A Year in Bangkok – Bollocks!

2 04 2011

A drinking buddy was shot dead recently. I used to go to Poo’s bar which was closed a while ago for refurbishment. In there, I often found myself drinking with a bunch of local policemen. They were always friendly, a good laugh and keen to learn English so it was generally easy to chat with them. I still have the occasional drink with them but don’t see them very often these days. When I first got to know them, they always said ‘cheers’ and raised their glasses at every possible opportunity. I explained to them that, as an Englishman and a Yorkshire man to boot, I never say ‘cheers’. Where I come from, I told them, we say ‘bollocks’. It took them a while to get the idea but I felt a real sense of achievement one evening when, as I arrived at the bar, about a dozen policemen raised their glasses to me in unison and proudly shouted ‘borrock’! At last, I have become a proper English teacher.

Traffic policeman

The local traffic police wear incredibly tight uniforms that look as if they have been sprayed on. They must measure the policemen really carefully then issue clothes about four sizes too small. These guys are also committed socialists, dedicated to the redistribution of wealth. Any motorist caught violating a traffic law will be pulled over and given the option of being booked or paying a small cash fine. Guess what happens to that. The same thing goes on at all levels, for example bar owners may pay to be ignored for staying open late. The payment varies according to the number of customers they have. I have often heard this referred to as the ‘social tax’.

When Poo’s bar closed, most of the guys moved to an open air beer garden on the corner of Soi Thong Lor and Petchburi Road. One Saturday night a bunch of them, a little worse for drink, started fighting. As it was getting serious, the owner called the local police station for help. All police here are armed and, when help arrived, one of the drinkers pulled his gun. Nobody is sure whether he was serious or not but the guys who came to sort things out weren’t taking any chances and he was shot dead. Will there be any sort of inquiry into the shooting? No, but they have changed the head of the local station and the new man in charge closed all the bars in the immediate vicinity of the beer garden for a week. I’m not entirely sure what that will achieve but maybe it is more beneficial than teaching Thai policemen to say ‘bollocks’.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: