I thought Saturday night, 15 May 1999, was a good day for dining out
with our son who was in Thailand on a one-month vacation. And which place nearby Bangkok
was more convenient for entertainment in the evening and the night than Pattaya, offering
ample possibilities for a fine dinner with excellent cuisine, followed by a friendly beer
in one of the many bars and nightlife entertainment places. We even planned, if the
weather was fine, to take a ride on a heavy motorbike the next day (Sunday) before
returning home to Bangkok for another busy working week.
Having met lots of my good friends fellow-countrymen in Pattaya
(we have now stayed for more than 8 years in Thailand) we were in a good mood and passed a
nice evening with lots of fine food and laughter. We decided to return to our Cosy Beach
Hotel for the night at around 11:30.
I drove my car through Pattayas dense night traffic, with my son
sitting next to me and my wife behind. Because of roadwork and sewage pipes being laid in
the ground, traffic at the entry of the Jomtien Road was at a virtual standstill. In front
of me was a pick-up taxi with two African-American passengers. We believed they were
American soldiers coming from the two American naval vessels anchored in the Bay off
Pattaya. They seemed to be bored with the traffic. Suddenly they stepped out of the
pick-up truck; the first one putting one foot on my front bumper and then walking with his
big leather boots over the nose of my car. The second stepped out correctly.
I was nailed in my seat from astonishment of what I saw. I could not
believe my eyes. I thought I was dreaming because of such a disdainful and aggressive
arrogance. I could simply not believe that this had really happened!
I started blowing my horn to express my outrage but got only a right-up
middle finger from the soldier as answer.
I felt the adrenaline-level quickly raising in my blood. This was
really something beyond imagination.
I stepped out of my car and chased the big arrogant
"middle-finger" black soldier. I grabbed him by his collar with both of my fists
so that the buttons of his shirt fell on the street. Meanwhile my son had stepped out as
well and held a close eye on the situation, which, seeing his well-oversized athletic
Rambo-figure, seemed to perfectly impress.
The black soldier started yelling and wanted to free himself from my
grip and in the middle of the hassle and the skirmishes, my glasses fell on the floor in a
number of irrecoverable pieces, together with more shirt-buttons.
Not even five seconds later, three or four plainclothes military
policemen pulled us apart, quickly informing me that they would further deal with the
problem. I noticed their badge and their walkie-talkie and, after they had apologized for
this indignity, they asked me to park the car aside the road and to inspect whether I had
damage or not. I explained to them that in the darkness and with the car being dirty from
the rain and the dust, it was very difficult to identify the damage, but apparently I
could not see a dent.
In a firm way whilst excusing themselves in the name of the American
Army, they took the arrogant fighting machine away from the site and vanished.
The next morning I found a series of deep scratches, which despite car
shampoo and polish wax did not disappear. The car had just been repainted from a road
accident and was in a perfect condition. Now I have to paint the car again at my own
This experience has fomented some reflections:
How many cars has this soldier already stepped on, before one driver
dared to confront this semi-automatic killing machine? I can imagine how these slender
Thais must feel when such a black mastodon simply walks over their glittering car. They
must shrivel down in their seats and go the next morning to repair the damage.
What is it that we have experienced now? What lesson is here to be
taken now? What conclusion is to be made now? How safe are we, citizens of this world, in
the neighbourhood of these American-fighting machines? What kind of protection is it that
they pretend to provide to the democratic world? Is this the appropriate behaviour of
"the brave American Soldier" when knowing that other members of his clan are now
dropping bombs in Yugoslavia and in Iraq, threatening the entire world peace? How many
more such incidents do we need before we all start hating this American fighting machine?
I really would like to know what goes on in the mind of these primates.
Do they really believe this is the right thing to do in a country which is not theirs but
which is so hospitable and friendly to tolerate them on their territory for chasing Thai
girls in the night-bars of Pattaya. Do they really believe they ($$$) are so beloved that
this kind of insolence is accepted? Is the Pattaya Police a match for these fighting
machines? Are the Thai authorities aware of this kind of aggression? For how long is the
Pattaya municipality ready to offer this kind of privilege to these aggressors, from whom
it should slightly become clear that they are not "the friends of the Thais". Or
is the WTO-controversy not a clear enough example?
A farang living in Thailand and still ready to come back to Pattaya, only when he is
sure that NO American naval vessels are anchored in the bay.