Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is Nakhon dangerous?

If you tell a Thai person that you live in Nakhon while you are travelling around, you will get one of two response. The most likely is that they are from Nakhon themselves or have friends and family that live here. Nakhon is also the name of the province, like a city in Ontario being called Ontario. The second reaction you will get is that is less common but still prevalent is that Nakhon is a gangster city that is very dangerous. True, I am pretty gangster/hardcore but I didn't think word would travel this fast.

Apparently Nakhon USE to be way more dangerous, had and still has a mafia presence that goes largely unnoticed, especially in the foreign community. The most common story I heard about this was that a foreign teacher gave the finger to a random car, may or may not have had a vulgar conversation with the car and drove off. Apparently, they found out who this guy was, went around bars asking if this guy was around and telling people to warn him that he should leave town. He did. I don't know how much of this story is true but I know some of it happened for sure. 

One of the schools had a drug bust, a few months ago a student brought a gun into school, crossed the street into the local college, found a guy that was seeing his ex-girlfriend and shot him. Sometimes people on bikes will try and steal your bag or purse. And most recently, and stories vary, a girl said she got raped late one night after getting too drunk, wandering alone all alone and not remembering what happened to her. It is an awful thing and is terrible that we live in a world where this isn't uncommon.

I've never felt unsafe here. That might be because I'm a guy, people are nothing but nice, want to say hello and let you drink from their drink when I go out. But more girls are having encounters with Thai guys that aren't positive and is making people take more precautions while out at night and even during the day. Also, all of the news is in Thai so even if this were a huge problem, we wouldn't be hearing that much about it and some cases are probably never even talked about. Some teachers that were suppose to work at my school have backed out because of these incidents. I understand that hearing these stories is scary and moving to a new country is hard enough without worrying about your safety. But not going somewhere because you hear of one horror story would be the same thing as something bad happening where you live and immediately leaving your city or country. Bad things happen everywhere, this isn't a Nakhon, Thailand thing. This is unfortunately a world problem that nobody can escape. These are wake up calls that no matter where you are, you need to show caution, be smart and stay with the group. Is Nakhon dangerous? Maybe. Is going outside your door right now dangerous? Maybe. Is being scared of everything and everyone the answer? No. 

"Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn't so, life wouldn't be worth living." Oscar Wilde. 

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