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Patong Taxi Riders Warned About Sexy Bar Hostesses

Patong Taxi Riders Warned About Sexy Bar Hostesses

Monday, November 21, 2011
PHUKET: The motorcycle taxi riders of Patong have more to fear from bar hostesses than from the dangers on the roads, says the President of the 600-strong Motorcycle Taxi Association of Patong.

Somchai Neawnan bases that assessment on his own personal tally of what has killed his members over the past seven years.

Two taxi motorcycle riders have been killed on the roads - one in a province a long way from Phuket - he says. In the same period, Khun Somchai says that he knows of 20 association riders who have died from HIV/Aids.

Now, it could be that Public Health would not necessarily assess the relative risks in quite the same proportions.

But Khun Somchai says there are often times when bar hostesses, being transported home early in the morning, invite motorcycle riders in for more than a cup of coffee.

He urges his members to adopt the Boy Scout motto if not their moral standards, and ''Be Prepared.'' Actually Khun Somchai is a bit more forceful. ''Don't do it,'' he says.

Hundreds of association motorcycle taxi riders did a circuit of Patong's one-way system at the weekend in their new red jackets, marking their annual meeting.

The association has grown from just 60 members in 1993, and Patong today is a vastly different place to what it must have been like then.

''At one stage a few years back we had 928 members, but some people have headed off to join other groups or stay independent,'' he said.

Since February, 28 members have been part of the ''Pian Patrol,'' the ancillary group of volunteers who, in the absence of Phuket having sufficient police officers, patrol Patong's shorefront after dark.

The association members are on the lookout for trouble from 8pm to midnight, Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays, warning people not to make love on the sand, and not to light real fires, either.

''We are aware of the need to protect the marine environment so we stop people lighting fires for barbequeues or sky lanterns,'' he said. ''The metal frames fall into the sea and that's not what we want.''

The riders and the other taxis and tuk-tuks have better support these days from Patong businessman ''Prab'' Keesin, who provides English lessons at the Pisona company's offices.

''I was surprised at how well some of our members can now sing in English,'' Khun Somchai said of the celebrations that followed the annual meeting.

In cooperation with Patong Hospital and local police, members have drugs checks and general medical assessments.

Khun Somchai says he knows of no cases where members have been involved in raping customers, but he does admit that several have been expelled for selling or using drugs: ''We kick them out immediately.''

The small fees paid by members to the association over the years have grown to more than 10 million baht in assets, Khun Somchai said.

''The money is used for loans for members to buy houses or other useful purposes,'' Khun Somchai said. ''We also cover medical and hospital costs for members, too.''

Comments

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Motorbike taxi riders wear helmets [for safety] but don't wear condoms [for safety] Weird, huh????

Posted by davidj949 on November 21, 2011 12:58

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I also don't wear condoms while riding a bike. What is wrong with that?

Posted by Aachen on November 21, 2011 14:19

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@ Aachen..hilarious response!!
But only if you really think that the fact that 20 people have died of HIV/AIDS is a joking matter......

Posted by davidj949 on November 21, 2011 15:44

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No, David. I think, everybody might be able to think about his own responsibility when using "such" an opportunity! This form of payment is a little bit unusable..
On the other hand: Thailand has free treatment for HIV-Patients without money and not too expensive treatment for Tuk-Tuk drivers with income. They just might go to the Phuket HIV Center, which is actually the Patong Hospital.

Posted by Aachen on November 21, 2011 16:55


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