Wading Police

Thai police come in for a lot of ridicule and scorn by locals.  They are variously seen as corrupt (random road stops to extract a few hundred baht in ticketless “fines”) and lazy (recent campaign at a force-wide weight reduction as there were too many tummies stretching the already skin-tight brown uniforms) by many residents.

There is no doubt that some members of the force aren’t the most outstanding examples of fine police work.  That’s probably true of any police force.  There are plenty of other members of the Thai police who, despite long hours, low pay and terrible working conditions (traffic police have the highest incidence of lung cancer in the country), do their best to keep traffic moving on the choked roads.


It was on a rainy Friday afternoon a few weeks ago that I caught this snapshot of a traffic policeman, slogging through the recently-formed lake that was the expressway entrance toll plaza on Ploenchit / Rama I Road.  No doubt he was earning ever last satang of his salary that day.


0 thoughts on “Wading Police

  1. I think that it takes a special breed of man or woman to be a police officer, fireman,military member,any of the countless jobs that require more than just punching a time clock and putting in your 8 hours. And of course there are corrupt police officers, etc, in every country…probably even more in countries such as Thailand where the minimum wage is SO desperately low, but you can find our share of corruption here in the good old USof A too…lol. ANd your comment about skin tight brown uniforms brought the vision of the Thai police officers who worked in our neighborhood immediately to mind!!! That is why I love reading your entries Chris…such nostalgia for me!! Have a great dayRuth Ann

  2. But it is a warm rain -no? I respect the police that have to direct traffic on the toll road after an accident – in January in an ice storm in Chicago… those guys really earn their pay. ‘Course they probably earn more than this officer…

  3. Whoo-hoo wading!! 😀 I bet he was having fun, he just wasn’t allowing himself to show it. You live in Thailand? (or are you Thai??). That is WICKED cool! 😀 😀 I’m guessing you must know how to make a mean Tom Yum.

  4. The raining photo reminds me of the flood in Georgia, and I started wondering why the policeman was in the rain.Eventually all these thoughts took the back seat to…men in uniforms are really hot…Thanks. Thank you Chris, for a productive Wednesday work morning.

  5. My admiration for the men and women in uniform has always been super high. So many times we only hear about the corrupt or lazy ones and the best of the best are still showing up and taking the heat. We are all lucky to have them out there protecting us.

  6. I lost my train of thought while reading Jason’s comment. lol…It looks like it’ll take awhile to dry out his shoes / boots. Do most folks have an extra pair of shoes / sandals just for these rainy days?

  7. @elelkewljay – Correct.  Originally from Sunnyvale.@stebow – And when you say “taking the heat”, that really means something here!@Wangium – Jason, I try as hard as I possibly can to distract you from your work.@vsan79 – Get that poor guy a dry towel!@smirnoffinthesky – I do live in Thailand, yes.  Not Thai, though.  I don’t cook much Thai food as it is easier and tastier to buy it from one of the street vendors.  They do a much better job than I ever could!@murisopsis – Give me a tropical shower over a Chicago ice storm any day of the week.@Redlegsix – I’m glad it brings back such memories for you, Ruth Ann!@yang1815 – And not taking my money…

  8. Haha~I still remember seeing those policemen wearing tight brown colour uniforms, and also witnessed a “fine” (bribe), in which a taxi driver paying some cash to a traffic cop!

  9. RYC: Hi, Chris, definitely! I will admit, I thought District 9 was going to be a bunch of aliens who wanted to take over the earth because the film’s trailer was pretty cryptic. But as the plot thickened, every scene kept us in suspense. I squirmed and winced a lot and was even stressed out. But as the movie came to an end, my husband and I were amazed and enjoyed the film. I really recommend District 9, but it may not be the same for everybody. I hope you and Tawn can get the chance to see it and do a review.

  10. @ZenPaper – We’re a very low-lying city, similar to New Orleans.  A guy I met who is a civil engineer specializing in water management, explained that the city does pretty well handling the rains, considering the circumstances, but that even the best water management can’t overcome the immense quantity of rain and the negative elevation.@swcheng15 – Glad you like it.@CurryPuffy – Taxi drivers and motorcycle drivers are easy targets.@teachersgathering – We did see the film this past week and really enjoyed it.  Entertaining, thought-provoking, allegorical.  Well worth our two hours.

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