Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One day in Pattaya

Today I happened to catch the local Pattaya news in English. It's very different to the local news back home. Here's a quick summary to give you an idea. I didn't make any of this up.

In the headline story; a bullet fell from the sky, smashed through the roof a young girl’s bedroom and hit her in the leg. From the tone of the report the family of the girl were having a hard time convincing the police they should do anything about it. As if a rain of bullets is a regular nuisance in this part of the world.

Someone nearby must have been shooting a gun in the air was the casual comment attributed to the local police. Well, yes, probably someone who really struggled in physics class in school. Perhaps they thought the bullets just float off into space? Nothing to to worry about, the police have more important matters to attend to. 

That was perhaps the craziest story of the day but this being Pattaya it had competition for the title.

On the same bulletin:

A notorious drug dealer was arrested but not until after he managed to grab the under-cover policeman who was following him, probably disguised in a mac, large glasses and false moustache, and hold him hostage. He then proceeded to dispose of the majority of his stash, presumably by flushing it down the toilet. Eventually he handed himself in without a struggle.  They have him for a few pills in his car. Oh, and for kidnapping.

A South African man shot himself in the head at the local firing range. Apparently the instructor handed him the loaded gun and he just put it to his head and pulled the trigger. That’s the story the gun club are telling anyway, it’s yet to be investigated.

Two young boys were shot, but not killed, in gang related violence.

A man was stabbed outside a restaurant after drunkenly hitting on a woman who was having dinner with her, evidently knife wielding, male friends. Seven of them grabbed him, took him outside, gave him a severe beating and stabbed him. He’s in hospital but looks likely to survive.  He’s probably trying out his lines on the nurses.

A drunk driver crashed her car and proceeded to resist all attempts to help her, verbally abusing anyone who tried.

Watching the local news here makes me think I’m wandering through life oblivious to all around me. I did meet a man in a pub with a manic look in his eye that, within the space of one game of pool, described in detail the three times he’d been stabbed and pulled up his shirt to proudly display the evidence. Needless to say I paid my tab and left. Not my kind of drinking partner.

I don’t believe in jinxes, or cursing myself, so I’m not afraid to say that I've lived here for five months without witnessing a single incident of violent or dangerously insane behaviour; except on the roads that is. I have always felt safe and unconcerned even late at night. Maybe my peripheral vision’s just really bad?  

To my friends who may be reading this. Don’t let this put you of visiting. It’s really not all that bad.

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