Drunk Not Dead / Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit or Route 3 stretches from Bangkok to Trat. This road serves as the main conduit south to the Cambodian border and its lanes cut through a series of coastal cities and town. In Pattaya Sukhumvit is more highway than road, although drivers speed over its asphalt with an abandonment of regard for life and limb, theirs and anyone else in their path. Car crashes, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian hit-and-runs occur with deadly frequency. Houses are bigger and cheaper on the inland side of the motorway, but living live in Pattaya excludes endangering your life crossing the busy thoroughfare.

“Sukhumvit taang lu; ang mah dtaai.” Pi-Uan, who rented cars outside the Buffalo Bar, worked the rescue crews cleaning up the bloody aftermath of wrecks. He called the road the highway of dead dogs, because scores of pi-dogs litter the verge and I have dreamed of joining their corpses. The number of farangs who meet their maker on Sukhumvit is a classified secret of the Thai Tourist Board.

The origins of the adage ‘god loves a drunk’ are lost in time, but the words were once more proven true by a Sattahip musician, who succumbed to the excess of lao whiskey and pulled his motorcycle to the break-down lane and fell asleep a meter from the death race with his wife in devout attendance, since he had spent all their money. His head rested on his shoes. The police awoke the singer. He sang them a song and fell into a heavy slumber at a bus stop.

Thailand has only four breathalyzers, so the attending officers were unable to get a blood-level reading from the unconscious entertainer. His wife advised the uniformed police to let him sleep it off and two hours away the singer arose from the dead.

A miracle on Sukhumvit and it occurred in broad daylight.

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