Thailand Power of Ten Update -1 Nov

The Thai dog

In Thailand one sees dogs everywhere; outside shops, homes, in the fields and even in the busiest street you will find a dog just casually lying down licking his nuts, oblivious the juggernaut of traffic heading down on him.

They seem to own the spot. The other thing that I must admit is they are all in good condition, cared for and fed. In better condition than I have seen in most countries that I have run in.

But running does pose a problem to these seemingly placid dogs, especially on the morning session. They seem to be full of energy (while it’s still cool) and appear out of nowhere and go for you. Straight at the legs, but Andy has it sorted. It does not help shouting at them; they don’t know what the hell you are saying so all you do is stop, point your finger at them and then stare them down. Instantly they cowl and turn away in a half hunch from where they have just come.

During Happy hour, when that sun is at it maddest, the dog does not give a dam. It’s so hot that the dog can’t even get up. They just lie on their side and give a feeble bark of “Next time I’ll get you.”

Then comes the evening shift; we are absolutely exhausted, it’s still hot as hell at 9 in the evening – we drag our sorry bodies into our tents and crash. Then the whole country’s dog population suddenly wake up from their slumber. The fights start, the barking, wailing, serenading, long lost looking for my friend bark and ‘who-the-hell-are-you chatter that carries on and on.

So on it goes the whole night. Fantastic!

Then there are the mosquitoes (“Mozzies” as we fondly call then)

At this time of the year Thailand is basically a bog; water everywhere and intense heat that are the best ingredients and perfect breeding ground for these little irritants.

By day they are quite insignificant but by night there is a whole new issue. They come in their drones, squadrons of irritation, bump inducing, itchy dictators from planet wherever.

The local folk just seem to deal with the situation with a lame swish of the wrist and get on with life. We have brought everything, Peaceful sleep, Tabard and even some local smelling oil that smells like…. But there is only one thing and one thing only, the secret weapon, the fan.

We eat every evening on the street; the only way you are going to get through your meal not looking like an armadillo with all the bumps, is find a spot that has a fan. They come in all shapes and sizes, but all do the job. In the day they blast the midday heal out from under the tin roves of the eateries and at night they are switched to turbo mode and hopefully “Blat” every “Mozzie” into little pieces against the wall as they twist and swirl in the vortex of high power air. But just step 2 centimetres out of this draft and you have had it, they are onto you in a big way, punishment for trying to wise up on them – the “Mozzie” always wins.

Heading north.

Andy and Pete have done a great job keeping us off the main roads.

It is just simply too hot, the body can’t operate with the heat from the sun, no wind and then the radiation of heat from the road – it’s nearly impossible.

We are probably going a little slower at the moment as there is a lot of wasted kilometres zigzagging to do this, but it’s worth it. We are seeing special places, crazy untouched little villages and just the friendliest people I have ever met.

Every day strangers stop along the road and give us water, offer us food. We are also out of the big city feel and polluted waterways as well as the bushy areas where the unwanted creatures lurk.

Today we had our first swim in a dam next to a rice paddy; clear cool water, just floating around and cooling from this manic sun. Well we have no option but to deal with it and get used to it as there is still a long road ahead.

Thailand rocks, what a special place. It’s going to take me a few more weeks to work out what the secret ingredient is for this harmonious existence that we are experiencing, but it definitely has to do with mutual respect that one sees between interpersonal reactions.

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