Here we are in an internet forum, discussing what's wrong and what's right, who's corrupt and who's not, but we also own the same trait. I learn from talking to people, both Thai and farangs, that it's common to pay the traffic cop 200 baht when you get pulled over. They described it to me as a fact of life in Thailand; it's no biggie. Some even demostrated the technique. It is after all acceptable. Everyone is doing it. It has become the butt of many similar jokes that we've become familiar in Thailand.
There are many ways of paying off what you did wrong, what you want to be done, how you want it to be done, etc. Paying to get off the draft list is another common practice. These acts are so accepted that many doers are even proud. This is where I am at and it's disenchanting. I remember talking to Thai students some years back about a news story that was written about a ring of Thai students getting caught cheating on the TOFEL test or GMAT tests. To my surprise, a few students turned it around and said that Thais are good at that and they were actually proud of that talent to outwit the system. He gave another example of how Thais are good at counterfeiting money. He said something like "give us any money and we can duplicated, no problem" All his friends laughed and sort of agreed.
Here's another one that I have personally and surprisingly come across quite a few times. Thru my years of living in the US, I have come across Americans that came up to me, after introducing myself as Thai, and the conversations lead to "My aunt or my cousin or my friend's husband is Thai and he can get us thru the airport. We don't go thru customs. We have someone pick us up right when the plane lands" I can't believe that this is so common. This is another proud moment to some Thais....Why is that?
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Thru my years of living in the US, I have come across Americans that came up to me, after introducing myself as Thai, and the conversations lead to "My aunt or my cousin or my friend's husband is Thai and he can get us thru the airport. We don't go thru customs. We have someone pick us up right when the plane lands" I can't believe that this is so common. This is another proud moment to some Thais....Why is that?
That is some tall tales you've got and it's just that, tales.
EVERYBODY has to go through immigration, no exception.
Some people may have the fast track pass that bypasses the long line.
Some people with uber big credentials may even get to go to the VVIP section and processed privately but the passport has got to be stamped regardless.
Customs, that I can see someone getting walked through but why bother unless you are moving some serious goods.
One xmas many years ago I arrived in BKK with a brand new Apple notebook.
I went to declare it like I was supposed to.
The agent asked "Are you going to take it back with you when you leave ?"
"Of Course" I said.
He said "Then you are stupid. You can sell this for good profit easy.... Move on, please."
The only time the customs guy ever stopped me was one year when I was pushing a cart with three max dims+ duffel bags and two carry-ons away from the luggage carousel, alone.
The duffels were tagged with "heavy-2 person lift" thingie by the airline wimps.
A customs agent, seems to be a supervisor, kept looking me and eventually walked over.
"What do you have in the bags ?" he quizzed "I noticed they are marked heavy"
"Uh, clothes for three months stay, my tripod, spotting scope, cameras, and six large fruitcakes for old friends" I said
"Fruitcakes ?" he asked apprehensively.
"Yeah, fruitcakes from that famous store in Corsicana, Texas. You want to see ?"
"No, not really. You can go."
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