Thai Angels

The thing you need to realize before I tell you this story, is that the situation I got myself into was not unique…I tend to stumble into uncannily foolish situations everywhere I go, and come out unscathed. Thailand hasn’t changed that.

 

For example, shortly before coming here my roommate and I went to the international grocery store. But on our way in we got distracted by the Discount Mall next door. Well. This place has bars on the window s and doors. We were the only 2 White females in what can only be termed an indoor Mexican market. Stall after stall filled the old department store, manned by Mexican immigrants selling cheap knockoffs and speaking broken English. Haircuts for $12, manicures for 15 (don’t quote me). Nothing felt American or altogether legal. And everyone stared. This is what we did after discovering that eagle creek beach is not for anyone that actually wants to swim in a pool larger than a kiddie pool. I like exploring, typically on my own or occasionally with another accident-prone friend.

 

It seems so serene, no?

 

See? Totally safe and inviting

 

Hence, when the man at the bus stop yelled the name of my neighborhood for a bus other than my typical #6, I still got on. Even if it was 9 pm and I was alone. The bus went to my little mubon, village, but not to my side. It was dark. I was alone. No one spoke English.  And I was lost in a side street far from MY street. And the driver said she was done for the night. I needed to get off so she could park.

 

I did all I could do: reach for my wallet and moan, ‘oh mai.’ (Oh no.)

 

The driver picked up that I was not happy. Possibly terrified on a dark side street. Out too late alone near what appeared to be the alley where the #4 busses call it quits for the night. Which means there were other drivers nearby, smoking and playing cards, as I frantically weighed the options :
1- call my hosts, admit I was foolish and terrify them. Never stay out past 7 pm again as I try to make it up to them.
2 – walk toward the street with lights that might maybe also have taxis on it. Hope I am right.
Praying constantly.

 

The driver saw my stricken face and mentioned the name of a nearby main street, where I had meant to end up.

 

Then through a series of yelling and 4 other drivers gesturing, I learned I was supposed to get into one of the other, empty busses.  There were enough people involved in these directions, I decided it was safe to follow. I climbed in, and waited…and waited and wondered how 8 people had agreed I should get in THIS particular bus, and then forgot to come drive me to the main road?!?!

 
Phone in hand, I counted to one hundred, and promised myself I’d swallow my pride and call home if I didn’t start heading back to civilization in 5 more minutes. After 4 min, a woman and her husband clambered into the front seat and started up the truck. The first driver had refused payment, so I felt somewhat safe – probably not about to get bamboozled. Probably.
 
After 12 exhausting, tense and worrisome minutes, we were back at a major intersection of On Nut, one of the main streets, and close to my home. PHEW! I nearly squealed in excitement and relief, though I feel that might not have been appreciated by the other (tired) passengers.
 
The couple accepted my fare, making sure I crossed the street safely before driving off, and waved good-bye.
 
In summary, what happened was that I foolishly took a different bus to get home, at night. The bus finished the route, and the drivers decided to call it a night. They parked, and then this scared and confused foreigner informed them she was in the wrong place. Their friends took pity on this ridiculous woman who couldn’t even communicate where she wanted to go, suggested a main road – which happened to be correct, then  two drivers decided to restart working after having decided they were done for the night and going to play cards with their friends.
 
They took me back to an area where I could catch a bus, or hail a cab, and I was perfectly safe.
 
This why my professor and I call them our Thai Angels: People that always, and forever, drop out of nowhere – offer help, and then disappear, never to be seen again.
 
This is what I think of when I wonder if making this adjustment really is worth all the frustration angst, and hate the struggles. That’s when I remember my Thai Angels.
 

Photo Credit – Linda Sorrento Images

 
 
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One thought on “Thai Angels

  1. These “angels” are what I pray for with all four of my girls. Now that I have “adopted” you, :o) I do pray the same for you!!!! So glad to hear that my prayers are answered, but maybe?… maybe you shouldn’t make God’s angels have to work so hard. LOL

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