Episode #37 – Ben Goes to Thai Jail

Episode 37

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Ben Condon shares a cautionary tale about getting set up and going to jail in Thailand.

Recorded 24 August 2014 from Portland, Oregon, USA; Bangkok, Thailand; and New York City, New York, USA

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6 thoughts on “Episode #37 – Ben Goes to Thai Jail

  1. I lived in Bangkok for five years and have traveled there several times. Most recently in July. I have taken hundreds of cab rides in my time in Bangkok. I have NEVER had a cab driver not run the meter. I hear people say that they encounter this from time to time and it just makes me wonder if I’ve been impossibly lucky or if there’s some other factor in why the cab drivers are more legit when picking me up.

      • Not too much. My biggest accomplishments in taxi communication was turn right, left, and straight ahead.

    • Bob, I would venture to say that you live further out where traffic is not an issue.

      Depending on where I’m going and what time I’m going, a lot of taxis will tell me that they can’t use a meter. They simply can’t sit in traffic for 2 hours during their prime earning hours for the rate the meter gives them. If traffic is not a consideration, meter is never a problem unless it’s a touristy area…. Which brings me to another comment…

      Tourist areas are the most dangerous areas. Overall, Bangkok cabbies are downright wonderful and extremely helpful. I have too many good stories to share. BUT this is not the case if someone hangs out at KSR or Sukhumvit or Soi Cowboy or Patpong and so on. These areas have a lot of criminal element and there are a lot of schemes going in these places. The cabbies that are sitting around all day in these places are almost definitely paying for the privilege to be there and scam.

      • Lived on Lad Phrao and went to Rajdamri on a daily basis and hung out in all the typical farang haunts. So while my residence was out in the suburbs a bit I was right in Farangland quite often.

  2. My guess is that that ultimate $50 court fine is only because everything was already paid off. This is not the punishment you would have received if you actually went to trial yourself.

    While in some tourist areas cops are paid off and it appears that drugs and pot are tolerated, this is not really the case. You might be OK in one spot, but if you move out of the “protected” area you will be in deep trouble.

    Thailand has very strict drug laws. People seem to forget that just a few years ago in 2003, the government went on a killing rampage to kill off drug users and drug dealers. No court, nothing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premiership_of_Thaksin_Shinawatra#Anti-drug_policies

    While a lot can happen in “protected” bars and areas, do not let this lull you into a false impression that pot/etc are not a big deal. They ARE a very big deal.

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