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Pattaya Daily News

26 April 2009 :: 20:04:23 pm 1241

Thai Eye Witness Account of Song Taew Robbery

One evening, after work, my friend and I had been for a long shopping expedition at the second hand open market in Soi Buakao, South Pattaya. When we’d finished, we had to walk quite a long way from the Soi to the road where we could catch a Songtaew in front of the market. Our original plan was to catch a Songtaew and get off at the end of the South Pattaya road [the intersection] where we could catch another Songtaew to Jomtien, our final destination.
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After waiting for about 10 minutes, a Songtaew arrived. Luckily there was some space for us but we had to sit facing each other. A Katoey was sitting next to me, and next to her was her friend. She was an older woman, in her 40’s . On the opposite side was my friend, alongside two male Farangs. We both remained quiet.

As we continued our journey, I had noticed that the Katoey sitting next to me had a huge empty bag on her shoulder and seemed very busy moving around the bus. Every time someone left the vehicle, she would sit in the vacated space. I started to wonder why she was doing that.

As the Katoey changed seats, I ended up sitting next to her old friend. The lady stared to chat with the farang sitting opposite her, talking non-stop, until the Katoey managed to position herself next to him.

The Songteaw was now travelling along the Jomtien beach road and my curiosity was growing as to what the katoey was up to. The younger farang left the vehicle, leaving the older chap as the only farang passenger remaining. As the old lady continued chatting with the old farang, the katoey sitting next to him tried to get into his shorts’ pocket, hiding her hand with her bag.

As there were not too many people in the Songtaew the katoey spotted me staring at her fingers. She then moved to sit next to her friend sitting beside me and asked me if I was the Farang’s wife, to which I replied “No”. She then said “ Mind your own business, otherwise I will beat the shit of you in this Songteaw” and moved back to sit next to the man again and carried on the process of picking his pocket!.My friend, who had heard everything said to me “Let’s get out of here” and grabbed my hand. We immediately got out of the Songtaew.While my friend was paying the driver, I looked at the old Farang who was still smiling and seemed to be enjoying the ongoing conversation. I felt really sorry for him.

We had to walk quite a long way to catch our next Songteaw, just because my friend didn’t want us to get involved.

Two weeks later, I was in a Songtaew again to travel back to Jomtien. This time I was alone, starting from the beginning of their route . The vehicle doesn’t leave until it’s full – this is the rule. A couple of farangs in their late 30’s and who looked like man and wife, got in and sat on the opposite bench. The wife sat exactly opposite me.

A woman then got in and sat next to the Farang man. She had a huge shoulder bag and I was shocked to see that it was the same katoey I had seen the other day! I was worried she might remember me, but apparently not. This time she was alone.

I was looking at her big bag as I knew what would happen next and this time I was prepared to do something. Unsurprisingly, she started her work – her fingers were reaching for the man’s pocket with her huge bag covering her hand. I was sure this time she could get it done fast because the man’s pocket looked easier to get into than the last time.

I decided to do something. I tried to look at the Farang’s wife and smiled at her. She smiled back. I then opened my bag, picked up my purse and took some money out, and then put it back in and then out again. I then gave the woman a wink and looked at her husband. Finally she got the message and whispered to him. The husband looked at me and nodded. All of a sudden he swung his hand to stop the katoey picking his pocket.

The katoey then shouted “ What’s the matter with you?”. The farang shouted back, “You’re stealing my money. I’m going to hold you and send you to the police”.

The Katoey then rushed to push the alarm to stop the Songtaew and got out.

Everybody was shocked at what was happening, I asked the woman who sat next to me if she had seen everything and she said, “Yes, but why should I get involved? It’s none of my business”. It was unexpected at the time to hear that but now I understand.

I was so happy to be able to help the farang couple. They thanked me and we chatted on the way back and I told them about the previous similar experience I had had.

When I got out of the Songteaw, I handed the money to the driver. I asked him “Did you know that a farang was nearly robbed by a katoey just a moment ago? I think you should have a sign to warn your passengers.” He grabbed the money and answered me, “Warning them? What for? If they don’t know how to watch out or take care of themselves, it’s their problem. Where have you been anyway, don’t you know what’s been going on?”

He shook his head and looked at me as if I was stupid. Maybe I am…..

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Editorial

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