If the statistics are anything to go by, the fatalities on the Thai roads have increased dramatically this year. Here, in Pattaya, where we live our fun lives, we do take those lives into our hands when we drive.
The story I am about to tell is hearsay. However, the source is reliable.
Bang Saray is a little seaside village about twenty-five kilometers from central Pattaya and it is one of the few places where you can swim without getting skin problems. A fishing village of some charm it is served by white baht buses which bomb along the Sukhumvit, stopping and starting as they let off or take on their passengers. The buses are often full of school children and when so, the bus-rears drag on the roads so back-heavy do they become.
The story is that one such songthaew was nearing Bang Saray with the driver quarrelling with his Thai wife who was sitting beside him. She lost it and pulled on the wheel. The bus careered off the road and killed five passengers on the spot. A further two died in hospital. Destiny decreed that the married couple live to tell the tale.
Is there a suitable conclusion to this post? I can only say I have seen many couples in the front seats of songthaew. They sometimes bring their kids along for the ride. I know Thai families quarrel and I can only presume this particular wife was overly exasperated so much so that at a certain moment she decided everyone should have an accident. When this husband and this wife come out of hospital they will be charged unless they know very important people or have bank accounts more dangerous than Thai roads.