Thaksin Half-Broke

This morning I called Thailand to speak with Mem. 8am my time. 8pm her time. She answered the phone from the karaoke bar across the soi from her apartment. My son Fenway likes to sing. I so want him to be a superstar. It’s my alternative retirement. The other is to rob a bank in Norway and get the court to sentence me to life. Free herring and my own cell.

“You hear about Thaksin?” Mem asked with a little belligerence.

“They took have his money.” Halfway around the world I stay current with Thai politics thanks to

“Yes, they take his money for themselves.” The common people like Thaksin. His family is half Thai/ half Chinese. He doesn’t come from the aristocracy, so everyone thinks if Thaksin can make it then so can they. “Why farang hate Thaksin?”

“I don’t hate him.” I blame him for the troubles in the South and I know one person killed during his anti-drug campaign. The man was no danger. The police shot him to get his money. “He is no better than the other khon yai.”

“Farang kii nok.” Obviously the Thai media has been blaming this judicial ruling on foreigners, even though not a single farang can vote in Thailand.

“I don’t like yellow shirts.” They’re devoted to preserving the old ways. The poorer and stupider the people the better they can soak the poor to preserve their wealth. This system works in the USA and every other country in the world, because there are only three ways of making money. Big Money. Birth, marriage, or theft. The Thai Supreme Court seized half of the deposed prime minister’s assets in a gamble to quiet his red-shirt supporters.

“You red shirt?”


Thaksin had earned his fortune the old-fashioned way by selling off the Thai satellite network to Singapore in violation of sovereignty laws. $1.4 Billion for the courts would come to approximately 2000 baht for every Thai family if the courts decided to redistribute the wealth. Mem wasn’t expecting the yellow-shirt government to give a single baht to anyone but their own families. Big people or khon yai.

“But I don’t like Thaksin too, but why would any Thai care what a farang thinks. Thai know better than anyone else about Thai life.”

“Farang know nothing about life Thai.”

Mem was right and I didn’t want to get into an argument about a power struggle between shadowy factions.

“I’m a green shirt person.” Boston Celtics green to be exact. “And so is our son. yet daeng. Yet si-luang. I’m green.”

Mem was hot. Her temper can flash like a strobe. She knows that I love her, but like every woman in the world doesn’t trust a man out of her sight. Fenway started crying and she put him on the phone. I made bird noises. He laughed. Fenway is green too.

Unbelievably Thaksin’s supporters cried at the judgment as if it were their money.

Then again you can buy your freedom with money and the Thais now understand that their money means nothing to the Khon Yai. Then again neither have their lives. Once a slave always a slave.

gaan bpà-dtì-wát


My son will be a superstar either way.

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