Thai New Year
Thai New Year (Sonkran) festivities begin Tomorrow and for the following Three Days all Thai’s will be very wet,both internally and externally. Thai’s love to Party and Sonkran in Thailand must be what Carnival in Rio is,a riotous Piss Up!! Yours truly will be spending most of Sonkran at home as after One’s first Sonkran the Novelty rather wears off and being constantly drenched with gallons of water,much of it Icy Cold can get a little tiresome!!
As happens in Europe and America at Christmas all Thai’s try to come home for Thai New year. Train, bus and Air tickets are sold out.Yesterday I made a trip in my Car to a Town about 120 Kilometers from here on the way back the Main Road was far busier than normal and judging by the driving on display some of the Thai’s had started the Festivities early!! Regarding the above Thailand’s Road deaths,already Criminally high will increase Tenfold over the Sonkran Holiday.
As is usual the Thai Police have made sure that they will have plenty of Money to buy their Thai New Year Whiskey by organizing lots of extra Road Blocks into which stream Lemming like hundreds of motorcyclist’s most of them not wearing helmets for which offense the Police levy a 200 Baht Fine.One has to admit that Thai’s must be some of the most difficult people in the World to Police,if a Thai does not want to do something then he will not do it.This behavior of course suits the Police very well as if motorcyclist’s complied with the Law it would remove one of their favorite Money making opportunities!!
Staying with the the Upholders of Justice it appears that the Thai Police,ever resourceful, have come up with a new Cash Generating Wheeze. My Swedish Mates Thai Girl-Friend finds all kinds of interesting Tit Bits on Facebook. A very angry Thai Man has posted of his experiences following filling his Motorcycle up with Gas one evening. As the Pump Attendant was replacing the Fuel Cap the rider had noticed him drop something into the tank.
Upon leaving the Gas Station the Rider immediately stopped,opened the fuel tank and fished out a small sealed plastic bag,assuming the contents to be Narcotics he threw the bag away.Sure enough he had traveled only a few hundred yards when he was stopped by the Police.Going through the motions of searching rider and bike the Police of course fully expected to pull the drugs out of the fuel tank with a flourish. One can imagine their annoyance when all they found in the petrol tank was petrol.With extreme reluctance the Police had little choice other than to let the Man go.
In response to his posting on FB the Motorcyclist received many responses from people who had been entrapped in the same manner as he almost was.It transpires the Police were demanding payment of between 10 or 15 Thousand Baht to avoid being charged with Drug trafficking!! Good old social Media is giving a voice to Thai’s who may have risked a bullet in the back of the Head had they complained too loudly to too many people about the Highway Robbery being perpetrated by the Cops .
As was the case with the Authorities trying to keep a lid on the Arab Spring it appears that the Genie is well and truly out of the Bottle regarding the antics of the Thai Police.Many Thai’s with grievances against the Police (that would be everyone living in Thailand!!) now have an opportunity to vent their anger. The Police of course must be feeling rather nervous as they have absolutely no way of countering this Groundswell of criticism.
One imagines that if Public anger is to be assuaged the Government (who have been, until now perfectly happy to let the Police do as they please,as kickbacks from this hugely profitable franchise are received at the very highest levels ) may be forced to do some Housekeeping!! There have been previous attempts to curb Police Corruption but non ever come to anything, it will be interesting to see what happens this time.
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