The kindness of strangers. This is something you come to rely on a lot in Thailand. Often it is your only chance of survival in this wonderfully random country, and you have to learn to trust that no situation is ever impossible. Things will always work out, because somebody will always turn up when you need them to most.
Kristin, Becky and I were spending the weekend in Thung Song. We had the two bikes (the magnificent orange bumble bee…along with Sinead’s poor excuse of a moped), and were determined to explore some of Jungle Places we hadn’t yet seen. It was a roasting hot day and so we went off to look for a waterfall. After we’d spent a whole 100 baht (£2) filling up the bikes with petrol, we zoomed off down the highway on our new adventure. A word of warning. Three blondes should NOT be allowed to drive into a jungle alone. Bad things happen.
As we drove deeper and deeper into the jungle, and the number of potholes on the paths grew bigger and bigger, I spotted a cute little shack in the trees.
“Awwww look at that!” I yelled to Kristin who was perched on the orange bumblebee behind me, “I’m stopping to take a picture”
We came to a halt along the jungle track and Becky pulled up alongside us. After posing for some photos in our trendy helmets we set off again to continue with our mission of tracking down a waterfall. We shortly realised that Becky had decided not to follow us.
“What the hell is she doing?” asked Kristin, “She’s just sitting there!”
This was not like Becky, who was usually eager to lead the way. We turned around to go and find out what was going on. As soon as I saw Becky’s face, I knew that something wasn’t right.
“It won’t bloody start!” she grumbled.
“You need to kick start it” explained Kristin (whose previous bike experience consisted of driving the orange bumblebee up a wall…)
As the two of them attempted to kick-start the bike, I spotted two boys roaming around the trees.
“Do you think we should ask them for help?” I asked
“Chooay Doooay!!” we all shouted, whilst waving our hands furiously in the air.
The boys came over, presumably with the intention of helping us. What actually happened was that they proceeded to take Sinead’s bike to pieces…and then looked terribly confused.
Just as we were about to give up hope, in true Thai style, along came a bunch of random people to rescue us from the middle of nowhere. Two more children appeared (from the river this time), a man drove past in a truck, a women rushed out of the shack and then two more men arrived. So much for being stranded in the depths of the jungle!
There was no way the bike was going to start, and by this point we were all beginning to consider the possibility that Sinead may murder us when she returned home. It was then I had to learn a new skill and fast…how to balance 3 blondes on a tiny orange bumblebee bike.
The three of us jumped on the tiny bike and tried our best to stay balanced as we followed two random men down the busy highway to Tantiwatra School. There were some pretty near misses, mainly for the poor guys ahead of us who were clinging onto one another as they wheeled Sinead’s broken bike along next to theirs.
After perhaps the most nerve racking 40 minutes of my life, we made it to Tantiwatra. We turned to our rescuers to thank them and give them some money, but they simply smiled, refused our money and drove on away. The guards at the school miraculously fixed the bike and we left with an amazing new skill.
We could now do this…