A Crazy Stupit Scoundrel in a Mini-Skirt Attempts to Enter a Thai Holy Spot —
Bangkok • close calls & great escapes • crazy scoundrels • culture clash • faux pas • fear • funny • getting away with something • guns pointed at you • holy spots • the Jade Buddha • religion • soldiers & military • Thailand
by Michael Brein, PhD,
The Travel Psychologist & The Laughing Psychologist
Told to me by Vicki P. This was at the height of the mini-skirt craze — in America, that is! I had come from visiting Fiji, where it was nothing but short skirts!
I was with a group of people I didn’t know very well, and we were touring the various temples in Bangkok. We went up to see the Jade Buddha.
It was a Sunday and very crowded. In front of the entrance to this temple were two armed guards, dressed up as policemen.
I walked up to the gate to pass through when one of the guards jumped out at me, pointing at my legs. At the same time, other people passed by, and they too kept pointing at my legs.
I got very embarrassed and petrified. I asked, “What’s the matter with my legs?”
I didn’t realize what was happening. The guard said, “Madam, you are too tall for your dress!”
He didn’t say the dress was too short, but only that I was too tall for my dress!
So I went back and talked to the other people in my tour group. One of them said, “Well, they don’t know what they are doing. We’ll go through again.”
So I approached the entrance once again. This time, both guards jumped out and held their guns in front of me, pointing them at my legs.
They were shaking their heads, “No!”
Meanwhile, people were beginning to crowd around. At that moment, because of the great emotional trauma of being overseas with no one who knew me very well or loved me, and having been bitten the night before probably by malarial mosquitos, I started to cry.
There I stood: two Thai guards with guns pointed at me, and a tour group of total strangers and Thai people surrounding me. I cried and cried and couldn’t stop for several minutes.
One of the people on my tour grabbed me by the hand and said, “Don’t worry. I know another entrance.”
So we walked down the road around the corner and approached another entrance.
This time the guard just saluted, and we walked straight on through. On the way out, this man who accompanied me was too tired to find the side entrance again, so we decided to go out the front way.
As we went out the front, I passed those two guards again. I must admit I was very frightened. They looked at me, and I was afraid that they were going to arrest me or shoot me on the spot.
So I ran down the street. They stood there, but I ran away.