Monday, April 17, 2017
Excerpt from Bangkok After Hours III – Songkran Partying - Chapter 183: Kidnapped in Pattaya – My Daring Escape Plan..
I was in Pattaya for Songkran but it was time for some fun that didn’t include getting soaked by buckets of ice water. I headed out of Secrets Hotel and up to Pattaya 2nd road to where the motorbike taxi’s parked. It was 8:30 a.m. when I showed the motorbike taxi driver a photo of the Pattaya go-kart track and told him to take me there as having a photo of where I wanted to go was the best translator. Now from walking around the day before I knew that the go-kart track wasn’t far from Bali Hai Pier. It should only take a few minutes to get there at most on a motorbike. Right?
I got on the motorbike and in less than 5 minutes the driver was dropping me off. It seemed liked it was a lot father from Bali Hai Pier than advertised to me. I then walked over to the go-kart track only to discover that it didn’t open until 10 a.m. Damn! I decided to walk back towards my hotel on Soi 14 to see if it was close enough to walk back to the go-kart track later. About half-way back I decided that it was a lot further than I wanted to walk in the hot sun so I waited for a passing Baht bus and hopped on and then got off at Soi 14. I walked back to my room in Secrets and for the next 90 minutes I wrote down my notes of the previous night’s adventures. I figured I’d wait until 10 a.m. and then take a motorbike back to the go-kart track.
When 10 a.m. came, I put away my pen and made my way back to Pattaya Second Road to get a motorbike taxi to take me back to the go-kart track near Bal Hai Pier. Now the driver had this rough axe murderer, stone cold and quiet kind of look to him but what the hell this was Pattaya after all. Half the motorbike taxi drivers look like that. I pulled the photo of the go-kart track out of my pocket and asked him to take me there. He looked at the photo and nodded ok but apparently he didn’t speak any English. I got on the back of the motorbike and off we went. Within 2 minutes I was confused as the driver was heading down a road taking us to the left when I knew the go-kart track I had been at earlier was to the right. I knew that many of the roads around Pattaya were one way so I just thought we had to loop around. But after 5 or 10 minutes I noticed the mountain that Big Buddha sits on was passing behind me to my right. What the fuck? I yelled at the driver that I wanted to go to the go-kart track. He just turned his head and shrugged. Damn!
A couple of more minutes go by and suddenly the driver slows down and makes a sharp right turn onto a very muddy, secluded and abandoned looking dirt road. What the hell? I wasn’t anywhere near here this morning!
Then the motorbike makes a turn and I see jungle ahead. Oh fuck! I had read about a fake motorbike taxi driver that had basically kidnapped and driven a tourist into the jungle a couple of months earlier where a gang of thugs were waiting. The tourist lost all their cash, took a very bad beating and was left for dead in the mosquito & snake infested jungle. I’m thinking shit! I’m about to be kidnapped too and dropped off and surrounded by a thieving gang that hates tourists. Fuck me! I’ll be losing my cash, beaten, shot in the head, have my throat cut and left for dead in a dirt ditch and then eaten for lunch by a giant python. Perhaps all of the above and not in any particular order! Not good. Not good at all! Having been kidnapped by a crooked TukTuk driver and having escaped on a previous trip to Bangkok I knew that I needed to take immediate action and that I needed to do it damn quick before the motorbike driver got me into the jungle ahead where his gang was waiting to turn me into tourist paste.
I quickly formed my daring escape plan. I figured that I would move my hands in front of me and push off the seat with my hands and feet launching myself into the air and off the moving motorbike. I figured I’d rather take the chance being chased down and shot in the back by one fake motorbike taxi driver then ending up in the jungle surrounded by a gang where I’d have no chance.
There was some risk of course. I wasn’t wearing a helmet and I might end up cracking my head open like an egg or I might break a leg. But the road was full of large water filled potholes so I thought that the soft mud would absorb the impact of my fall. I was just trying to figure out how do I land? Do I try to roll? We were moving too fast for me to attempt landing on my feet. That would result in broken ankle for sure. But I could see that the driver would have to slow down to make a turn up ahead. That would be my only chance to make my daring escape.
I would have to make my move and do it as in right now before I got any further into the jungle. I was getting myself pumped up and ready to jump and make a run for it back to the road on the count of three. I was quickly moving my hands to the front of me to push off and just as I was about to say three and launch myself into the air like I was Ironman I looked up and saw a large blue sign in the trees. What did it say? Pattaya Kart Speedway! Fuck me! I wasn’t being kidnapped after all! There were two go-kart tracks in Pattaya. One track at Bali Hai Pier and another go-kart track in the fucking jungle with the road leading up it to under construction! Who knew? I didn’t! The photo that I had showed the driver was actually the go-kart track in the jungle! Thirty seconds later the driver is dropping me off.
I would have looked real fucking stupid had I jumped off the back of that motorbike and ran screaming bloody murder back to the road! The motorbike taxi driver would have thought that he had a lunatic, drugged up tourist on his hands and rightfully so….
It was just another average day spent during Songkran in Pattaya.