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Natchanan Khikkham’s Supermarket Ordeal: A Violent Encounter with a Swiss Retiree in Trang, Thailand

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In the bustling aisles of a Big C supermarket in the southern Thai province of Trang, what should have been an ordinary Tuesday afternoon shopping turned into a scene straight out of a movie, albeit one that nobody would want a starring role in. Picture this: a 58-year-old Thai woman, Natchanan Khikkham, becomes the unexpected protagonist in a tale of an altercation that escalated beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations.

Our story begins innocuously enough, with Natchanan navigating the shelves of the supermarket. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she finds herself being shoved by a man, a Swiss retiree no less, of about 60 years. The plot thickens as Natchanan, bewildered and seeking an explanation, requests the gentleman — and I use that term loosely here — to exhibit some manners. The question of “Why did you do it?” hangs in the air, charged with tension.

But instead of an apology or an explanation, our villain of the story, the Swiss man, elevates the drama by shouting at Natchanan. With the stage set for a confrontation, our protagonist does the noble thing: she walks away, hoping to defuse the situation. However, our antagonist isn’t one to let the plot twist towards a peaceful resolution. He follows her, and then, in a move that seems inspired more by action cinema than real life, punches her not once but multiple times, seemingly unprovoked.

In a bid to defend herself, Natchanan does what anyone might do in a moment of panic — she throws a water bottle at the man, a futile attempt that misses its target. But the story takes a darker turn as the man, not content with his previous actions, knocks Natchanan to the floor, pins her down with his knee, and engages in a flurry of punches that would make a prizefighter pause.

The call for help by Natchanan turns the supermarket into an impromptu arena, drawing the attention of store staff and onlookers alike. The staff, acting as the cavalry in our tale, quickly calls for paramedics while our antagonist makes a less-than-gallant retreat.

Rushed to Trang Hospital, Natchanan receives treatment for injuries that read like a report from the frontline: cuts to her face, a broken nose, swelling around her eyes and back — the marks of a battle she never signed up for.

Meanwhile, the Swiss retiree — our tale’s villain — finds his freedom temporarily curtailed as he is detained by the local police. At the station, he embraces the role of the silent antagonist, refusing to utter a word.

This incident raises many questions about the interaction between expatriates and locals, the nature of altercations in public spaces, and how a simple misunderstanding can escalate into violence. It also casts a shadow on the scenic and tranquil life in Trang, a place better known for its stunning landscapes than supermarket scuffles.

But if there’s a moral to this story, it’s that real life, unlike the movies, offers no script for us to follow. We’re all actors on this stage, making choices that can either uplift or undo. For Natchanan, a shopping trip became a lesson in resilience. For the Swiss retiree, perhaps a moment to reflect on actions and consequences. And for us, the audience, a reminder that even in the most mundane settings, the human drama unfolds in unexpected ways.


  1. Sara L March 6, 2024

    This story is just another example of how expats think they can behave any way they want in foreign countries, especially in places like Thailand where they assume they’re above the law. This man should face strict consequences!

    • JohnDoe42 March 6, 2024

      While I agree that the behavior was appalling, I think it’s unfair to generalize all expats based on the actions of one individual. There are many who respect and embrace local cultures more than their own.

      • Sara L March 6, 2024

        Fair point, JohnDoe42. I might have generalized too quickly. It’s just frustrating to see incidents like this overshadow the positive interactions between locals and foreigners.

      • ThaiTraveler March 6, 2024

        Agreed with JohnDoe42. We shouldn’t stereotype all expats. Many contribute positively to the community. This incident is unfortunate and the man should definitely be held accountable though.

    • LocalGuy March 6, 2024

      As someone from Trang, this is embarrassing and not representative of how we treat each other or our guests. This man’s actions are his own, not indicative of expats as a whole.

  2. TimR March 6, 2024

    Why didn’t anyone step in sooner? It sounds like this escalated way too quickly for no one to have intervened. We really need to do better as bystanders.

    • CaringSoul March 6, 2024

      Very true, TimR. It’s called the bystander effect; people freeze up or assume someone else will take action. We should all learn from this and try to be more proactive in helping others in distress.

  3. Maxwell March 6, 2024

    I wonder if cultural misunderstandings played a role here. Not to excuse the violence, which is never okay, but sometimes what’s considered rude in one culture isn’t in another. Could this have started from a simple cultural gap?

    • SamanthaK March 6, 2024

      It’s an interesting point, Maxwell, but even if cultural differences were at play, it doesn’t excuse the violence. We all need to have a basic respect for each other, regardless of cultural norms.

    • RajP March 6, 2024

      Maxwell has a point, but physical violence is universally unacceptable. Maybe both parties could’ve handled it differently, but at the end of the day, nothing justifies physical aggression.

  4. beachbum77 March 6, 2024

    This is why I avoid crowded places, people are unpredictable. Hope the woman recovers quickly, and the man learns his lesson.

    • PeaceLover March 6, 2024

      Yeah, crowded places can get tense. It’s unfortunate that a simple shopping trip turned into a nightmare for her. Violence is never the answer.

  5. ExpatDave March 6, 2024

    Being an expat here, I’m ashamed of reading about these incidents. Not all of us are like this! I hope the local community knows that many of us respect and love the culture and the people.

    • Sara L March 6, 2024

      Thanks for saying that, ExpatDave. It’s important to remember not to group everyone together based on the actions of a few. Dialogue and understanding from both sides are key.

  6. JusticeSeeker March 6, 2024

    Does anyone know if charges were pressed? This man needs to be held legally responsible for his actions. Violence should not be tolerated, no matter where you are from.

  7. LocalHeart March 6, 2024

    I am from Trang and sad to see my hometown in the news for this reason. I hope Ms. Khikkham recovers well. This isn’t the Trang we know and love.

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