During the day the dogs of Buengkan flop lazily along street sidewalks (or lack thereof), too hot and tired to bother with you as you walk past their turf. But just wait until the clock strikes midnight and a simple walk home makes you seriously question your decision to pass on the rabies vaccine. When you are walking all alone at night to the soundtrack of angry barks and growls only to be faced with one of these potentially feral creatures running full speed at you down the dark street it’s difficult to stay calm. If I’ve learned anything since moving to Buengkan, it’s that most these dogs are really just oversized babies. If you stand your ground, raise your arms over your head, and give your best warrior cry they will actually stop in their tracks and back off. It’s worked so far, at least.
Tonight I had to fend off at least three dogs while walking home. Even though so far this approach has a 100% success rate it still freaks me out a little every time I see one of them racing towards me. I was, needless to say, a little on edge by the time I reached my street. As it usually goes, I first heard the clicking of the claws as this creature approached from behind. I waited a few seconds before spinning around and striking my most ferocious ninja pose, arms up and yelling, “RAH!”, only to come face to face with….
I was scared senseless by a dead leaf skittering across the road.
And I sincerely hope no one else saw.
But fending off dogs is just one of the many perks of living in Thailand! Some others include (but are not limited to):
Bi-Polar Self Esteem: On the one hand you have a bunch of students asking you if you are pregnant and Thai people calling you fat while at the same time complimenting you on your big nose, and on the other hand you have your mother telling you that you are looking skinnier. Meanwhile the paler you are the more lovely you are, so I end up feeling a little bit like a beautiful beluga whale. It’s very tiring trying to balance yourself out. Eating sticky rice as comfort food isn’t helping.
Becoming a Walking Billboard: For all your favorite bands…
Although on the bright side as a result of these bracelet gifts I have discovered a Korean boy band called B.A.P. While I am slighty perturbed that 13 year old girls are into this, God bless you K Pop, you will never cease to amaze me.
You will watch this video and be all like, “WTF was that??” yet still feel the compelling need to watch another one. This is an endless trail and you may spend hours following each new link. You have been warned. The Beibs aint got nothin on these guys….
New Nicknames: Not only does my last name sound like the Thai word for “hungry”, I made the mistake of calling myself beautiful instead of unlucky at immigration (they sound so. very. similar.), resulting in them calling me Ms Beautiful every time I go in there. But let’s be honest, I’m not complaining about that one. 😛
Language Barriers: You want to know something frustrating? I’ve learned just enough Thai to know when I’m being talked about, but not enough to know what is being said.
System Clearing: You will, after being in Asia long enough, experience firsthand the joys of food poisoning. This includes purging everything in your stomach and more in two-hour intervals and almost pooping your pants when you attempt to stumble to work anyway. On the bright side you lose a couple pounds and have the opportunity to start again fresh! Hooray?
It is now 240am and I’m tired, but I’m sure there will be a part two coming soon!