This story appears in my book, A Casual Traveler
Kananchuburi Provence, Thailand
I booked a no-brainer trip from Pataya Beach to the Kananchuburi province in Thailand, near the Burma border. It is home to the Bridge on the River Kwai, that was made famous by the movie of the same name. For those unaware, it’s where the Japanese used allied prisoners of war to build a railway bridge over the river, and through the mountain pass into Burma.
The shuttle bus picked me up at my hotel at 5:30 a.m. sharp, a despicable time of the day. The birds weren’t up yet, but there were still a couple people drinking at the bar across the street. Not unusual in Pataya. I’d behaved the previous evening, opting for a movie at the local cinema, instead of being one of those people at the bar.
I climbed into the van and saw with my one open eye that there were other people on the bus. Three older black women had nabbed the best seats. The looked like a darker version of the Golden Girls. I wedged myself in and didn’t pay the driver much attention, until he got lost two blocks from my hotel.