I had a bit of a chat to my dog today. Like most dogs he's a good conversationalist, he watches my face closely as I talk and never interrupts unless he's asked a direct question.
Global warming is the coming problem I said, did he have any opinions?
Wasn't sure what it was, he replied, why didn't we go to the new football field and I could throw a ball while he ran after it and brought it back; the exercise would do us both good.
Surely as a dog born in Thailand he must have concerns about the recent coup, I persisted.
Not at all, he said, why didn't I eat that cold pork chop he knew I had in the fridge and he could have the bone.
Ignoring his attempts at diversion I tried once more.
George Bush and Iraq would create lasting problems our descendants would have difficulty solving, I said.
Never heard of George and wouldn't know an Iraqi if he tripped over one, was the reply, why didn't we take a walk down to the end of the street and see if that little poodle bitch was there. He had a sniff of her last night and was sure she was due to come on heat and he might get his leg over.
That's the trouble with trying to talk to dogs, they have no concept of the things that really matter.
So I let him talk me into the walk that mattered to him more than George and Iraq and we headed towards my wife's sister's shop where there were places to sit and watch the sky darken and the Thai people come home from work.
One of the village's other Farangs was there, Henry, an Englishman who spends six months of the year here, and sure enough he had the poodle bitch on a lead so we sat down and ordered Leo and ice while the dogs got acquainted. Unfortunately the dog's nose had served him well and she was ready to mate, a fact missed by Henry until it was too late.
Being dogs, once they got started there was nothing to do about it but drink beer and wait till they finished. During this time half the village came down to get a half dozen eggs or a litre of gas for their motor bike and stayed to watch the performance.
Finally we moved on and the little dog got the Thai equivalent of a standing ovation as we progressed further down the street.
The next house we arrived at was Linhs, recently married to my wife's niece. I recalled the drama of the previous week and was happy to see he had nearly recovered from his injuries.
While refreshing myself with a bottle of Leo at my wife's sisters the week before a couple of motorbikes had pulled up with four guys including her husband and there was a rapid fire exchange of Thai, too quick for me, but it was soon explained to me that Linh had been badly beaten in a fight.
Linh is a nice guy, he drives my car for me when I don't feel like it; plays with the dog, who worships him, and generally helps out willingly.
His problem has long been an attraction to the opposite sex. His lovely young wife, his highschool sweetheart, has suffered on many occasions but it was his turn to suffer tonight. In any society a common occurrence, but the aftermath left me stunned. His wife's Auntie whom I was having a beer with started yelling at her husband, revenge was imperative.
I walked across the road and through one of the neighbours blocks into the old man's place and by this time the whole family was gathering. Amazingly the middle-aged women were the ones driving their sons and husbands on. My wife's family is the largest and most prosperous in the village, the last thing they need is a blood feud and this was obviously what was being created.
One promising side, I hoped, was the absence of the old man; my wife's father and the head of our side of the family. He had killed men in his younger day, only for honour, and served jail time for it. Also a few years as a monk had made him a man of respect in the village; no bullshit the Godfather would stand aside for these people. I hoped he had gone to sort things out, hopefully the assailants' families would see the futility of further bloodshed and money would change hands to settle matters.
My wife arrived on her motor bike and suggested I go home.
She had to be joking.
I saw the guy who built my house and we walked a few metres to his place and I accepted a drink while we watched the action. Things settled down so I took the dog home.
I was aware Linh could 'go a bit' as I was being pestered by a drunk for cigarettes in the karaoke restaurant one night and Linh spoke about two words in the local dialect to him and he put down his drink, paid his bill and left. Maybe he'll stay home with his pretty young wife now but I doubt it.
Violence is away of life here; I think it creeps into any small rural community but Thailand seems to have a lock on it.
But there was more excitement on the home front this week.
Jeez I love Thailand.
My wife's oldest brother Lan, there are three older sisters then three younger brothers and Lan is the oldest of the brothers, was coming home late the other night at five in the morning.
In consideration of people sleeping, or possibly from having been locked out, he came in through the window rather than the squeaky door.
Unfortunately for him his wife was awake and laying in wait with "a wood".
My wife who was telling the story makes no verbal distinction in English between a small firewood stick and a piece of bamboo the size of a baseball bat, all are categorized as 'a wood', and unfortunately for him it was more like the latter.
He showed me the resulting injuries the next day. Wan, his wife is a strong, hardworking woman and I suppose she stood back to get a good swing at his head as it came unsuspectingly through the window. She also told the Mrs. he was banned from the matrimonial bed for the next nine years.
The significance of that particular time span escapes me.
My wife says that the object of Lan's affections, resulting in the late return home, is married to a soldier.
If it's the one I've seen home on leave he may have further problems. The guy is always in some sort of special forces uniform and brings his gun with him, it's one of those things like Rambo used to run around with in Vietnam.
I like Wan, she was one of our house cleaners and then she started a little restaurant but has recently returned to cleaning. I suppose it was too much work for too little return, it seems like half the houses in the village have a couple of tables out the front and sell noodle soup at meal times.
So what's the point of this story?
I thought that if I used itty bitty little paragraphs like Dana.
Followed Chuckwoww's advice to use an enticing title. (He's calling his next discourse on global warming "Anal Sex")
And wrote about village life like Cent.
I MIGHT GET A FEW MORE BLOODY READERS.
© Julian. All rights reserved by the author.