Yesterday we spent a good chunk of our day in downtown Chiang Mai doing a few errands and learning how the public transportation works. To get to the area we wanted to get to you have to take a green songthaew (basically a small truck with two bench seats in the back of the bed and a cover over it.) which has a very specific route through the city. Once you get where you want to go you ring a buzzer, they pull over, you give them 15 baht and you go on your merry way. It worked FLAWLESSLY getting to the night bazaar.
Once Anna, Aria, and I were ready to go after we finished everything we decided to take the green truck back to our mooban (neighborhood). Aria was tired, super cranky, and ready for a bath and bed and I was just ready to be home to have some chillaxin time before we called it a night. Unfortunately that’s not the way it went and for some reason we had to have a little adventure before we could make it home. As our green songthaew driver pulled up I asked him if he was going near our mooban and he said yes so we jumped on board.
The first 20 minutes were perfect and I knew exactly where we were. As we neared Central Festival (a HUGE mall that puts most malls in America to shame) we normally take a left onto the super highway…he didn’t do it and kept going straight. I was thinking maybe he just needs to drop some other people off this direction (which I had never been before) and decided to ride it out and see where he was going. After another 20 minutes of going this same direction getting farther and farther from the city and with my heart beating faster and faster I decided that maybe we weren’t going the right direction. I asked a few people on the songthaew if we were going the right direction and most of them that understood me said yes…I can only imagine the hilarity of this big westerner asking the same question over and over again (I mean seriously, I’m at least a quarter size bigger than most people here).
At this point we were so far out from the city the only lights we had were the two inside the bed of the truck and to make this even better of a story; a storm began to blow in with rain and lightning. “Great”, I thought to myself, “here we are, I’ve got my wife and 18 month old daughter out in the middle of the Thai country. I have no idea where we are and where we are going, and I can’t seem to get this driver to understand that I NEED TO GET HOME…” Simply put, I felt very VERY helpless. Keeping cool, calm, and collected (according to Anna I didn’t do too good of a job at that) I called one of our frequent drivers and had him talk to the green truck driver and tell him where our mooban was. Twenty more agonizing minutes later we arrived outside our mooban with a gigantic sigh of relief.
Come to find out from Megan the route that the driver took is an old route that they very seldom take and we just happened to be lucky enough to take that one on our very first time getting home at night. At least now we know in case it ever happens again. Gotta love random adventures! I wished this one could have waited till during the day but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
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