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The Wonderful Thai Police! - Part One    

By Ken Silver About Asia
2884 Views | 0 Comments | 9/11/2011 9:27:04 AM
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It has been said that the Thai people do not know the laws of Thailand, nor do they care. This is the wonderful difference between the Thai and American outlooks on the law and the legal system.

The Thais understand that laws are man made concepts and rules put in place out of social necessity. The Americans think laws have a life and morality of their own. “He has broken the Law! Broken the Law!”
Broken The Law!

In Thailand, its considered natural for people to want to have too much fun. Even at other peoples expense. Hence the need for laws. In America, which REALLY believes in Good and Evil, lawbreakers are considered unholy - they broke the Law! -, and certainly guilty till proven otherwise. You’ve seen the American police shows, which cast the police as the equivalent of demon exorcising priests.

There are really only four or so laws you need to know to get along well in Thailand.
1-Never disrespect the monarchy.
2-Never disrespect Buddhism and the monks and temples.
3-Don’t do drugs.
4-Make sure your girlfriends are obviously 20 years old, at least.

The Thai police know those 4 laws, and also all the other laws of Thailand. How else could they make any money off of you? And make money off of you they will, if you give them the chance.

I used to naively think that tourists were not accosted by the Thai police. Now I know better. You will have no interactions with them as long as you do not break a law, or give the appearance of breaking a law. Like sharks and beach loungers. Two different worlds.

We won’t even talk about tourists stupid enough to break the above 4 rules.

But, with the overwhelming flood of tourists into Thailand, the relative immunity of any particular tourist has vanished.

Obviously, driving a car can break all kind of traffic laws. But less officially, I have heard of expatriates arrested for harsh words to a laundry worker, and others for getting too frisky in - of all places - a girly bar.

Always remember Ken Silvers First Law - ”Never give Them an Opening,”

Be polite and cautious in your actions.

I suppose it also depends on how money hungry the particular police officer - and his all important confederates who work hand in glove to set you up - are on any particular night. Sometimes it is a pre-arranged long running trap; other times all concerned are improvising off of an initial stupidity on your part. Or, a combination of the two.

I recently had a close encounter with the Thai Police in Bangkok. It left even my steely, video game trained nerves rather tarnished; and my companion, who was the target, in shivering tears. It also left us several hundred dollars poorer. And, we were lucky. This particular officer was relatively cool and Westernized. Had it been one of the old time hardliners…

Oops! The alarm went off! Time to go lounge on the beach.

I’ll tell that story next time!




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