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Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Lucky Escape?

Every Friday I travel down to the centre of Bangkok from the outskirts near the airport for my weekly quota of a few Chang beers, the chance to meet people and business opportunities! To get there, I take a moped taxi, a bus and then a boat with some walking in between.
To get back home, there is a ten minute walk, an underground ride, a five minute walk and then the bus - usually stopping at a bar nearby home. I use this method as most taxi drivers don't want to go out of town mostly because they can't get a fare back!
Last Friday (22/08/2014) was no exception until I got in the bus (113 21:45 direction Min Buri from Phetchaburi Road) for the return journey. As it is the last bus, it is usually quite full but on this occasion there were more people on board than usual. There was a group of around 20 youths wearing white shirts, black ties and trousers led by a similarly dressed individual wearing similar clothing except instead of white, a dark blue shirt.
I could sense a strange atmosphere in the bus and as I was standing I could see right through to the end of the bus. There was a bit of a kerfuffle several minutes into the journey so, being one of the biggest men on board I felt duty bound to calm the situation, which I did and even got the thumbs up from an elderly Thai gentleman! I sensed now that the atmosphere was becoming more intense, so I called my wife, explaining the situation and suggesting she called the police, which she did several times but to no avail.
The bus had since emptied somewhat so I was able to sit down. For insurance I thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of the 2 leading youths, one in a dark blue shirt, the other in a white one. They approached me gesticulating for me not to take the photo so I put the phone away. I asked them if they spoke English, one answered "No" and then they attacked me, ripping off some gold earrings. I got up and tried to defend myself, but in such an enclosed space, 2 or more scum bags drop kicking was too much for me alone and I eventually fell heavily onto the inner engine cowling at the front of the bus.
By this time the bus had stopped and my wife, her sister and my eldest daughter got on the bus, said something to the scum bags who had attacked me and the whole group just got off the bus and ran away, like the cowards they are!
My family then took me to hospital, where I was kept for 2 days to ensure that my liver, kidneys and other internals weren't permanently damaged! Coincidentally, a couple of kilometers from where the bus stopped, there was a military checkpoint so the car stopped and we got out. The soldiers said we should have called them! They were very helpful!
I am grateful for the care, attention and thoroughness and would thus like to thank all members of staff at the Synphaet Hospital, Ramintra Road, Bangkok. A first class hospital!
It turned out that the group of youths were probably from a technical college/university and I have heard that they usually carry knives and guns and kill people occasionally!
My question is, why didn't the police come when requested? Were they too busy or lacking in resources, afraid of the group, or was it that I was a foreigner? Also, from the attitude of the bus conductress, it was possible that some of the youths were known to her! This needs to be answered and addressed before someone is killed or seriously injured!
I consider myself to have had a lucky escape, with a lot of help from the family! For what it's worth, I am British, my wife is Thai, we have 2 daughters, and have been living in Thailand for just over a year.

Another downside here though was that I thought I had a good medical insurance policy from BUPA, but yes you've guessed, they wouldn't pay for any of the excellent treatment I'd received!

1 comment:

  1. Hi John and all, Sad to read the above account. Typical rat -brains.
    Would it be difficult to get a license and a firearm yourself? Sounds very justifiable. Cheers, John Bz.