Just to refresh your memory, a “song taew” is a red truck that acts as a shared taxi. This is a very popular way of getting around the city. Today, however, we witnesses two accidents, both involving a song taew:
The first accident occurred as we were being shuttled home from the Elephant Nature Park. A song taew next to us tried to get around us and I guess the driver didn’t know the height of his vehicle because he drove smack into an overhead sign. No doubt realizing that the huge crashing sound he had just heard was the reason he could not go forward anymore, he tried to back up and go around, but ended up hitting the corner of it again, taking down the bottom metal part of the sign as he drove “passed”.
The second accident occurred while actually IN the song taew. We were just coming back from dinner and it was raining, which it had been doing on and off all day. Within minutes of getting in the back of the shared taxi, the rain suddenly picked up to bucket fulls simply dropping from the sky. Instantaneously, HUGE puddles in the gutters formed. The taxi driver dropped off the other passenger in the song taew and as he was pulling away from the side of the road, a white SUV (pictured below) turned left in front of him. (Our driver had stopped just before a popular left-hand turn into a mall.) We heard a very loud crash and used the railings overhead to brace ourselves as our bodies thrusted forward.
It was pouring rain and not knowing the protocol, we decided to stay in the song taew. Should we wait around for the police to show up? Do they need us as witnesses? Since he took us half way home, should be pay him something. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to get soaking wet, we stayed in the taxi for much longer than we should have. The police were not called and after some arguing (in a friendly Thai fashion of course) the two drivers appeared to be sharing information under an umbrella.
We eventually got out of the song taew, found another one, and were taken home. What a day!
Tomorrow morning we leave for Malaysia for a week so stay tuned for more adventures!
Mindy and Ligeia :):)