Feb 7, 2007

Thai woman takes 25-year-long bus ride

Here's a story of a woman from a rural area of southern Thailand who boarded a bus 25 years ago for a shopping trip. Unfortunately the bus was going to Malaysia. So she apparently survived by begging in the streets before a group of students recognized her Thai dialect and were able to return her home.

I once heard a similar story that may possibly be apocryphal, but here it is anyway: According to a friend named Laura who I happened to know while I was a student in France, her father was much older than most parents of kids our age. He was in his 60s or 70s when she was in college. According to Laura, her father had grown up in Baltimore and that one night when he was 19 or so he and his friends went out drinking and ended getting completely soused. Laura's father was the first to pass out, so in the wee hours of the night his friends decided to play a prank on him by stowing him away on a ship docked in the harbor.

Apparently the ship unwittingly sailed away with him onboard and he was taken to France (I think this was in the late 40s or early 50s). Instead of coming back to Baltimore, though, he stayed in Europe and worked odd jobs in France and Italy for the next 30 years without ever contacting his family. She said he eventually came back to the states and married her mother, but that he essentially fell off the face of the earth that night in Baltimore. Even if it's not completely true, it's such a good yarn that it's interesting when other stories like that of the Thai woman surface.

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