This photo taken on Monday showing a foreign couple with a young kid stood on the side of a busy Bangkok tollway supposedly dumped there by a grumpy taxi driver sent the interwebs wild on Friday afternoon.
On the word of a guy who knew a guy, stories were concocted and publish buttons hit from two-bit blogs to the Bangkok Post to Khaosod. All of them churning out nothing more than speculation and hearsay as not one blogger or reporter had spoken to the family in the photo, the taxi driver involved or the traffic cop who allegedly helped them, to find out what their side of the story was.
Well, it was a really slow news day and those website pageviews have got to come from somewhere and there’s nothing like a taxi driver shitting on tourists story to get everyone up in arms.
All and sundry went with the line that the cabbie was an asshole and had thrown them out after missing a turn off and didn’t want responsibility for the extra fair. CCTV was being checked and everything possible being done to track down the cruel and nasty cab driver.
All sounds like bullshit to me which is why I only Tweeted the picture before the story exploded. Of course I need pageviews like everyone else but I’d rather have a bad day numbers wise than follow the sheep to end up looking like a tit when it turns out it all went down very differently to what the guy who knew the guy said.
When they do finally catch up with Somchai here is what I think he is going to say.
He picked up the couple from the airport and they were heading to the destination when he missed a turn off or misunderstood where they were going or was taking an alternative route to avoid traffic. The couple complained, then complained some more and possibly become rude to Somchai over who will be responsible for the extra 20 baht on the meter. Couple say they not paying, Somchai says they need to. Couple refuse to cover extra that will go on the meter as it was Somchai’s doing. One word borrows another and the couple demand he stop and let them out right there on the tollway.
Now you can say, “Hey Stickboy, you just made that whole story up as you went along”. Yeah, you could but unlike every other publisher yesterday who went on some unknown Facebook users update taking his word for what happened I said “here is what I think”. The only people who know what happened and what was said in that taxi are the three passengers and the driver, and no one has heard a peep from any of them which also strikes me as odd.
When you get a taxi from the airport you are handed a slip with the drivers details so the couple know exactly who Somchai is. If he had thrown them out on the tollway as he is being accused of doing, then why didn’t they file an official complaint or share their story on social media? I sure as hell would if I’d done nothing wrong and I’m betting moist of you reading this would do the same.
More questions than answers, so lets wait and hear what Somchai has to say when they eventually catch up with him. And if he did chuck them out, then ten out of ten and gold stars all round to all for fabulous guesswork.
UPDATE Monday 23rd March: Turns out they weren’t even in a taxi 555+
Image via FB