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Random Foreigners Being attacked by gangs

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Gadfly: "It is not a question of the validity of this comparison, but the relevance and significance of the comparison."


Since I have visited and lived in both Jamaica and Thailand I felt a comparison was in order. They are both different, yet have many things in common. I believe you read it the wrong way comparing an American and Jamaican visitors experiences in Thailand.


I can only relate what I have seen, and not what a random Jamaican would see....read the comparison as one Americans experience in one part of the world contrasted with another part of the world. If you cannot see the logic in my comparison it's OK....I don't care to explain it further, I thought it stood on it's own without explanation.


I am in agreement with cent [well put by the way] and also agree with suadum that while random attacks may exist there are [in my words not his] a whole butt load of dumb guys who get set up and are either too dumb or too proud to make the connection.....and I'm fine with that too.


The more easy marks getting set up, ripped off, disrespected, etc. lets me slide in and out of the scene anon, unnoticed, low key, and with out incident. I see them bumbling about all the time.


Note that 'newbie' and 'easy mark' are not always the same thing.

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Actually I agree with most, but not all, of what you say (and even some of what suadum says). But I look at things a bit differently. Follow my logic for a moment:


You are comparing (a) the combat zone of Boston with (B) the Farang oriented bar zones in Thailand, saying that the Farang oriented bar zones in Thailand are much safer than a very dangerous area in the US. (I think I fairly summed up you're position in that one sentence, but if you don't think so, I am sure you will let us know.) I agree, and I said so above: when you compare very dangerous areas in the US to the Farang oriented bar zones in Thailand, the Farang oriented zones probably aren't so dangerous.


But I also said that this a form of 'damning with faint praise'. Or, to apply my measure to your comparison: when you say that the Farang oriented bar zones of Thailand are safe compared to Boston's old combat zone, you aren't saying much.


The overall homocide rate - the best measure of violence - is much higher in Thailand than in the US. The stats are posted above. Making matters worse, homocide is systematically underreported in Thailand, which means the actual difference is far greater than these official figures indicate.


I don't think these should be controversial statements and have trouble understanding why some (I am not saying you) seem to dispute these statements so vehemently. Most middle class Thais I know would agree with this and Thailand's Chief forensic scientist, Khunying Dr. Pornthip, certainly shares this view.


Now let's take the analysis a step further. The level of violence and crime in the US varies dramatically. A few areas are extremely dangerous, while most of the US is relatively safe. Recall the kid that was canned in Singapore. We all saw lots of news reports about how safe Singapore was. What got less press is that the area where this kid grew up - and most middle class areas in the US - is much safer than that supposed paragron of safety - Singapore.


The point here is that most of the US is relatively safe even when measured by Singapore standards. And if an area is safe by Singapore standards, it is very safe by the standards of Thailand.


I am sure there are exceptions here, but I strongly suspect most members here grew up in these sorts of areas - areas that are, when you follow the logic, much safer than Thailand. If someone here grew up in middle class America, this is almost certainly true given the facts.


This is why I think Thailand is - relative to where most of us come from - dangerous. This is also why I think a comparison with Jamica is irrelevant. Few, if any of us, live in Jamica.


Thailand may be safe by the standards of Jamica, Somalia, South Central LA, and Boston's old combat zone, but that doesn't mean there isn't violence against Farangs in Thailand. It simply means that when you measure the level of violence against an extremely violent place, Thailand doesn't look so bad. But so what?


And there certainly is violence against Farangs in Thailand. I have lived here for 12 years, and I have read the repeated reports of Farang suicides that sound very dubious to me. A "suicide" in a rather famous Soi 4 hotel where a Farang was found with his hands handcuffed behind his back and a plastic bag over his head. Farangs "jumping off" of balconies in Pattaya with bullet wounds to their head. In Thailand you repeatedly see stories about this sort of violence involving Farangs.


I don't know of any stats on dubious Farang suicides, but here is one rough measure: you will see plenty of stories about these sorts of dubious "suicides" in Thailand, but when you are in the US, you don't see many (if any) stories where people dying under these circumstances are called "suicides". That says something; it is compelling.


Is Thailand relatively safe compared to high crime zones in the US? It probably is. But is that really relevant? Isn't it really a case of damning with faint praise?

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gadfly said


"Is Thailand relatively safe compared to high crime zones in the US?"[/color]


Where I live in the US, it is one of the largest, if not largest 'highways' for drugs in the US. But it is also a 'gateway' to the US for illegal aliens and a tourist city and convention city. The tourist, for the most part, are not aware of the dangers in the city. They just do not know unless they read in the paper about 1 and 1/2 tons of pot being seized in a drug raid and then connect that point to the fact it is on page 10 of the newspaper.


Many of the readers of this board stay in well defined areas of Thailand when they are living here or visiting here. Very few people have ventured out into the real Thailand at night. Probably several board members will say that to do so is suicidal but that is exactly how peope in my city in the US cope with the crime.


Gauge the crime fear index by how people react to going to certain places in either city. I know my self, there are more places I would go to in my city in the US then in Bangkok.




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Suadam said:

"The problem here is that guys like you think in absolutes, black & white, where I see things in shades of gray."


I haven't been talking in black and white.


The random vioence that was directed toward me was posted on this board to substantiate that random violence does get directed toward farangs. If you reread that original thread on this subject, I defended that position using myself and another farang who got attacked (robbed and left to die) in the same area where they tried robbing me.

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