Thai woman tells of 25-year detour after catching wrong bus

in AppleOutsider edited January 2014


  • Reply 1 of 10
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    I'm absolutely amazed that even someone pretty bad at learning languages wouldn't pick up enough Thai to, along with some frantic hand gestures and scribbled sketches, explain her situation to someone in some time period considerably less than 25 years.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Yeah... something tells me this isn't such a simple case as I took the wrong bus detour for 25 years...
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Thailand is not a big country. In 25 years, you could visit every village by foot and still manage to find your own. This woman was clearly crazy and/or stupid.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    How would she know how big it is? She is from a rural area of an ethnic minority probably without formal education (given her age)...
  • Reply 5 of 10
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Apparently translators aren't really prevalent in that country. Wow.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    This story sounds fishy to me too.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Even Chance, Sassy, and Shadow made it home... twice!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

    How would she know how big it is? She is from a rural area of an ethnic minority probably without formal education (given her age)...

    Unless she's traveling through the jungle, and not by road, ultimately she'll either hit water or borders, which should both be quite impassable.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

    Even Chance, Sassy, and Shadow made it home... twice!

    lol I loved that movie when I was younger.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member

    She was heading home from her shopping trip when she mistakenly hopped on a bus to Bangkok, some 1,150 kilometers (700 miles) north of her home in Narathiwat province.

    In Bangkok, unable to read Thai and speaking a language few Thais can understand, she again took a wrong bus, this time to Chiang Mai, another 700 kilometers

    (430 miles)
    further north.

    There she ended up as a beggar for five years, until she was sent to a homeless shelter in the central Thai province of Phitsanulok in 1987.

    Officials at the shelter told AFP that she was known as ?Auntie Mon,? because her speech sounded similar to the language of ethnic Mon living along the border with Myanmar.

    But still no one could understand her, until last week when three health students from Narathiwat arrived on an exchange program to research the problem of homelessness at the shelter.

    What an amazing and pretty awful story. Actually, I 'can' see this happening for real. The woman is in her early 50s, she isn't educated, she has probably spent her whole life in a submissive female role and isn't accustomed to taking assertive control over circumstances.

    The language barrier causes her to take the wrong bus, not once but twice, landing her 1,100 miles from home in a foreign country, with her small store of funds rapidly exhausted. Now impoverished, and not being able to communicate, she begs for *five years*, and then is put, involuntarily, into a homeless shelter, with god knows what other kinds of crazy (literally) riff-raff.

    Even if she 'had' learned everyday vocabulary in her new language, I can see that it might still have been very difficult to explain to someone the strange and confusing story of what had happened to her.
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