Oz tells of getting stuck in a place known for lurking criminals and the saviour who appeared from nowhere.
Car troubles suck, especially when you're in the middle of nowhere.
Living in Thailand, I’ve met all sorts of scumbags through my travels. Cheaters, thieves, liars, drug dealers, thugs, kids showing me off their guns (the killing kind of arms that is) and the occasional alleged murderer are all part of the ensemble of the interesting people I’ve met. I, for one, have become quite sceptical in whom to place trust thanks to this. Keeping that in mind, you have to understand that when your vehicle decides to go kaput in a road smack in the middle of nowhere, close to the Thai/Cambodian border — notorious for thieves, muggers and other violent criminals — it is quite normal to get a little nervous. Oh, and it’s even worse when it’s night time and the only sources of light is coming from the moon and other passing vehicles in a particularly narrow two-lane road. So basically, getting stuck on a dingy, unpatrolled highway in the middle of the night is quite a shitty situation to be in.
Unfortunately for Alex and me, my car decided to get us into said situation as we were returning from the TFG fishing tournament at Pra Phrong Reservoir. The road we got stuck on was some backwater thing off the national highway that connected Sa Kaeo province to Chacheongsao. The battery in the car was no longer charging and the car just gave up.
To make matters worse, my phone’s battery was also dead and Alex’s was running on 20%. At first we tried calling 191 (the Thai 911/999) for some emergency assistance from the local police or rescue squad. No one picked up. Panic level slightly rising.
So here we were, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a place famous for crime, where the cops wouldn’t pick up the phone and getting a car to stop and help us would be as likely as a tall sexy Thai girl not being a ladyboy.
But I guess there really are the occasional tall sexy Thai girls who aren’t ladyboys. Surprisingly enough, after only half an hour of our flagging down passing cars, a semi-trailer truck parked in front of us.
‘What’s wrong?’ he asked from the driver seat, his wife beside. And that’s how we met the guy who would become our saviour. Art, the man who delivered stickers to factories, became our saviour that night. Once upon a time he work as an emergency worker and since then he has always had the habit to help out random people in crappy situations along his way while making deliveries, sometimes even at the expense of missing delivery deadlines. He is a modern-day selfless saint.
Over the next few hours he called his father-in-law (who lived nearby) to come help us try to fix the car, and when that didn’t work he towed us to the nearby petrol station and helped call us a tow truck to take us home to Bangkok. All without once asking for compensation. Having no cash on me at the time, I gave him the only thing I had to give, some BKK HKR shirts for his whole family as a token of our appreciation. It wasn’t enough, I know, but it’s all I had at the time. We exchanged numbers. I told him if he ever needed anything in Bangkok just let me know. Then we parted ways.
That morning Alex and I had been awake since five a.m. at the start of a ruthlessly hot day in the fishing tournament where the odds were stacked heavily against us. By the time I got home it was already three a.m. the next day but at that I nevertheless was completely thankful. Things could have been a lot worst given our circumstances if it hadn’t been for Art.
That’s all I wanted to say about this, that there was a good-hearted guy named Art, who went out of his way to make sure that two stranded Bangkok fishermen made their way home safely. I dedicate this post to Art and all the other good people out there. Bless you all.
The next day at nine a.m. I received a phone call. It was Art. All he wanted to ask was, ‘Did you guys get home okay?’ What a friggin’ awesome dude.
For more pictures from Oz's roadside adventure, click here.
For more on Oz's fishing adventures, visit http://bangkokhooker-fishing.com/.
29/03/2012 - 11:43