Thailand: Greatest Urban Myths (Part 2)

(The crime scene of almost every Farang ‘murder’ in Pattaya – the infamous Pattaya hotel balcony)

As a Farang in Thailand we have all heard some of the most laughable quack-wack Thailand myths: ladyboys who have coaxed clients back to their rooms only to drug ‘em and cut out their kidney (and after sell it to a hospital), tuk-tuk drivers who are part of a dangerous mafia syndicate and dodgy cashiers who stuff items in your bag before calling in the police on charges of theft. As mentioned in part one, even some ‘journalists’ pick up on these pathetic myths, or even conspiracy theories, and sell them to some naff tabloid back home. And on the subject of conspiracy theories too this time around, a classic from last year was the David Carradine story (or former Mr Kung Fu himself). Instead of sticking to the forensic reports, sensationalist articles written claimed that Mr Kill Bill was in fact murdered, for example, by a couple of well-endowed ladyboys he had met in Patpong earlier that night. (Read this blog for more info on one of the hilarious articles published).

Then we have just the simple Thailand myths like: Thais stand up for the national anthem at the cinema, the word Farang is derogatory, gambling is a serious crime, Thais never criticize the monkhood,Thai women married to Farang can not own land and all the poor people love Thaksin Shinawatra.

Pattaya Flying Club ‘Suicides’

Probably the best told Thailand urban myth over the past few years is that all the Farangs who commit suicide in Pattaya by jumping from hotel balconies were in fact the victim of cold-blooded murder. With the cover-ups so intricately planned, it could go down as the best drunken barstool conspiracy theory since Elvis was abducted aliens and returned to Earth as a Phuket jet-ski operator. Even though 66 year-old Henrick weighs in at 220 pounds, his skinny-as-a-chopstick former teenage ‘wife’ standing at 5 foot 1 in high-heels is miraculously able to throw Henrick over a one-meter high Pattaya 15th floor hotel balcony. She then flees the scene on the back of her Thai lover’s motorbike. According to the best myth-tellers, everyone was involved: the cops knew it was murder but for the sake of tourism they put it down as suicide. The housekeepers, check-in staff and security guards, they all knew the ‘truth’ but got paid backhanders to keep quiet. It gets told (in that ever-popular “I used to drink with the guy” fashion) that even though Henrick drank 17 bottles of Thai hootch on a daily basis, enjoyed messing around on the side with local Lolitas while occasionally indulging in a ladyboy three-some, was actually a perfectly normal guy.

The Thai Language Has No Tenses – It’s So Easy

Another classic myth which has done more rounds than a rabid Thai dog with a piece of meat tied to its tale. Even though Joe from Ireland has a limited personal Thai vocabulary of just ‘Sawatdee khrap’, ‘Sway mak mak’ and ‘Check bin’, has in his 3 months in Thailand learned from a hundred other Thai language wanna-be speakers that the Thai language does not have a past tense, passive tense, future tense, present perfect tense – absolutely no tenses at all. It is the simplest language imaginable. Joe goes on to state that anything with a brain could master the language in 6 weeks. After a year, however, when Joe finally admits that he still can’t put even a basic sentence together in the Thai language spouts out “Arrh… I’m just too lazy to learn”.

All Thai Women Wanna Have a Farang Boyfriend

Do they heck! Definitely another one of those rumours spread by expat barstool types who has never struck up any conversation with any proper Thai girl. Instead, all he has ever heard from ‘his’ Thai girl friends is that since every Thai man beats his lover, elopes with every female family member under the age of 16 and constantly drinks himself stupid before breakfast before finally running off with another damsel, is the reason that every Thai women would like a ‘responsible’ Farang boyfriend. Sucker Farang is oblivious that this is coming from a woman who has had four kids by Thai men and is dating a dancer who works in a men-only bar up the road. The reality is, there are a lot of proper Thai women out there who would be interested in having a Farang boyfriend, but to put them all in the same boat is ludicrous.
(Steve notes: There is another fairytale myth around that goes “Thai-Chinese women from well-to-do families wouldn’t be seen dead marrying a Farang”)

The Ice is Bad for You & “I Had Food Poisoning”

Let’s start with that guidebook to Thailand favourite myth of dirty ice and it’s bad for you. Ok ok… there could be a little possibility of this if it’s that shaved stuff that comes from those big blocks of ice you sometimes see. But if the ice served is cubed, as you usually get these days, you can be rest-assured it’s as clean as its counterpart in Farangland. After reading their ‘bible’ (guidebook) average Mr Backpacker on waking in the morning with a bout of ‘guts explode’ exclaims “It must’ve been the ice I had last night”. What he hasn’t blamed instead are those three Maekhong whiskey and Red Bull buckets gulped down after scoffing on a fiery bowl of Tom Yum Kung. What the guy should obviously be blaming is himself and his own stomach, not the ‘dirty’ ice. Next up, how come so many Farang on getting an even worse case of the trotts proclaim to having had food poisoning? Most of the time it is nothing of the sort, just made up nonsense they thought up after having read another page of their guidebook of myths. Get food poisoning and it’s not simply a case of running to the lavatory every half hour, instead you could be serving time in a local hospital.

Thailand: Greatest Urban Myths (Part 1)

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