Well, I didn’t expect that.

Cab dude drove me to the terminal only after insisting I see his “sponsor” for “just five minutes”, meaning, “Because you aren’t paying me more since that paper you handed me said In Thai to pay me no more than 100 bhat, and because you have no freakin idea what I am saying right now, I am going to stop just here at this random corner and hand you the keys and you go in that stuffy men’s fabric lothing store (huh?) and mill around and I will get free gas. Go on, I will go have a coffee, no rush.” .

At last, 12 of us left Bangkok on a 3 hr public van headed to Resotel on the River Kwai, every square inch of the van packed with packages and bundles. Funny, very, was grown adults climbing like old donkeys over seats and looking down to see where their ankle had gone and disappeared to – under that purse there? What about that bag, is it…There it is!”

My destiny was sealed by, evidently, very badly worded but insistent directions given to me from a Thai friend, which I was to give the bus driver, but which landed me in the wrong, wrong, WRONG place. I was to meet a driver in the “City Center” of Kanchanaburi, which is to say, a yawning hole of a place with buses poking out this way and that, like groaning, dusty teeth.

The driver was to whisk me away to my remote abode. I was given no explanation of where to meet her or what she looked like or her car. Clearly lost, and speaking a dazzling two words of Thai (small: liklik [sp?] and mon: beautiful) I was soon swarmed by a policeman, 5-6 other earnest men, and a young woman, all trying to help me though they spoke perhaps 4 words more in English than I did of Thai.

Thus ensued many calls from the crowd via someone’s borrowed cell (wifi helped for a moment though the computer expert in the city square – 10 years old – claimed there was none ) to my Thai contact, who reached the driver forthwith and I was pointed at the bench. I grasp enough universal body language to understand “don’t move from there!” and “those directions stink.”

It was the young woman who handled the phone though she spoke no English at all and along with the officer, decided to wait with me and the borrowed phone until my driver arrived.

Without warning she suddenly happily proclaimed something in Thai; the crowd jumped in once again and her camera was produced lickety split, and my phone was handed over as well, all pointed at us. Alright, surprising, she wanted a photo with me. Surprise! Amusement! Why…? I know not. Then again another, and she threw a lazy arm over my shoulder and we laughed and smiled for our adoring paparazzi. It was all over, the guys laughed and we recommended the waiting.

And suddenly it was on again! The officer declared, “She say more! She kiss now.” Again with the cameras and in a flash she was kissing my cheek and somehow her arm was around me and her fingers tickled my throat. Several photos were had. She reviewed and sighed, said, “This you….beautiful you. Me no.” She handed me a printed photo of herself and in a blink my driver was there, her kiss still surprising me on the cheek and we were
waving goodbye.

Who knew a kiss and amusement would follow broken directions. I pulled out her photo last night and wondered, what was that all about?

A fortuitous accident, indeed.

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