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Kevin McAllion hails from Scotland and he has the humour to prove it. A journalist by trade, he took a sabbatical in Thailand where he spent an unlikely year teaching English before returning to more sensible employment drawing boxes and deleting commas for the Daily Mail. Here Kevin recalls his times in Thailand.

The introduction of new products to an unfamiliar environment can have disastrous consequences - and I'm not just talking about the blatantly obvious disparities in colour whenever some business executive tries to smother his burgeoning mid-life crisis with lashings of Just For Men hair dye.

South Uist's natives are to this day cursing a destructive army of over 6,000 hedgehogs after some chump introduced a handful of them to the island in an attempt to control the slug population in his back garden. The failure of the locals to cope with their spiky enemies always baffled me - surely the Hebridean people are well used to dealing with unruly pricks; wasn't Duncan Ferguson born somewhere within a forty mile radius?

Australia's tight custom controls are also a result of foreign animals causing more damage to their ecosystem than the drunken teenagers who vandalised the Blue Peter garden, and custom officials in South East Asia are rightly wary of anyone arriving in silver platform shoes and a jumpsuit carrying an unnaturally large cargo of puppies.

Thailand's relaxed society is less stringent though and when my mum arrived in Bangkok a fortnight ago, airport officials let her pass gently by, unaware that she was about to unleash a dangerous new toxin into the environment. I expected my request for a bottle of The Abbey's finest to be treated with the contempt it deserved but when my mum prized upon her suitcase back at my apartment in Bangkok, the glorious bounty of a bottle of Junglescud flashed before my eyes.

Given its scarcity on these shores, the bottle of Buckie remains a display piece for the moment, waiting for a suitably apt occasion for its coronation. But the psychological effect of its presence on Thai society has seen a new surge of violence flow through this normally peaceful Buddhist land.

In the two weeks since Buckfast was introduced to Thailand, gangland mobs have demolished one of the city's brightest landmarks and relations with Cambodia have descended past Christmas card diplomacy following the destruction of the Thai embassy in Phnom Phen.

Sukhumvit Plaza was one of the city's most vibrant nightspots - a vast warren of bars, shops and pool halls that reeled in millions each year from tourist's wallets.

Last Saturday night it was business as usual and the bar owners were sloping off to their beds at 4am when the landlord arrived with a 200 strong army of mafiosos and promptly razed the entire complex to the ground. The following evening, I turned up for a glimpse at the carnage and saw defiant bar girls camped outside the iron barricades sipping bottles of Sang Som while trying to come to terms with the loss of their livelihood.

Graffiti was etched all over the barricades in Thai and English, the most touching being "Owner - who will feed our children now?" All in all, the loss of jobs is estimated at over 500 and the government immediately ordered an investigation into the matter, with disgraced army officials implicated in proceedings. The whole experience made me realise that the evil diabetic hun who charged us a king's ransom for the pleasure of staying in his Glasgow dive for nine months wasn't too bad after all.

Just two days later and the theme of violence continued as furious Cambodians set fire to the Thai embassy following remarks from a Thai soap actress about their famous Angkor Wat temple.

The soap siren allegedly claimed that the temple belonged to Thailand and that Cambodians were a bunch of nimble-fingered bastards, though it later emerged the source of this story was as reliable as a piece of Old Firm transfer speculation in The Sun.

Three punters turned up at Cambodian newspaper The Pol Pot Post and said they had heard the actress bad-mouthing Cambodia on the radio, so without hesitation the paper took their word for it and printed the exclusive on their front page. The news spread faster than an industrious porn star and soon angry mobs descended upon the Thai embassy and demolished anything related to Thailand, including businesses, cars and hotels.

Could such a scenario occur back home?

"Take The High Road star Mrs Mack last night sensationally accused England of hijacking the service station at Gretna Green, calling Tony Blair's government 'a bunch of cunts.'
"Angry cockneys responded by ritually sacrificing Alan Hansen on the centre circle at Wembley Stadium despite the former Liverpool star's desperate cries of 'I want to be one of you, really. I even call the England team "us" when I'm commentating on TV for fuck's sake'.
"Scots celebrities Ewan McGregor and Lulu have already gone into hiding while John Leslie said: "Oh, for Christ's sake, what now?" when we broke the news to him as he rimmed a pro while watching hard core Dutch porn in a Salford B&B."

Kevin McAllion – March, 2003

Read more from Kevin (aka David Alsatian) at: http://www.thespoof.com/search.cfm?writer=564

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