Thursday, February 08, 2007


A 76-year-old Thai woman who got lost twenty-five years ago has been found. FP Passport describes what happened:

The woman boarded the wrong bus when leaving on a shopping trip, and ended up 800 miles north in Bangkok. She only spoke Yawi, a dialect of Muslims in southern Thailand, and couldn't communicate with anyone in Thai or English. In hopes of returning home, she took another wrong bus to a city near the border with Burma and ended up being a beggar there for five years. In 1987, police who suspected she was an illegal immigrant arrested her, but they couldn't identify where she was from. So they put her in a social services center, where she remained for the next 20 years.

The staff at the center thought she was a mute until last month, when Yawi-speaking students happened to visit the center and the woman could finally talk to people who could understand her.

The Sydney Morning Herald has more.

Being separated from friends and family and forced to live as a pauper among people whom you cannot understand for twenty-five years is a tragedy. But a three-hour detour attributable to poor spelling is, I think, rather amusing. So, on to the next story.

My son, currently a student in Pepperdine's Florence Program, reports that a group of students studying in Pepperdine's Lausanne Program visited Florence recently. When they returned to Switzerland, they boarded a train bound for Genova, Italy rather than Geneva, Switzerland.