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Thai Con Artists ruin holidays


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I am always suprised just how cheery and almost gloatfull these seasoned ex-pats are

 

Stan' date=' glad to have your input since I was thinking it was just me. We'll see how smug they are when they are the fool everyone is laughing at. Throw in the expats who gloat, cheer and ridicule those whose visa strategy just got axed (happens on another message board).

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There is a passage on page 207 in Jake Needhamâ??s â??Killing Platoâ?? that I think describes this farang â??som nom naâ?? attitude to other farang getting ripped off. Here it is, and I think it hits on this pretty good on a couple of levels. I hope Jake would not mind my using this short passage from his excellent book as an example of this attitude. Here's the quote:

 

â??The Thai press generally uses phrases such as â??the farang communityâ?? to refer collectively to Bangkokâ??s non-Thai residents, but the truth is that there is neither anything particularly collective nor community-like about foreigners in Bangkok. On the contrary, most foreigners in Bangkok hate most other foreigners in Bangkok, and many of them go out of their way to inflict whatever harm they can on each other.

My own residency was only a couple weeks along when I started noticing the whole phenomenon. I began calling it the Jungle Jim syndrome, since the whole business rekindled childhood memories of a television series I used to watch every Saturday morning when I was about ten years old.

The series told the tale of a suitably strong and naturally quite handsome white guy whose name was Jungle Jim. He lived in some nameless country in Africa, and he spent his weekend mornings having adventures in the jungle and rescuing people in distress, frequently damsels with quite amazing hooters straining against their tight blouses. The natives whom Jungle Jim encountered in the course of all these adventures respected him because he was a decent and honorable guy and, in return, he treated the natives he met with an equal degree of respect.

But that was not to say that Jungle Jim had no human enemies. A frequently recurring plot line was Jungle Jimâ??s arrival in some isolated village where he would find a couple of old European traders already living happily among the locals. They were usually Dutch, for some reason, perhaps because they had funny accents. Regardless, these traders were inevitably grizzled old drunks who were working on all kinds of evil schemes for swindling the natives, but they were still living among them like kings and pulling all the babes since the locals didnâ??t know what pathetic losers they actually were.

When Jungle Jim arrived on the scene, of course, all that changed. The attention and loyalty of the natives shifted instantly from the old traders to Jungle Jim, not only because he was clean-cut and handsome and decent, but also because he was â?¦ well, new.

At first the old traders inevitably claimed to want to make some kind of common cause with Jungle Jim, but by the end of the show you always discovered that it was these jokers, not the locals, who were Jungle Jimâ??s real enemies. His arrival at the village had put the continuation of their little scam at risk. The original white guys on the scene had to get rid of Jungle Jim somehow or theyâ??d never get back to being the big cheeses, or more important, ever have all those babes to themselves again.

 

Bangkok is exactly like that.â?Â

 

End of quote from Jake Needham's 'Killing Plato'.

 

If you havenâ??t read this book â??Killing Platoâ?? of Jakeâ??s yet, grab a copy. A great read, one of the best to come out of this genre of Bangkok Fiction. After reading it I intend to get a copy of all the books he has done so far.

 

I see this myself in a few different ways in some of the Bangkok expats attitudes at times. Not from those on Thai360 here, of course. But there is a certain glee in relating these tales of misfortune by some of these expats, and a definite air of superiority at times. An â??in the knowâ?? attitude that gives no quarter to the poor â??not clued inâ?? tourist misfortunates is definitely there at times. There is also possessiveness there at times, an â??us against themâ?? attitude. Itâ??s always the â??tourist wankersâ?? that seem to be screwing things up for the clued-in expats. If the Bangkok expat hasnâ??t experienced whatever the â??touristâ??sâ?? complaint is, well, it just ainâ??t so and complete bollocks, or just silly and not worth worrying over. It is an annoying trait to be sure. I think Jake nails it there in his example passage. A song that fits this from Frank Zappa is â??Bwana Dikâ??. I think this â??Bwana Dikâ?? attitude is seen many a time when the expats get all huffy and condescending and superior toward the â??newbiesâ??. There are quite a few â??Jungle Jimsâ?? out there on Sukhumvit Road and in the bars, and yes, certainly in the provinces from some of the â??gone nativeâ?? expats as well. Not all of course, but you can definitely see it at times. They see themselves as the protectors of the realm from the clueless 'foreigners' invading the shores of the LOS. They are the farang who out â??Thaiâ?? the Thais. Many seem to forget they were clueless â??touristsâ?? at one time themselves.

 

So, don't be a Jungle Jim! :)

 

Cent

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Good advice. Sad though, many of these Jungle Jim's when they are outside their haunting grounds, are clueless in many ways of what is going on.

 

I met up with one Jungle Jim this fall. I have known him for years. He knews everything, that is, if it was between soi 5 and soi7. He never had been down soi7/1 nor realized that Lolitas existed. He thought Cowboy had been closed down and did not realize that Soi 1 complex existed. The more I got to know him, the more I came to realize how shallow he was. Sad in a way.

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"...I occasionaly find myself sucked into one of the most common bar stool discussions amongst ex-pats; the story of the latest poor sucker who got ripped off in Thailand. I am always suprised just how cheery and almost gloatfull these seasoned ex-pats are, relaying the story of Bob from London who lost it all to an Isarn BG after just 4 weeks here. The story is usualy acompanied with a big cheesy grin and a feeling of superiority. Kinda like 'ha ha, they had it coming.... but i know the score. I live here. Silly fuckers'

 

Almost like they are glad it happened - as it reinforces there belief that they are more wise and clued up..."

 

 

With you as well. I have said this before, I'll repeat it again...I have never been ripped off or cheated in Thailand, or riped off by a BG, but WHEN it happens, and it most certainly will happen at some point, it will not be because I am some clueless newbie. It will be because I was either overly confident, or just plain stupid and or trusting, like so many clued in "know it alls" before me.

 

Frankly, I am surprised when I see some experienced guys make the mistakes they make, as I will make sooner or later. It happens.

 

As for the out right thuggery, as in strong arm robberies, lies, cheats etc, there is just no excuse for it anywhere, and it happens just about everywhere. Moral of the story is to be careful and not take chances, and to be prepared for something to happen, and when it does, not to let it ruin your trip.

 

 

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Umm. I was extremely drunk last night. I feel as though i have got off scot free. Sorry about that mekong - genuinely. I was a complete pillock.

 

Stan no worries, as I said, I was probably being just as provocative as yourself, sometimes my style can get to people more so than out and out insults. It was all in good jest and we have given a few other board members a laugh as well.

 

No damage done and welcome to the select group of pillocks :)

 

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