September 24, 2006

yaa1 (drugs)

it appears that e young author of a well-known Thai website that e cat has been following for 4+ years has been sentenced to 3 years jail for a drug-related crime. he was arrested during Thaksin's 'war on drugs' campaign that saw many innocent lives (including young children who were with e wrong people in e wrong place at e wrong time) snuffed out as 'collateral damage', & with many tiny ikan billis killed/jailed but big fat fish with connections to big fat political figures left to swim free. & e resulting rise in e price of drugs made drug dealing even more lucrative & tempting for those in debt.

e author has been involved in drugs before, rehab doesn't seem to have worked for him long term, hopefully this time he will finally step out of its shadow? e Thai prison system is notorious (like e infamous Bang Kwang prison) for poor & more than overcrowded conditions that have led to so many prison riots (recently 3 in less than a week, latest on 200906 with 2 shot dead) & jailbreaks. quite a no. of non-death row inmates don't make it out alive, it seems, & not because of old age/natural causes.

strangely e cat cannot recall most of e anti-drug messages/campaigns it should have been bombarded with growing up in Singapore. but it can recall being afraid of taking overnight long distance buses & travelling on highways in Thailand at night, because so many bus & truck drivers rely on yaa1 baa4 (lit. 'craziness drug' aka. methamphetamines, since renamed yaa1 ngo1 lit. 'stupidity drug'?) to keep themselves awake, with sometimes fatal results. & it can recall watching on Thai TV images of addicts undergoing rehab in some Thai temple, kneeling down in a row & swallowing some strange concoction so vile that they would puke spectacularly within seconds.

can't help but think of eldest kor's elder kor, Phi S. back in e early '80s rich parents sent their kids to private schools or even overseas to learn English, which was how e cat's kors ended up in e cat's household. at that time e Thai public school system was ahead of Singapore's in subjects like Math - e cat recalls that they completed in primary 3 what Singaporean kids were learning only in primary 5.

in time to come, drugs would become such a pervasive problem in Thai schools that parents sent their kids to private schools or even overseas to learn English & stay drug-free away from bad company. but by then, Phi S had already taken e Bangkok vocational college route (known for violent manifestations of school rivalry), crossed over to e dark side, & had been disowned.

it was manymanymany years later before e cat saw Phi S again (& only after his father's death), one year ago at 2nd kor's wedding. by then e cat couldn't recognise him, because it no longer remembered how he looked like. & he could barely recognise e cat, whom he had last seen when it was still in lower primary (or even kindergarten?!). he is now starting out again, after losing so manymanymany of e best years of his youth, like what is happening to e author.

will e author's toddler daughter still recognise/accept him when he is released? a really high price to pay =|

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