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The week that was in Thailand news: Throwing the toys out of the pram

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The week that was in Thailand news: Throwing the toys out of the pram

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Thailand went back to school this week, but everyone was behaving like children. So why shouldn’t I!

Once again it was shown that the Thais will never, ever grow up. Evidence of this fact was prevalent all over the news pages of Thaivisa. Additionally, in a week when foreign retirees got what many saw as a further nail in their Thai coffin, “guests” of the Kingdom joined in the fun with dozens of forum curmudgeons behaving just as childlike as the Thai adults they so frequently choose to admonish. 

They did this via the comments section of the stories few had actually read. Maybe they can’t read or get stuck by more characters than Twitter allows. If that is you stop right here and go directly to comments without passing “Go” or even picking up your pension. If not “‘Read’ on MacDuff, And damn’d be him that first cries ‘Hold, enough!'”

Leading the way for the Thai version of childishness was the appalling reenactment of the rape of the Norwegian tourist on Koh Phangan. 

How much better it would have been if the police on the holiday island had just made their quick arrest, which it was, and – quietly – basked in the fact that they had actually done their job for once. No….that would be far too adult.

Instead they paraded the suspect with his handcuffs “Vaselined-out” as he starred with a Thai woman wearing an absurd, bright and ill-fitting blonde wig. She looked like a grotesque parody of soon to be prime minister Boris Johnson. This was clearly designed to show us idiots what a 26 year old female Norwegian victim looks like…..

The suspect was then taken to the beach where he was egged on to “mount” this bewigged creature as leering and jeering officials from the governor to the local head of police looked on with smiles on their faces. Faeces more like.

I’ve seen a thousand lurid reenactments in Thailand but this one took the biscuit. All that was missing were the relatives of the unfortunate victim having a pop at “Ai Moss” – that would have really got the puerile reporters into a frenzy. 

Frankly, I hope the 26 year old lady was not following the news. No one would blame her for going home and trying to forget all about Thailand where not only was she the victim of a serious crime perpetrated by a jailbird who should have been rotting inside, but one whose case was treated with such scandalous and unnecessary razzamatazz and frivolity. 

It was as if Big Joke was going to pop out of the Phangan undergrowth with a vinyl board under his arm and his BBF Prawit was going to endorse Rolex with a few smiles for the cameras. Nothing would surprise Rooster anymore in this land of baby-faced showmanship. 

To the victim I would like to apologize on behalf of this nation. They know not what they do. 

Compounding the childishness, and lack of thought, was the shopper at Makro who said that she always left her young son in the car playing on a phone while she did the shopping. He got trapped inside and fell asleep – he could have been dead in the heat for all she cared. Next time I suggest that he do the shopping and you, “Khun Mae” stay in the car, it’ll do everyone a favor especially if you pass out.

Have these people not read the stories of how little ones left in vehicles can die within minutes in the extraordinary heat? Yes, the air-con was on but what if he turned off the engine or it fell silent. When does a parent in this country grow up enough to have children…..I know I’m a fine one to talk, but at least I care about safety. 

Then we had another parent adding insult to infant injury. She not only left her kid in the car but had the sheer temerity to ask for money from a woman who slightly damaged her vehicle trying to save him. Surely it’s time to introduce a voluntary sterilization program just in case they pass on any more genes….

As ridiculous as these stories were the reaction to the cabinet decision to impose mandatory health insurance on long term visitors to Thailand was just as child-like. For page after tedious page the forum went round in circles as tantrums were displayed that would get even a pacifist’s child slapped. 

Xenophobia they screamed. Another nail in my coffin, they yelled. What do they want, blood?, they bleated. I’m off, Panama here I come. Don’t wipe your feet on the way out…blah blah blah….

Actually the Thais just want you to be able to pay for your healthcare and stop sponging on their system by not paying your bills. A system that most people living the so called dream in Thailand have never paid into.  

And before you castigate Rooster for being an “I’m all right Jack” Thai resident I’ll have you know that I have money in the bank legitimately earned in Thailand – on which I paid 22% tax to the tune of millions of baht.  Money that I keep aside to pay for my health care should it be needed. I’m a long term Thai resident but have no more right to free or cut price treatment than retirees do. The difference is I’m not complaining – I happen to love it here even if I do throw my toys out of the pram from time to time.

We all know that the vocal majority on Thaivisa are the tip of an unpleasant iceberg. There are many good people who think clearly, have reasoned opinions and weigh up their options when news like this is announced. It’s just a pity that usually they keep themselves to themselves. If they do take to the comments section they are drowned out in childish bawling by people who profess to be in the know. People who conclude their banal statements with sentence finishers like “End Of”. 

The real nature of the good and thoughtful people on Thaivisa was borne out by the results of a Thaivisa straw poll that suggested that two thirds of respondents actually agreed with the cabinet’s proposals. (A survey that only served to inspire yet more posters to throw out yet more “khong len” from those prams).

It is perfectly reasonable that long stay visitors to Thailand – even retirees – should have medical insurance and it should be compulsory. Or they should have the means  – through millions of baht not just a few hundred thousand – to pay for their care. Why would you expect to do anything else coming half way round the world to a foreign country when you are over 70, 60 or even 50?

Most of the negative reaction comes from Thaivisa’s 40% ageing British clientele. They got used to the National Health Service from their Nanny State and are now horrified that the authorities in the UK are perpetually trying to deny them healthcare in the land of their birth because they have moved abroad. Suck it up folks and do something about that rather than whinging like so many spoiled brats and taking it out on Thailand.

Other posters who should know better are those who profess to know about medical issues. These come crawling out of the cyber woodwork making it appear that TV is populated by none other than doctors with nurses for wives. Here they were on a story about blood infected with HIV at Bumrungrad and a thread started by someone who ghoulishly asked if they knew people who had died from HIV/AIDS. 

Childish playground-style spats resulted between supposed adults over who knows more about the transmission of HIV, the likelihood of getting the virus, the costs of treatment and the outcomes for those who end up needing treatment. Why go onto such forums when you know nothing – is it fun for you to scaremonger? Won’t your Thai missus listen to you or can’t you communicate with her in Thai? Either way, please keep your frustrations to yourself.

It is dangerous regurgitating interminable claptrap online whether it is xenophobic bashing of Thai people or the spouting of unsubstantiated or out-of-date drivel regarding medical issues. Just give it a rest. Take a “bex” or talk to the next person on the bar stool. 

By this point I’m sure many readers, if they haven’t turned to mumsy in disgust, are going to comments to complain. So I’d better switch to having another go at the Thais….then maybe they’ll feel better….

What was the following parent thinking? This was the immigration policeman in Pattaya who let his five year old wander out onto the corridor balcony high up in the hotel while he slept. She lived which was of course wonderful in the normal, human response kind of way. But tragic in that she must likely return to that so-called father who showed scant regard for her welfare. 

Meanwhile, Thais were implored by the Labor Department to continue to rat on foreigners for doing their jobs. What nonsense; much of the low wage jobs are done by migrants because the locals are too lazy to work for minimum wage. Get out there and do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pocket-money. You’ll feel better for it and mummy and daddy might buy you a fake chocolate Beng-Beng from Sewen.

Which brings me neatly onto the German guy called Mr Max who was helping out his Thai wife in Pak Chong at the family BBQ stall selling chicken while the wife’s mum was ill. Stop telling me that he needs a work permit and get a bloomin’ life. Read the story. The guy was back in Thailand while his wife gave birth in her hometown – why shouldn’t he help out the family? It’s called being human. 

Show me one case where a foreigner was doing such a casual thing and got prosecuted or thrown out of Thailand. I promise to investigate and put it at the top of the news for all to see. Yes, I thought so. You don’t have any do you – it’s just your childish imagination that wants to score points even though you have not a shred of evidence.

With Rooster’s ranting reaching record rage levels – the “R’s you don’t learn in Thai school and the toys scattered far and wide – it may be best to digress to a few more gentler topics before my Bad Manners cause me to Buster Bloodvessel. But let’s continue with the theme of children, they like a good joke too….

A Democrat – remember those that used to have a political party in Thailand – said it was time to do away with school uniforms in LOS. That sounded like the the most childish suggestion of some junior high student council. Stop uniforms in Thailand? Stop them in schools? Are you serious….the next thing you’ll be talking about is educational reform or, shock horror, training the teachers to teach! Silly boy! Go home and write 100 lines: “I must wear Khaki”. 

Then there were all the irate Thai netizens – who invariably have a collective mental age that would make retirees look young – who signed a petition calling for the embalmed body of child eating cannibal Si Quey to be given a decent burial rather than kept on show at the Sirirat Medical Museum. Please…..don’t these so called adults know that stories of the “Bogey Man” are used by us parents to keep the little ones in their place…..without it we are powerless to refuse their requests for iPads and iPhones when they are still six but have already learned to control us. 

Leave Si Quey on display – in fact get some other glass cases prepared so we can display members of the junta if they ever do us the honor of dying. Now that would be scary. 

Parent to child in 2050: “Johnny do your homework or we’ll leave you alone with the General”.

Apropos Big Too told us this week that he would do “better and better” if called upon to front the next government. Like a child he assumes that we now accept that he was “called upon” before. You weren’t and you haven’t been now. And you can stick all your massive infrastructure projects up your junta. Those were envisioned before you came along to claim the credit.

One such project is the much vaunted High Speed Rail project linking Don Muang, Suwannaphum and U-Tapao via that lovely family resort called Pattaya. This week Thailand’s richest man – Dhanin Chearavanont, who is really a grocer – proposed to build it with some mates. I hope he knows his railways tracks from his onions. Rooster will be glad if he takes some of the cars off the road as I shall be driving to the Eastern Seaboard in the first ten years of the railway’s operation just to be on the safe side. Fancy saying that on Thailand’s roads!

Talking of QUOTES – the Queen Of The Eastern Seaboard – Sophon TV banged on about the state of the beach with all the speedboat operators refusing to use what is commonly known as a pier in preference for the sand to moor their boats. The authorities in Pattaya have shown as much sense of advance planning as a newborn in hopelessly underestimating demand at Bali Hai. Now they are left high and dry with an almighty mess.

Nearly as much mess, in fact, as the British man who jumped from the sixth floor to the first on Thursday afternoon at Central Festival. Thai media claimed that Central had trained their staff to mop up and get the shoppers back without waiting for police or rescue services to arrive. 

I mean it is not as if they can do anything and who cares about the law anyway. Shift the corpse to hospital and be damned about any regulations. We have money to think about.

Besides, rules are for children and their teachers, aren’t they?

Rooster

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