Just heard a story about a Scot’s first day in Bangkok. He hopped on a tuk tuk and asked to go to his hostel, somewhere near Khaosan Road. So, the driver takes off and in transit offers the guy some weed. The Scot buys just two grams and they continue on their way. Once at Khaosan road, the tuk tuk driver goes up and down the street a few times, finally stopping in front of a police station, saying, “They can point you in the right direction.” So, the guy gets out and asks the cops where his hostel is and they respond saying that they will help but they have to search him first. They find the two grams on him and threaten him with seven years in prison. Or, they offer, “You can give us 400 British pounds and we can forget what we see here.” So, not wanting to waste seven years in Bangkok prison, the Scot goes to the ATM and pull out the money and forks it over. In disbelief, he finally makes it to his hostel only to find out that in his panic of giving the cops his money, he left his bank card in the ATM, however far away it was.

Talk about a terrible first impression of a country. It’s hard not to think that the tuk tuk driver and the cops weren’t in cahoots. Most other businesses play off of each other like that here anyway (ie. travel agencies and tuk tuks, hostels and tuk tuks, restaurants and everyone).