Driving Thai Style
Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
20Trip End Nov 25, 2011
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Sunday ... the one day of the week that most Thai's have off. The roads are crazy ... scooters everywhere ... 3 to 4 people on one scooter and if it has a sidecar there could be up to eight.
Driving in Thailand teaches you patience, quick reflexes and enables you to acquire ESP so that you know exactly what's going to happen next. The driving philosophy is as follows: Move, Look, Think ... in that order. The scooters will throw themselves right in front of your bumper no matter what speed you're traveling. Thai driving rules are are follows: 1) If I'm slightly ahead of you I'm in charge 2) If my vehicle is bigger than yours I'm also in charge 3) If I'm looking the other way then I can't see you and you don't exist 4) If I'm looking at you I can't see you and therefore you don't exist 5) My window are tinted so dark that I can't see you AND you can't see me therefore neither of us exists 6) If I flash my lights I'm coming through and not stopping for anything 7) If I hoot my horn, then I accidentally leaned on my steering wheel while picking my nose, texting or having a beer 8) Lane discipline is for wussies ..
Just on our small journey back and forth to the dive shop, we saw 3 accidents involving mopeds ... they aren't pretty. The fine for drunk driving is 2,000 baht ($60) but if you're a Farang it's whatever you have on you AND whatever your withdrawal limit is at the ATM (no, really!) We didn't test this out, although in order to take on the Chalong roundabout you need at least one large Leo beer. They do not understand the concept of a roundabout, so, in order to' help' with the traffic flow the Police have devised a cunning alternative. They place traffic cones to force through traffic to go up the next available road and make a U-turn back towards the roundabout. This system is somewhat flawed in its logic and creates more accidents than you could possibly imagine
Law enforcement is an interesting animal in it's own right. The Chief of Police in Chalong, purchased his position for 33,000,000 baht and expects to recoup this in bribes and backhanders in 6 months. To be fair it's pretty hard to survive as Chief of Police in any municipality in Phuket for more than 18 months without being shot or jailed yourself. Not a good pension investment as a whole.
We made a second trip to the night market to pick up the rest of our 'souvenirs' and then stopped by Nikita's on the beach for some dinner. We were told to hurry up and order or the kitchen would be closed and we wouldn't get anything ... so we ordered Spaghetti Bolognese and Pizza (guess who had Pizza). While we waited, we were entertained by the conversation at the next table of a Farang chatting to his new mail order bride and by the cat who decided to use the sand next to our table as his litter box ... at least he buried it afterwards :(.
Finally starting to feel better now, although the cough is lingering ... we both needed the rest I think.