In 2008 the Coen Brother’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN won the Best Film Oscar this year. Three minutes of the creepy lead actor’s haircut was enough for me. I chucked the DVD into the swamp behind my house and haven’t heard from it since, but at the Pattaya court I ran into an aging farang living the title of that movie.

The court clerk patiently explained his trial date in Thai. The Brit didn’t understand a word and I translated for him, only to be engaged as a confessor.

John was English. He had been involved with a hot-tempered Thai woman for the past 16 years. 9 months ago he decided to end the relationship, but Thai girls were harder to get out of your life than gum in your hair.

Two weeks ago he was summoned up-country by a phone call. His ex- was in the hospital. As soon as he appeared, two Pattaya cops arrested him for assault. 100,000 baht bail and they seized possession of his passport. His wife had accused him of beating her. He protested that he wasn’t that type of man and all the police had to do was check the hospitals for evidence of a beating.

“Where’s your lawyer?”

“What do I need a lawyer for?”

“This is a criminal charge.” I sometimes wondered if farangs deposit their common sense at the airport. “You don’t understand Thai and you want to go to court without a lawyer.”

“My last lawyer charged me 4000 baht to get out of jail.”


“Yeah, but she didn’t do anything.”

This was going nowhere and I explained that he should be represented. I gave him the telephone number of my lawyer. He didn’t even bother to write it down and I wished him luck.

John was 54. He had worked all his life. His Thai wife has everything now and he was on the verge of going to jail. In this case Thailand was definitely not a country for old men, although John didn’t consider himself old.

He will after a couple of month’s in the monkey house.

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