Adventures in Thailand 9

Damian Mavis

Master Black Belt
Mar 21, 2002
Reaction score
Bangkok, Thailand
Been awhile since I posted a story… so much stuff has happened this past year and keeps happening. Lately things have been pretty exciting all at once so feel like I should post some of it since people seem to enjoy the stories. The stories are all true, so much happens here in Thailand that there is no need to embellish or exaggerate. Anyway…. So lately I've been in Surat Thani (South of Thailand near the port to Koh Samui) working on a pirate movie called Black Beard starring Angus MacFayden and Richard Chamberlain. Angus played "Father" in Equilibrium, the man who did the cool gun trapping fight scene with Christian Bale. He also played the Scottish Lord who betrayed Mel Gibsons character in Braveheart and then he later became King of Scotland. Angus is a really kool guy in case anyones wondering, some stars are uhm…. not nice, but Angus is very cool. If you don't know who Richard Chamberlain is well then you are an ignorant git, but I'll remind you anyway, he was the star of the Shogun and Thornbirds mini series many years ago, he's also done lots of other stuff but Shogun is what I'll always think of when I think of him, that series rocked. He's very nice and friendly.

My part in this movie is pretty minor, but it's a lot of fun, I'm playing the local town hitman baddie who's in league with the evil pirates and corrupt government. If you see this I'm the dude with the red beard up to all kinds of bad behaviour. It will be a Hallmark TV 2 part movie. I have no idea what Hallmark is but I imagine it's a channel or something in North America. I'm happy because this will be the first time friends and family back home will see me on TV.

Anyway, we are shooting on the coast on the ocean and I've been enjoying myself immensely, every day I run along the ocean on the beach, swim in the ocean, swim in the pool beside the ocean, train my martial arts and do weights in the hotel gym. Then I work on my tan a bit since I'm so pasty white. I have more days off than I work over a 1 month period and even the days I do work are usually short so in essence this is like a paid vacation, it's a pretty sweet gig.

Moving along to the exciting stuff…. My friend Don is here on the shoot too, he's working as a stunt/action guy on this production. Don is the head instructor of Thailands most famous and prestigious Tae Kwon Do school (Asia Pacific TKD). So last night Don and I decided to go into town and look around a bit. We hired a driver through the hotel and drove into town (Khanom). We landed up at some small Karaoke bar and Don and I drank pop while our driver had a beer that was bigger than he was. Does that make sense? Don and I have never had a drink in our entire lives, he's the only other white guy besides myself that I've ever met that never drinks and never did. Our Thai driver however likes to drink….. and then drive us around! It was only one beer (that I saw) but it was a giant beer. We left our driver at that bar to finish his gargantuan beer and we wandered out to walk around. We didn't go far, we went around a bit and then walked around the corner onto a dark street. I got on the phone to talk to someone and Don ran ahead a bit to check out another bar. Just one minute earlier a motorbike drove by with 2 drunk thai guys shouting HALLOO!. While I was standing there alone the motorbike came back and the passenger got off to talk to me. Already I know I'm in trouble, I pretend not to understand (he's asking for 100 baht in broken english and patting his lower back.) and walk towards Don and hang up my phone. Don's not stupid and was already running back when he saw the motorcycle stop to talk to me. I was just about to warn Don that the guy was armed when Don talked to the Thai guy in Thai, then the Thai dude started getting more aggressive when he realized Don could understand and asking for 1000 baht (guess 100 baht is as high as he can go in English!) and started to pull out what can only be described as a sword. It was big. The handle popped out the top of his pants in the back but the blade went ALL the way down his leg although we didn't know that at the time. Because the guy was so focused on Don since he knew Don could understand he stupidly allowed me to circle around behind him. I was fully positioned and ready to kick this guy in 2 from behind but I hesitated (I'd already decided on the muay thai round kick and was going to propel this guy into the fence he was standing beside). I hesitated because I didn't want to make a mistake, not a technical mistake but a cultural one. Don has seniority on me and knows this country way better than me, he's been here 10 years and I've been here less than 2. I wanted to take my cue from him. I know from experience that if we hurt this guy even in self defence we could still possibly be killed or have to pay thousands of dollars to get out of jail. This place is lawless, the only rule is it's almost always the foreigners fault, and we are in the south which is really bad right now. When the guy showed part of his sword Don put up his hands and said "ok ok". I relaxed a little and figured "oh ok we are going to play it cool, Don knows best". The Thai guy got more aggressive and started to draw his sword more and more, it was long, so awkward for him to get out quickly. Don saw that and just acted, he jumped in the air and turning kicked the would be mugger in the head! The sword wielder looked like Chris Tucker in "Rush Hour". He just stood there dazed with his head to the side looking like he was thinking "which one a ya'll kicked me in the head?" The kick was fast, it was dark and the mugger was drunk or high and I'm sure he'll always be wondering how the foreigner hit him in the head without moving. The motorcycle driver just sat there looking confused, I just know he was thinking "hey, you're not supposed to do that when we try to rob you." Don just said "lets go!" and we took off and ran back to the bar our driver was relaxing in, we hustled him into the car and drove off, we landed up driving right by the motorcycle morons who at this point were getting their friends and rounding up a posse to kill us. They didn't even think to look into the passing car.

All in all it worked out fine, although I'll always be wishing I had nailed that guy instead of waiting to take my cue from Don. The guy will have a sore head and we escaped a sword wielding attacker without a scratch so it's all good. But we won't be going back into town without the whole stunt team as back up heh. Being in a group of 10 foreign martial arts experts, some over 6 feet tall of solid muscle should keep us out of trouble.

After writing that last part we were convinced by the movie production company to file a report with the local police although we don't trust them in the slightest, but it turned out to be a good idea. We gave the report, then took the cops to the scene of the crime and turns out a cop in that area confiscated a sword and a giant knife from 2 thai guys the same night and made them pay a fine for having the weapons. So they know exactly who tried to rob us and have their addresses…. Apparently they will be visited this evening by their local friendly neighbourhood police thugs. Thai crooks are so stupid….. it's a good thing because they almost always get caught but also it's a bad thing since they aren't smart enough to think through the consequences of their actions and are more likely to kill over a stupid little reason. I got pics of the weapons these guys had on them and will try posting them here through my pda.

Damian Mavis
Honour TKD