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Thai Panic!

Why is it, that Australians are notorious for behaving badly when overseas?

It’s the one reason I no longer choose to travel to the popular Aussie tourist hot spots of Bali and Phuket.

All that greets you when you get there, is a guaranteed conglomeration of scantily clad Australians with the sole aim of getting tanned by lunchtime and pissed by dinner.

Oblivious to Thai culture of modesty and serenity, loud-mouthed Australians roam the streets, half-cut, in search of the next happy hour, or to seek out more Australians hell-bent on partying.

It’s like “schoolies” for grown ups.

So here we have another Australian, Annice Smoel, languishing at her sorry predicament of being held up in Thailand with her passport revoked, since Thai police arrested her for allegedly stealing a bar mat from the unimaginatively but perhaps appropriately named “Aussie Bar” in Phuket.

According to reports, Mrs Smoel (36) was in Phuket for her mother’s 60th birthday when the night of fun turned into a nightmare. Mrs Smoel, who was partying with a group of about 10 friends, claimed two of the women stuffed a bar mat in her handbag as a joke.

Thai police charged her with theft, and locked her in a jail cell for three nights. Her passport was confiscated until the case comes to court, which she believes is at least four months away.

Mrs Smoel, from Montrose, in east Melbourne, has been stranded in Thailand for 17 days, charged with the theft of the bar mat. Thai police said she was drunk and abusive, but she denied the claim and said police acted only because “we were women on our own”.

Mrs Smoel said she felt “scared, helpless and alone” after being detained for what she says was a practical joke pulled by her friends. She believes she would have been freed immediately had there been a male in the group to bribe the arresting officers.

“We were women on our own and we didn’t have a man here to talk to the police and deal a bribe,” she said.

“If we had, that would have been the end of it. We offered them money right from the start because we knew that’s how the system works here.”

Mrs Smoel faces up to five years in jail if found guilty and convicted. Naturally the PM and Foreign Affairs Minister have been called in to intervene however it remains to be seen what can actually be done.

Amazingly, Andrew Bolt has sided with the Thais on this occasion, and remarkably I find myself nodding in agreement (to some comments he makes anway).

According to Mr Bolt:

Two factors need adding to this story of Australians betrayed. The bar mat, for a start, was no mere coaster but a $60 souvenir, and when police questioned Smoel she did a runner.

Second, one of the Aussie Bar’s owners, Steve Wood, says Smoel made an even bigger mistake when she was taken to the Patong police station: she “verbally abused” the police chief.

A local tourism publication, Phuketwan, yesterday claimed the same: “Phuketwan has been told that Ms Smoel ‘went ballistic’ at the time of the incident, abusing officers all the way up to the local chief of police . . .

“While bad language and anger are tolerated these days in many Western countries, they are not condoned in Thailand and usually only compound the problem for any tourist in trouble.”

Warning: This is the link to Andrew Bolt’s commentary. (Note: Blogocrats does not accept any responsibility for any post-traumatic stress related injuries or resulting emotional torment).

It’s interesting, how as a society, we expect overseas visitors or immigrants to Australia to respect our values and culture, yet when overseas in places like Bali and Phuket, Australians couldn’t give a toss about local culture and the sensibilities of the people who live there, and simply run amuck getting pissed on cheap grog and behaving badly.


37 Responses

  1. She sounds like one of a collection of travelling Bogans that should stick to holidays at Apollo Bay or something like that……….!

  2. I wonder if she’s related to the Corbys?

  3. And what’s so “Funny” about stuffing a beer mat into a friends handbag……………..?

    Would you Victorians care to enlighten me as I dont get the “joke” ?

    Is it purely a “Victorian” thing or somethin’………………..?

    Tony……………….Tom………………. ?

  4. She believes she would have been freed immediately had there been a male in the group to bribe the arresting officers.

    Is money different when it comes from a male? Corrupt officials only take bribes from men. Only men bribe. Who knew this?

  5. There are tourists and then there is travellers.

    Obviously this woman was the typical loud mouthed, holier than Jebus drunken Australian that I avoided when I travelled like the plague, tourist!

    Asia was full of them when I travelled and I reckon that the only reason they go is for bragging rights at the local pub like “I’ve been to Bali too!”

    The only sympathy I have is for her children.

  6. Southern Thailand is predominantly Muslim.

  7. The only sympathy I have is for her children.

    scaper…, on May 20th, 2009 at 1:40 pm Said:

    Which were probably begat for the sake of a few baby bonuses/plasma screens……………!

    When are we going to introduce compulsory sterilization of the Bogan population of this once great nation of ours ……………?

  8. What do these two things have in common?

    “I did not stuff that weed into my boogie board bag”

    “I did not stuff that beermat into my handbag”

    Ans: white trash!

  9. Reb, where’s the evidence? LOL!

  10. reb, you are needed on the NRL thread to sort out an ‘identity’ claim.

  11. My problem with the Corbie thing is how no one could tell the difference between a boogie board cover stuffed with weed and a boogie board cover stuffed with a boogie board. Ans: one is soft and floppy.

    Obviously the stealing of a bar mat requires at least a 5 year prison sentence.

    I consider myself lucky..in ’75 an elderly ethnic Chinese gentleman waved his walking stick at me in Bangkok because I was wearing jeans. I tried to apologise to father (my best friend was Chinese since the ’60’s and so as an Australian at least I had a working knowledge re manners). He wasn’t impressed but I saw a smile on his face as he walked away with a wave of his walking stick.

  12. Speaking of panic:

    The fear of panic—actual panic—has shaped public policy in unfortunate ways. During a disaster, it’s not uncommon for officials to hold useful information close to their vests because they don’t want to ’spread panic,’ even though nine decades of research have established that the public almost always remains calm in such a crisis. . . . It’s not as though there haven’t been any destructive overreactions to the H1N1 flu. It’s just that they’ve come from officials, not the general public . . . . In other words, it might not just be the popular panic that’s been mislabeled. If we examine it closely, we may find that the panic of the elites looks a lot like opportunism.

  13. one is soft and floppy

    Restraining the temptation to make some unsavoury Benny Hill type remark, my understanding is Min, that the smugglers would typically vacuum pack the cannabis into a shape that is consistent with the size and shape of the boogie board.

    Apparantly, it became soft and floppy once the Indonesian police opened the bag for inspection…

  14. Apparently Ms Bogan has a rather extensive range of motel towels, 5 star hotel ashtrays and salt and pepper shakers from various top shelf nosheries.

    Her IQ is only slightly higher than her shoe size.

  15. Regardless of whether this woman is a “bogan” (there is actually no evidence that she supports Richmond or Port Adelaide), she deserves a lot more sympathy than is apparent here.

    I know people that have collected mementos such as a tea spoon from various fist class flights and “chairman” style airline lounges. Some have souvenired a champagne flute inscribed with the name of their favourite café in Boulevard Saint Germain. I don’t know anyone with bar mats, but that is only a matter of preference and taste.

    I dare say some that contribute here have a cupboard at home containing some similar souvenirs.

    Suggesting that she is a bogan is mean spirited and I suspect (again) reeking of rank hypocrisy!

  16. Tom of Melbourne, on May 20th, 2009 at 4:35 pm Said:

    Tom…………………..Miglo reckons you are a Bogan…………!

    I reckon he’s right this time…………….!

  17. Trust you to come along “all common sense like” and spoil all the childish fun the rest of us were having Tom.

    I for one, wouldn’t bother nicking a tea spoon from “fist” class (sounds like an interesting airline), although I did accidentally let a bathrobe from the Hilton fall into my suitcase. But that was only after I had stayed there on secondment for 6 weeks so I reckon I deserved it.

  18. No one that drinks 389 is a bogan walrus.

  19. Mrs Walrus and I were in a chalet (or whatever they call them) over the water in Malaysia 18 months ago.

    Every night during our stay when we got back “half cut” they had left a gift of chocolates or perfumes. One night we got back and there was a small mat at the door.

    We thought it was a lovely and very colourful gift. Threw it into our suitcase and flew back to Oz.

    Only in the sober light of day (literally) did we realise what it was.

    Mrs Walrus and I actually had completely and accidentally ( Iand I mean it) swiped an Islamic prayer mat…….!

    We still to this day wonder why the staff would have thought we were Muslim when they could clearly ascertain the size of our bar bill.

    We certainly were not sticking to orange juice…!

  20. You realise, of course, Walrus, that you’ll be going straight to hell for that (or the Muslim equivalent).

    (Which is probably to be reborn as a female or a homo).


    She’s appeared before court, pleaded guilty and been fined fifty bucks…

  22. reb, on May 20th, 2009 at 7:10 pm Said


    Well the ‘drama’ may be over for Mrs Smoel et all but the problem of the ‘Ugly Australian’ remains and is indeed reinforced by this episode. Frankly, in my experience, Ugly Australians now almost outnumber Ugly Americans and that’s a great pity.

    Loud mouth Australians standing on bar stools in foreign sites and shouting Aussie, Aussie, Aussie and expecting and getting (unfortunately) … well you know the rest, are a complete embarrassment.

    Indeed anyone who chooses to stand on a barstool and surveys or incites ‘anything’ ought to be confined to barracks or subject to ridicule of the highest order.

    Mrs Smoel, of course, is somewhat fortunate that Thai tourism is in the pits and the authorities are desperate to rebuild their reputation.

  23. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the UGLIEST of them all? Fear not, it’s still yer Uncle Bwoocie but crikey let me tell yer, cyber bludgers, the bloomin competition is heatin up.

    Let me give this mouthy sheila the big tip. From now on, love, jest keep that flammin trap of yers 123% shut, OK?

  24. I went to Mr Bolt’s article earlier, curious to see just how he could put his usual spin on this. Amazing, I am for the first time in agreement with an entire article by the usually borderline psycho madman..

  25. I think the characterisation of Australian behaviour overseas as boorish is reasonable.

    But we’re hardly on our own.

    British in Spain. Swedes in Greece. Americans in Mexico and everywhere else.

    It is the behaviour that happens when some people travel to places hotter than home, with much cheaper alcohol.

    The equation for the behaviour seems to be about that simple.

  26. One day Tom might actually answer a question …

  27. “One day Tom might actually answer a question …”

    Did you have one?

  28. Tom,

    Not to mention “The Germans”

    They have to be among the worst too. Ever seen a German tourist smile when holiday? Nup. Me neither.

    All they do is walk around looking at everything in disgust while being arrogant and rude to the hotel staff, and speaking that abrupt f**kin’ Nazi language of theirs. What’s it called…yeah German…

    Zeig Heil!

  29. Reb, leave the Germans alone…I was stuck in Kathmandu for three weeks without money because the money transfer went to the wrong country and made a living out of being a rather expensive tour guide.

    The Germans were my best customers!

  30. Why didn’t the Husband in all this grasp the opportunity to just leave her there…………………….!

  31. Dear Tom,

    I really am struggling reconciling this post of yours…….

    “Regardless of whether this woman is a “bogan” (there is actually no evidence that she supports Richmond or Port Adelaide),…………………..”

    and then……………………….

    “Suggesting that she is a bogan is mean spirited and I suspect (again) reeking of rank hypocrisy!……………………..”

    Tom of Melbourne, on May 20th, 2009 at 4:35 pm Said:

    Please explain………..!

  32. Yes reb, the Germans, they also go everywhere and get drunk, and obnoxious. They many have lost a couple of wars, but they learnt plenty about the pincer movement. They use it in all the bars of southern Europe, and most of the SE Asian resorts.

    Thankfully the absorption of East Germany has put a bit of a handbrake on their spending power.

  33. They many have lost a couple of wars

    Indeed. Something which I think, they haven’t quite learnt to accept.

    Without wishing to make a gross generalisation, the Germans to this day, still think that they’re the superior bloody race..

    Just because they’re tall. And the woman often have those nice European looks.

    But that’s no excuse. They’re all b@stards. And they tend to smoke a lot too. And haggle ofver ten baht at Thai markets while everyone else walks past rolling their eyes…

    And another thing. Why the hell do they travel half way around the world just to seek out the only “German” bar in town so that they can sit there all day drinking their crap beer, smoking and then wondering where they get a f**kin bratwurst sausage.

    Nazi scum!!

  34. Yeah, they haggle with some poor Thai woman about the price of a watch. The woman will sell a genuine Rolex for $8, but the Germans will pay only $7.75.

    They spend half an hour haggling over 25c. They could have spent the half hour in the bar with the other Krauts, and being even more drunk by 4pm. They could have got themselves into a state where they’d be vomiting by 5pm, instead of 5.30.

  35. “…..Why the hell do they travel half way around the world just to seek out the only “German” bar in town….”

    reb, on May 21st, 2009 at 10:33 am Said:

    I think it might have something to do with not being all that welcome in their neighbouring Poland or France…!

  36. Now that she’s back I can hear the flapping sound of a cheque book as it hits a hard surface ready to be opened.

    I’m also waiting for the New Idea cover story…………

    “My Schappelle Like Fears”

    Then FHM airbrush her and put her half naked into a tropical/oriental setting by a swimming pool.

    Just wait for it………..!

    Today Tonight should also have the “Exclusive” just about wrapped up by now and ACA is probably desperately seeking a discarded ex husband or boyfriend to dish the dirt on her so as to “spoil” anything Today Tonight does.

    Followed of course by an appearence on next season’s Dancing with the Bogans”.

    Folks…. I’m sorry but…………Our Hell has only just begun !!!!

  37. Thank god I don’t read New Idea or watch free to air, except when I go to my daughter’s. She’s got Phil who has given her access to a million HDTV channels all of which show some of the most woeful stuff I’ve ever switched off.

    No, I shouldn’t say that, most of it’s like a really bad accident; there’s a ghastly fascination which sucks you in until you shake your head and hit the “Off” button.

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