I now love the Thai Police (for now)

in life •  16 days ago 

I do a lot of complaining about the government in this country that I have called home for the past 15 years and I feel, for the most part that I have a pretty good reason for feeling the way that I do. I get a bit jaded and try to keep my whinging in check because it is just so typical of long-term expats to behave in exactly that fashion.

However, something amazing happened today and I gotta say that I am in shock still... but also very happy.


Normally, when you hear a horn beeping at your gate followed by the street-level doorbell being rung in this country it's most likely something you don't want unless you recently ordered food to be delivered. I was not pleased initially when i went to my front door and saw a lone police officer standing at my front gate.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not much for breaking laws. For the most part I would be considered a fine upstanding citizen that doesn't even drink-drive (that sounds strange to say but a lot of people drink drive here.. i drink / ride a bicycle.) Anyway, if you live here, you know that interaction with the police doesn't necessarily mean that you did something wrong, it means they are looking for money and you better pay them.

However, I was polite as can be since being rude to a police officer, anywhere in the world, rarely gets you anywhere. At first I was apprehensive to speak Thai but as it turns out he spoke a bit of English. He just asked me what my name was. After I confirmed who i am he said, "I have something for you." I was expecting something bad because well, almost all interactions I have ever had with police have been situations I would prefer to not be involved in.

Oh how surprised I was when he handed me this....


That my friends.... is my wallet...

I lost my wallet about a month ago when i was transporting my dog on a scooter. Because i was so concerned about keeping her on the bike while we were moving (foolishly didn't bring the dog-carrier) she was pawing around on my legs and somehow managed to kick my wallet out of my pocket while we were moving.

she's really cute so i didn't get upset with her

I didn't realize that my wallet was gone until some time later and at that point i backtracked the 1km or so to the doggy haircut salon in vain because... of course a wallet on the ground isn't going to stay there very long. I went to the various businesses and asked if anyone had seen it and didn't really expect anyone to say yes... and they didn't.

For me, it wasn't really the cash that was in the wallet that mattered, or even my Thailand bank cards because those are really easy to replace. I was concerned about my USA license and USA credit cards, because I can not replace those without a trip back to America, which presents another problem because I have forgotten how to book an airplane ticket without a credit card.

A month went by and I was convinced at this point that it was gone and had already cancelled all the cards in the wallet except for the important one... that one I just put a hold on. The only reason why I hadn't cancelled that one was because you have to stay on hold for friggin ages! when calling a USA credit card company from overseas.

They didn't do any actual police work to find me, but a lucky mistake lead them right to me.

yeah that's right, my monthly water bill is $2

Just before losing my wallet i had dropped my dog off at the haircut place and then rode my bicycle to pay my water bill, the receipt was still in my wallet... which had my address in it. There are other ways they could have found me (it's not like I am hiding) but this receipt lead them right to my front door.

I offered to give the cash to the officer but he wouldn't accept it and honestly, this goes against everything i thought i knew about coppers over here. I instead asked if he would give the money to the person who found it because their honesty really should be rewarded.

So today started off just about as wonderful as it could possibly.

this was not the officer, police don't take kindly to having their photos taken in Thailand

I spend a lot of time complaining about the government in this country, mostly in relation to visas and the other Thai expats on here to a certain degree can probably share that sentiment. However, today we can put a few points in the category of "good cop."

There are so many reasons why these guys simply could have just not returned this to me and they have saved me so much time and effort by doing the right thing. I was honestly very concerned about how i was going to get a new card and driving license. It was definitely going to cost me a lot of time and money... certainly a lot more than the 1,700 Baht that was in the wallet.

would you turn it in if you found it?

Now i am on such a cloud of gratitude that I am going to go out of my way to do nice things for people even if i don't have to. Imagine how wonderful the world could be if we all did that?

Maybe I should give the cops a break... when they are out there taking money off of motorists it likely isn't their fault that they have to do this. I dunno. I just know that the scary man on the bike with a gun that I expected to harass me actually made my day, my week, my months... just by being nice.

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Hi, @goodream, I know what you feel but it is mostly the way it happens in Chiang Mai. I never really have a bad time with police here and really I enjoy talking with them they are much more human than in our western countries where cops are like robots, I do like Thai police and the bad reputation they use to have is long gone as many police forces have been cleaned. But it can still happen when driving and doing something wrong to get stopped usually by one or two cops and ask you for you to pay the "Pepsi or Coke" (cheaper or little more) instead of a fine but this is more usual in rural areas. I always end up speaking Thai with them and they become more friendly and appreciative to joking with them. To make a quick reply to the drug hidden by police in the comments this was back in the 70' and 80' but who knows, in the end, there still have good and bad cops or peoples in every country.

Jokes on you, pussy, Just wait until 6 hours from now when they come back with a warrant to search your home and you find that he planted some heroin into the seams of your wallet. Checkmate, baby.

But, yeah. That was pretty wholesome and nice of that officer.

Haha! Sounds like a storyline out of the movie The Hangover!

Will make for a good post if nothing else...Might be from cell block 4, but will be good nonetheless!

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I'll only accept it if the post is translated from a piece of toilet paper from his cell. Anything else would just be god damn insulting.

Lol. I concur.

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you gave me the lols again. I actually checked my wallet to make sure that what you were describing didn't happen.

If I've learned anything, it's that the wallet is too easy of a spot. How can we be sure the officer didn't smuggle drugs up your butthole when you weren't looking? Better bust out the Vaseline and get to checking there as well. Just to be sure, dood.

Hello there, wow glad after a month it's returned. Normally the Thai police looks really mean almost all of them I see in pictures. if you ask me, but what an unexpected turnout of event for you I can imagine you having to stomach the fact that the wallet is lost, it oftentimes takes time to expecially when it contains important documents really.
Lol I'm glad you didn't take the loss out on your dog really hahaha.

Wow! That’s a nice story! Glad you got your wallet and all those cards back!

Only a minority of police is truly bad and scum! Most police officers are just ordinary people doing their jobs! The same apply to corrupt civil servants and politicians; these bad peoples dare to put themselves in the light to do their acts of corruption. So, they are much more visible than good officers! I have several friends in the police force, they also complain about the bad ones which normally have higher backing!!

Have a nice days.

  ·  16 days ago (edited)

Good score mate! I have a few mates that are cops here and they tell me that rarely does a lost wallet find it's way back to its owner, certainly not intact with money and cards.

Also nice that it has inspired you to do some nice things for a while although I suspect your the sort who does anyway.

Good news story here mate. Nice one.

yeah, it really made my day even though it started with terror seeing a copper at my front gate. I have perhaps given then a little bit more bad cred than they deserve. After all, Thailand is a relatively safe country so perhaps they are doing something right.

I thought you lived in the States to be honest. Don't know why.

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That is pretty awesome! So all of your money and cards and everything were still in it? The person that found it must have turned it in right away. That is pretty awesome. Too bad you couldn't have just put a hold on the other cards too. Now you have to get all of those replaced. I remember a long time ago I lost my wallet and when I got it back there was no money in it. Major bummer! I think it was only like six bucks though because I was in junior high :)

awww, poor $6 you in junior high. I bet it was a velcro wallet.. right? The other cards that i cancelled were easy because they were based in Thailand... it was exceptionally easy to get a new one because i just walked into a branch with my passport and got them done in like 10 minutes.

I am seriously impressed with the honor of the person that turned it in. I hope to meet them one day. It is just such a thrill to get this back... small victories.

You know it. It was a blue velcro wallet and I accidentally left it at the golf course. We had a teacher that would take us after school to either hit balls at the driving range or play nine holes on the par 3 course. My parents had to drive me back over there once I realized I had forgotten it.

@tipu curate

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I like your attitude but not all the people are like you. But it is good to know that someone is there for you in difficult times.

LOVE IT!!! Love this story!!! I wonder who found the wallet after the adorable dog kicked it out of your back pocket... an honest citizen? What are the chances a police officer found it himself? How lucky that the receipt was there. (You must not carry a driver's licence or other ID...?)
And this:
I was polite as can be since being rude to a police officer, anywhere in the world, rarely gets you anywhere. So true. If only more people heeded that wisdom, there would surely be fewer tragedies. (Don't run; don't resist!)

I carry a driver's license, but it is my USA one and my intl driving permit, neither of which contain my local address.

yeah, it was a pretty great day because i had considered all of that stuff gone at this point.

the hassle of changing credit cards can haunt us for months to come, with this online account ... but to regain a lost wallet is so awesome, and we're supposed to change out our credit card numbers more often than any of us do....

Meh! I see that it is nice when a police man does the right thing, but that should be the default. Not the exception. I live in a messed country as well, and I expect very little from the Police. This would be rare for a police man to do in my country.
When they ask for a bribe next time, you may remember why they gave you back the wallet.

Wow! I just can't get over the fact that he gave you your wallet back with money still in it. I actually had the same thing happen here... sort of. A cop found my wallet in a Trader Joe's parking lot and brought it right to my door. The only difference is, the $250 from it was 100% gone.

Well, I guess I can't complain - it would have been a real hassle to replace everything else that was in it.

before the wallet was returned to me i put the word out in the local community that if anyone found it, they could keep the money and there was also a 3000 Baht reward... no questions asked.

The fact that wallet came back with no request for a reward at all was pretty shocking to me.

WOW...That is really cool Thailand is not all that bad after all but there are good and bad all around the world you really got lucky :))

And thats the thing here. Expect the unexpected whether good or bad!

Great news for you and it does restore your faith in human nature...at least until you deal with immigration again!

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actually pal, i plan to move to Vietnam for a year starting in January of 2020... i've never lived anywhere as an adult except for Thailand or USA... maybe it is awesome... who knows. I guess i'll find out :)