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Jail time in Thailand! Part 1. - conscious-life

Hey all, what’s up ,-)))

(I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures,so I took some similar looking ones from the internet.)

So, as I have leftThailand I can finally write about my experiences over the last couple of months there. If I were to post this while still being there and they’d found out, they surely would have tried to F me even more.

I ended up in jail about 3 days, and had to serve court appointments for the coming 2 months after. In the end I ran off to the Belgian embassy in Bangkok, taking a night bus there that ran over 14 hours. Normally I would have been required to spend at least 1,5 month in Phuket jail, then Bangkok jail to then get transported to immigration jail, to get the deportation procedure started, but luckily for me I found a way out of that, how I did that I’ll explain later on. I hope this post will make people more aware of what to be aware of when travelling in corrupt police regiments countries, or/and where the law for minor offences is hard. I’ll even add a tip and tricks section, in part 2, for if you do end up in an Asian jail, what best to do, and how to get by during your jail time with the other inmates. As the days sure are long, and minutes count for hours once you’re there.

Part 1

So, one evening after I had finished dinner and drinks with some friends, I decided I wanted to go buy some weed at the local Reggae bar. It’s not something so uncommon actually, and I know very few people who don’t smoke from time to time in Thailand. or in fact , near anywhere in the world. And in my opinion, if they can put crimes on something like this, it fears my mind thinking that the same government people do accept drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, and much more. I truly hope the world society will mature from this ancient belief that weed is bad, and stop being hypocrites in allowing much worse, and make them legal facts.


So after I entered the bar and bought a few grams of weed, I left on my scooter. A few streets later I got cornered between an undercover car and motorbike highway police coming from the front. When they stopped me they started the search, already knowing I had weed on me. As I found out later, they have police camera’s in that bar, with spies that notify the police, in case they see a loner victim that’s well enough dressed so that they hopefully can extort money from that individual. Like I said in under mentioned tips and tricks. Do not go alone, at down times and well dressed to these bars. You are setting yourself up to be extorted from. For the ones reading this and have done so many times, you feel invincible now, but your luck usually dries up sooner or later. After all it’s only my first time, and I’ve been travelling now for a decade non stop mostly in Asia.

As the police escorted me back down to the police station, they put me in a waiting room. First corrupt thing I noticed as I was behind a glass door, is that they were weighing the amount of weed I had on me. Obviously it wasn’t that much, and the sentence for under 10 grams in Thailand is pretty mild, a few thousand bath in fines and no jail time. So clearly corrupt assholes as they are, they added from a much bigger bag of weed weed to my little bag, and put it back on the scale several times. Later I found out I had now 10 instead of 3 grams of weed. As the punishment for weed above 10 grams is severe this was a clear setup from them, to try and get as much as possible cash under the table of me. And in case I couldn’t pay they’d make the punishment severe enough.

So next, they called me in the office, and for the next 4-5 hours they tried to manipulate me into saying how bad this was, how many years of jail I could get, and how much I could end up paying, somewhere around 5-6 K euro. They where hugely disappointed after taking urine tests as I was negative on all drugs, even weed as it was my first time I was gonna smoke some since coming back to Thailand. At the end they settled for a bribe amount of 50.000 bath or about 1500 euro in cash directly, after negotiating with each other. I told them I could get the money in the next day for them, as I clearly wanted to avoid jail. When they told me I had to pay it NOW, I told them like how are we gonna do that? Even if you go to the bank, you have maximum limits of taking out 20.000 bath per 24 H. So that wasn’t going to happen.

So anyway after I couldn’t provide them with the money they asked me, they got a bit pissed and threw me a block further away into Chalong jail behind the police office. It was pretty much a horrid cold stinking gutter of a cell. Somewhat 3 by 3 including an open pit to shit in. In the cell the first night were 11 others, so clearly there wasn’t any space left, so as it was after midnight already by the time they locked me up in there I had to worm myself between the sleeping bodies of the other inmates. I squeezed myself in some dirty corner, and all I could think about was, jeezzz how long am I gonna have to be in here, in this shit hole. It was a long first night, unable to lay in any way out of lack of space I couldn’t sleep a minute.

As daylight started sipping in the cell, one by one the others woke up and looked rather surprised there was a Falang (Thai for foreigner) in with them, looking kinda weirdly towards me, and trying to communicate and asking what I’ve done. Wasn’t all that easy communicating with them , as they did not speak any word of English, and I didn’t speak Thai clearly. That’s where sign language came in, and in creative ways I explained them that I was caught buying ganja. (weed, cannabis) They kindly laughed and understood the situation. If anything, the other inmates were much more friendly towards me than the cops. And after talking to them, I started to find out most of ’em were in jail for similar reasons. Some for fighting as well as they were beaten up by the cops probably, as they showed clear signs of wounds, and blood.

Some hours later the cops brought us our daily supply of food, a small box with nothing in it but rice, and I am guessing a fifth of an egg, no water or anything came with it. Hungry as I was, I ate it like it could be my last one. As the day progressed, family and friends of the other inmates came to visit them and bring food and drinks, to my surprise they gladly shared food and drinks with me, as they saw I was there as an outsider and probably no one was coming to bring me some. My friends were extremely helpful though, and have helped me a lot throughout this time, communicating with my family. trying to sort out the situation, and see if they could bail me out. As none of us knew the exact ways prison life is there, we weren’t much prepared after all. And if we knew at front the police doesn’t give you any food or drinks sure would of brought me some.

So that day I got to see a glimpse of prison life in Thailand. All in all it was quite interesting, and the other inmates, well some of them were surely not there the first time I noticed. Next to the jail cell was a space of about 2 square meter, where the things taken out of our pockets were stored, like cigarettes, money, etc,..1 inmate started crafting a handmade extended arm so to say, to try and fetch the cigarettes that were laying about 2 meter further on a table where they take fingerprints. He did that using a disgusting toilet brush from the open pit, using elastics from the fried food packages, adding a tower of straws and other shit like empty bottles to it. he did successfully acted out his plan, and before we knew we could smoke a few cigarettes and share ’em. We did so behind the 1 meter separation wall in front of the toilet pit, 1 or 2 would smoke, rest kept guard looking for the cops movements at any time. It was a small thing but it sure was exciting, when all you have to do all day is just sit there.

I remember the thing that was hardest for me, was the tiled old dirty floor. There were no pillows or blankets, and we were all wearing what they brought us in with. So in the daytime it was boiling hot, and at night it got pretty cold, as it happened a few months ago when the weather was colder, full on during monsoon raining season. I swear I’ve never been so sore on my body as having to sit in a cramped place on a cold floor days on end. Moving frustratingly from side to side to elevate the soreness in my bones. The other inmates, being Thai clearly were much more resistant to that than me.

Drugs, spooning and chicken style seating position was what next occurred. As the day progressed, some inmates where clearly addicts, and definitely showed some weird psychic defects. One of ’em had successfully brought in Jabaa, one of the worst and cheapest amphetamine drugs variants you can get there. ( I’ll link some more info below about Thailand’s worst epidemic drug ever, that held the country in crisis in the last decades) You can see the horrible side effects it has. Nevertheless, here I was witnessing it in first person. Curious person as I am I of course had to see all, how they did it, and followed how they acted afterwards. They pretty much were doing it crack system like. They boiled some aluminium from an old cigarette pack down so only the aluminium on both sides was left. Folded it in a gutter style shape, to them lay down the pill form Jabaa on it, and slow cook it till it turned into fumes. As fumes started to appear they smoked it using self made straws, from old paper or whatever suitable device they had with them. At least 5 or 6 people were sharing and smoking from it. After that it became reasonably quite. As personalities differ, some went to take a nap after, others started talking rattlesnake speed with each other, kinda like when you first do Cocaine, and can’t shut the hell up. One was the funniest and saddest at the same time, and perhaps did this all along before getting busted. He was sitting literally like a chicken on the edge of that small toilet pit separation wall, for about 2 hours, not moving a finger, staring into nothingness. Drool running from the corners of his mouth. That’s where I got the biggest insight of what that drug can do to you. It was then I knew it was time for me to meditate and go into my own world for a while.

I sat there for another night and day counting seconds before they came to get us. Second night they also brought about 5 more people in. Clearly we had absolutely already a lack of space. And I remember I got so frustrated not being able to move my legs anywhere. Now we were literally sitting on top of each other, squeezing worm like fashion for a comfortable position to sit in. At night spooning became the new age norm of prison life. And one good thing was that we all got along pretty well, and could cope with each others’ presence in a respectable way.

That second night came around and I was exhausted by now. As it turned dark, and the cell got colder, we gradually spooned up to get some sleep in. I remember my legs on someone, 2 pair of legs over my belly, a head on my shoulder and one on my calves, ahaha, where is the love right? All over I would say. It’s because the prison mentality, and coming along with each other, we all managed to get some warmth, and sleep in. I can honestly say that I’d rather be in a Thai prison, than in most others, even though the comfort is zero existing, and other prisons must look like hotels compared to Thai prison, the community, and general respect, and care for each other in Thai prison is far greater from what I expected. All in all it was a good experience, and I’ll sure remember it for the coming years.

I will continue this post in 2 parts to not make a too long post, as I sure want to explain all what happened well and clear. Cause sure there ismore to the story.

Love, Matthias.


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