I must have been in over a hundred Bangkok taxi’s over the past five years,normally you get little conversation apart,what is your football team in England or ”is this your first time in Thailand” meaning can I charge you extra and get away with it.
On Christmas eve I finished my shopping and flagged down a taxi outside the central mall,for the first five minutes the driver said nothing,and then he asks,do you speak Thai ? I replied,A little,good said the driver,so many farang(foreigner) come here and do not try to learn Thai.
He then laughed and said,every farang go drinking today for Xmas,many police charge farang when he drunk in car,I told him that I know of people that have been caught drink driving by the police and been let off for 20,000Baht (£400) , he said that is a good price,normally that is Thai price,if you are a foreigner its normally more.
I then told him that I have read you can pay a motorbike taxi driver 10,000 Baht (£200) to murder someone for you,is this true ? the taxi man said yes this is true,the price starts at 10,000 but can go up to 500,000 Baht depending on how important the person is,I said so if the person was a nobody they could be killed for 10,000 ?,yes,it’s no problem said the driver,you have to understand the Thai mind,we have different blood to the rest of the world,we do not have the same emotion or feeling that other nationalities have,I said is this anything to do with your religion ? (Buddha) No said the Taxi driver,it’s just the way we are made,he said I am driving along now,if I hit one of these people on the side of the road,I would not feel bad,they are not real people to me,they are just a thing,if I hit them I would not stop,I would just carry on and hope no one see me….
There were moments at the start of our conversation that I thought this driver was…. well normal,I seem to have hit a chord somewhere along the line and now he wont shut up.
Taxi Driver – I do not like Nigerian man,he come to Thailand and not talk,not have money, just look ugly,I not like nigerian man,one time in my taxi two nigerian men pretend to fight in my cab so they not have to pay,I have knife and bat in my taxi,I hit them until they pay the fare.
I said oh OK.
The taxi man then said, Indian man is OK, but they talk too much and want everything for free.
I tried changing the subject, …I think the people in Chiang mai were the nicest I have come across in Thailand,they are happy to talk without the incentive being to make money from you,Ha said the driver,people talk about the famous Thai smile ” LAND OF SMILE”
What they don’t say on the advert is the Thai will stab you in the back a second after the smile,I said yes but in Chiang mai people just seemed happy to talk,NO NO NO said the driver,in Chiang mai they play the long game,in Pattaya and Bangkok the Thai’s only talk if they think you spend money there and then,in C’M they are older so they play on being friendly knowing the farang likes this,we pull up at my address and I kind of feel relieved,the conversation was becoming weird,others may say honest,I am not sure but I do know there are exceptions to every rule.