It hasn’t stopped raining for the last couple of days here in Koh Phangan. Last night the wind was so fierce it blew a piece of roof off of my bungalow. There was also an amazing electrical storm looking across the water to Koh Samui. Fortunately, where I am staying is right on the sand and they don’t have any problems with flooding.
The flooding in Nakhon Si Thammarat province in southern Thailand has now claimed seven lives.
The rain has given me a chance to catch on the latest news from Thailand – 20 foreign tourists were robbed while sleeping on an overnight bus to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, in what sounds like a scam organized with a Khao San tour agency. As tourism drops in Thailand and the economy flounders, I think you can expect to see some Thais getting more desperate.
Harry Nicolaides from Australia is currently sitting in a Thai jail awaiting trial for a book he wrote, which has been deemed insulting to the Thai Royal family. The book he wrote was self-published which has only sold about seven copies. Last year I wrote about a Swiss man that was sentenced to 10 years jail for defacing a picture of the King, but later received a royal pardon.
I love reading some of the blogs written by expats in Thailand. Many foreigners (mostly men) seem to lose all common sense when they come to Thailand, in either buying a business/property or getting married to a Thai lady, usually half their age. Frogblog has two such stories, Dave who bought a bar from his girl-friend’s auntie and Alain who married an “exotic dancer” half his age after meeting her on a fortnight’s holiday in Thailand.
Here is Dave’s story:
Dave bought a bar from Nok’s auntie. Nok’s auntie somehow contrived to get him to agree to buy the business without using lawyers. Buddhist temple-sized warning bells should have sounded straight away, but Nok convinced him that this was the way things are done in Thailand. Dave happily signed on the dotted line for a bar – greatly resembling the one in the photo below – for the nice round figure of £10,000. Not so bad, you reckon? Well bear in mind that he was only buying the business, not the land or the property itself, with a four year lease – and there was a sizeable monthly rental to pay.
And poor old Alain:
48 year old recent divorcee Alain had been in Thailand for a fortnight during the summer. By the time he was on his way back to France, exotic dancer Took had sworn her undying loyalty to him, and he to her. Some 600 euros were henceforth transferred monthly to Took, whose buffalo and relatives remained in surprisingly fine health until his return in October. Then just last week Took had reluctantly and tearfully revealed to him that she was actually still married, and that her long-awaited divorce had not yet come through.
Of course misguided love stories aren’t restricted to Thailand, here’s one from Australia:
A woman who tricked a man into thinking she had ovarian cancer to extort around $35,000 for cosmetic surgeries has narrowly avoided jail time.
The court was told the man, a married father-of-one who cannot be named, met Carlin on dating website Adult Match Maker and wanted to start a sexual relationship.
But Carlin spurned his physical advances and instead told him she had cancer and needed $18,000 for life-saving diabetes surgery.
The man began depositing large sums of money into Carlin’s bank account, which she then used for breast implants and liposuction.