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No, this is not a lesson on anything deep or philosophical. I am not about to tell you a story about how we made assumption about a certain person – or group of people – that turned out to be wrong. We made an assumption about a car. And while this isn’t a lesson on the dangers of being judgmental, it is indeed a lesson in humility.

The other day a couple of us from the Mundo and Lokgatat team went to Pak Khad ( a nearby town) for a little day trip. On the way back we decided last minute to check out the new water park in town, and followed the enticing “this way” arrow down the dirt road without hesitation. The road was less dirt and more of a red clay mire. At first it seemed completely manageable; wet due to recent rain with some light puddling but otherwise easy driving. Besides, we had 4 wheel drive! About halfway down the road we came across our soon to be nemesis, the puddle. We hit the edge of the puddle and slid to the right. Then slid to the left. Our car was performing a slow and tentative cha-cha slide with nature, and nature decided she didn’t to dance;  we slowly slid to a stop. We tried to move forward, but we could not. We tried to reverse, but all we succeeded in doing was creating a silty masterpiece across our white canvas of a car. The wheels were turning but we weren’t moving, No problem, we thought, that’s what 4WD is for!

a lesson about mud and 4wd car stuck in mud on the side of the road

We don’t have 4 wheel drive. Did we check before? Of course not. Were we scouring the manual for a secret switch location? Of course we were. As the reality of how stuck we were began to sink in, so did our car.

Nothing too dramatic, but after about 10 minutes our car had a definite lean to it. We flagged someone down who called for a tow truck, but they were busy (of course, it WAS about lunchtime after all….). Boat and I got out. We tried the ol’ create traction under the tires trick that clearly did nothing. I don’t know how Boat’s feet stayed so clean I was ankle-deep in mud first step out of the car! We contemplated rocking the car to create motion but with just two of us and mud that felt slippery as soap that wasn’t going to work either.

lesson during rainy season thailand

Sticks under the tire. Almost worked?

Finally, we did what any sane adult would do. We called Mom.

Boat called his mom back in Buengkan, and this woman is a miracle worker. Within minutes she had made a call to some of her employees who happened to be in the area, and we didn’t have to wait long before the cavalry arrived! We laughed, we cried (ok that’s not true), we made it out alive! This small group of young men not only pushed us out of the puddle, but they pushed us all the way through mud and back onto dry land!

So I guess the takeaway from all of this is….always check to make sure you have 4WD first. Or, make sure someone in the party can call their mom, because honestly moms can get you out of anything! ? Lesson learned.