BANGKOK (Feb 6, 2007): A 76-year-old woman from southern Thailand has been reunited with her family after taking the wrong bus 25 years ago.
Jaeyaena Beuraheng, a Malay-speaking resident of Narathiwat province in Thailand's deep-South, after visiting her husband across the border in Malaysia 25 years ago got on a bus that took her to Bangkok instead of back home.
Jaeyaena, who can neither read nor speak Thai, boarded another wrong bus in Bangkok that took her to Chiang Mai, 1,340km north of Narathiwat, where she spent five years begging for a living.
Eventually, the unfortunate bus-traveller was arrested in 1987 and ended up in a social service centre in Phitsanulok where she remained until she was reunited with her family yesterday, The Nation newspaper reported today.
Three Malay-speaking trainees from Narathiwat who were working at the centre last month uncovered Jaeyaena's story and contacted her family members to come fetch her.
Staff at the centre said they thought the woman was a Mon or Shan, two ethnic minorities in northern Thailand.
Narathiwat is part of Thailand's so-called deep South, the only majority Muslim region in the predominantly Buddhist kingdom. Many southern residents, especially the elderly, can only speak Yawi, a Malay dialect.