime Minister era. I really believe we’ll get there within a year. He’ll return and do a hell of a job this time – hopefully without corruption since there will be a serious need for transparency if he does make it back into office.

Is Thailand unsafe for this tourist season?

I’ll say what I usually say when I write one of these safe/unsafe articles about Thailand…

Today Thailand appears pretty safe. You can come and visit and have a blast. You can stay in Bangkok and where ever you like in the entire country except the deep southern provinces.

In a week – who knows if Thailand will be safe or not? Nobody knows. I can guess that we’re going to have a safe couple months as this tourist season gets up and running and passes.

After that? No idea how safe Thailand will be at that point. Ask me then…

Sunday Night Violence in Southern Provinces: 27 BOMBS!

Wow, I missed this until Tuesday night, and I’d already posted a couple things online at the site – didn’t want to clutter it up and have nobody see this. But, it runs the risk of being another 12 hours out of date if I wait until Wednesday morning…

Sunday was a day from hell in the Southern provinces…

27 bombs went off

16 arson cases

3 shootings

5 tire traps laid with spikes in them to stop cars.

53 injuries

7 persons died

Then, there’s something from a General who “fears attacks may come to Bangkok”…

paraphrased from BKK post

First Region Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha condemned southern insurgents responsible for the Sunday night bombings and arson attacks in the deep South, saying that they “attack people from behind.”

Lt-Gen Prayuth said the attacks caused him to worry about possible attacks in the central region, especially in Bangkok.

The concern was shared by Council for National Security chairman Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who told security agencies to watch out for possible attacks during the Songkran festival in April.

Lt-Gen Prayuth added that there were still gaps in cooperation between soldiers and police, which cause tracking down of suspects to be slower.

He added that the army would step up security measures at locations where arms and weapons were stored to prevent insurgents from breaking in and stealing the weapons.


*************************************************************

HUH?

They’re going to step up security measures at locations where arms and weapons were stored to prevent insurgents from breaking in and stealing the weapons?

Have they done that in the past?

I am so amazed at what makes it into the Thai newspapers and on television. The things in bold above are things that I really can’t believe were said.

It’s like this country is being run by a bunch of clowns. Is this what the Thais’ like to hear – does this make them feel better that they’re going to step up security at the ammo depots so the insurgents don’t try to break in and steal some weapons?

They’re using arson, simple pistols and rifles, and bombs. Why would they need to break into a secured area to reveal who they are and risk being shot at? That’s a high profile risk they don’t need to take. They have weapons. They have fire. Cavemen had fire! They have bombs that are detonated by cell-phones. Why do they need to break in somewhere to steal ammo and weapons?

Thailand is completely unprepared for anything going on in the south. They continue to let teachers, monks, government workers, and children die in the streets in ambushes, arson, bombings, and being set on fire while alive.

They have made serious errors of judgement in the past, and are making more daily – mostly by ignoring what is going on. When was the last major effort that we heard about? What happened? It’s all ignored so the Junta and others in positions of power can save face.

I wrote something else about how to solve the problem of the south in another post, I’ll provide a link to it below. It’s a half-hearted attempt to show that if Thailand got tough, really tough, and also really realistic – they could solve the problem or 95% of the problem in about 30 days.

Thailand doesn’t CARE about the South – a plan for resolving the Southern Thailand crises >

Another short article about violence in Thailand’s Southern provinces

Southern Thailand Violence >

Southern Thailand Violence: Future thoughts

Southern Thailand violence, future thoughts

This is one of the things that really amazes me here. How
much Thais’ will ignore in order to save face. For the small
stuff, yah, I’m all for it. I’ve been trying to assimilate that into my behavior too – what’s the point in identifying everyone’s faults and getting everything on the table if you know someone is going to lose face for it?

In the USA I grew up pointing out everyone’s faults. It’s like a national pasttime. Something that is of great concern to people. Here – Mai pen rai… forget it… nevermind… If someone brings up something that makes another lose face there is a weird state of dynamics that goes on in the room, maybe a smile – depending on how bad it looked. Thais’ sense the loss of face very acutely. I’m still trying to figure it out. But, when everyone gets quiet and ignores what I said, I know I’ve faux pas’ed and I try to move on too.

What’s REALLY frustrating is that on a national level and INTERNATIONAL level, Thailand does the same thing. Ignore things.

How the people of Thailand can ignore the terrorism going on in the south everyday is anyone’s guess. I just don’t “get it” at all. It’s sickening really. Men, women, children, Buddhist monks, teachers, women teachers, old men teachers, anyone really – nobody is sacred or off limits to these cheeseheads…

These people are dying in really horrible ways. Usually drive by shootings as they go to or return from work. Usually teachers I believe. Well, those are the ones the media reports often. I really think that something can be done, but it’s fast spiraling out of control. Well, fast now. It’s been going on for years and nothing “good” has been done to resolve it – so now it’s picking up momentum and with the addition of terrorists from other areas – terrorists that know what the hell their doing – things could get REALLY bad for Thailand  soon.

Thailand’s leaders would continue to suffer some MAJOR FACE LOSS if they continued to confront the problem with half-azzed ideas that don’t work at all. They HAVE tried some things – but from what I read, the follow-through is just not there. The competence to get something real achieved is just
not there.

There is an attempt to something – they announce it in the papers. They go there, they attempt. It fails. They don’t continue. They “mai pen rai” it and hope it goes away. Usually it does. I don’t see in the news or newspapers that the journalists are bringing up the failures – and asking – WHERE ARE WE GOING now? That’s just not “Thai”.

So, Thailand is coasting down a path leading to some SERIOUS SHITE in the future. The possibility for escalation of the violence to other areas is quite real at this point. The terrorists in the south believe that nothing is really changing even with what they are doing. Radical organizations do radical things. If this isn’t radical enough – think of where it could go.

Phuket, Ko Samui, Railay Beach, Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai. If they went into ONE major tourist spot like Patong beach – can you imagine what would
happen to tourism here?

Sure the whoremongers would still arrive in droves. Nothing can stop a viagra-fueled raging whoremonger.

But, there are lots of backpackers and even families that come to Thailand to relax. Nobody can relax with the threat of bombs blowing your leg off as you
eat dinner (reference to expat’s leg blowing off at dinner in Bangkok on New Years Eve 2007).

I’m really hoping that the elections come off this year as the ruling Junta is promising. Nothing is a good promise here – I’ve learned that. NOTHING can be taken as a meaningful promise between any two people or between anyone. It’s just not worth counting on. In America – a promise is usually a
promise. It happens. Here – uhm, that’s not been my experience.

So, hopefully Thailand will act in some way that will reduce the craziness in the south before it spreads to the other provinces. It’s bad enough that it’s happening in the south and so many innocent people are dying – just for going to teach or to perform other government jobs…. or to be a monk…

If this spreads before it’s stopped – as I’m guessing it will – Thailand is in for maybe it’s ugliest era in the course of it’s history!

:(