Menace of the streets

Yep, another misleading title! If you expected this to be about thieves, burglars and hooligans, sorry. This diary entry is about the four-legged menace of the sois: stray dogs.

I think of them as the Thai equivalent of rats in Western cities in the Dark Middle Ages. They are aggressive, filthy carriers of parasites and disease. Once I saw something that looked like a dog carcass, with huge gaping wounds on its side, rotting. Then, to my shock, it got up and walked away as I got closer.

There are about a dozen stray dogs in the soi I live now. The noise of their constant fighting doesn’t bother me much – in fact, I hear them now as I’m writing. In BKK one becomes oblivious to noises. However, what bothers me is the constant danger they pose to passers-by. Not just to me, the Farang, but to the Thai as well. Luckily, most of their half-hearted attacks are easily fended off.

That’s not the case when I’m on my rollerblades though. A thundering 18-wheeler could not cause as much disturbance as when I’m whizzing by on the streets. They really become aggravated, running after me and barking. I found that if I jump and turn around, landing in reverse direction, they stop immediately. The surprised look in their eyes is priceless. This works with all of them – well, almost. For the really persistent, I actually have to stop and run towards them, making big noise. That makes even the fiercest dog run away. But it is a hassle nevertheless.

Sometimes I think that it is only a matter of time until I meet a dog that bit humans already and got away with it. Then I will be in a big trouble! At one time I considered having a pepper spray with me, but then I knew myself “pre-emptive” is only in the vocab of Dubya Bush and his cohorts. I’d only use it after the attack, and then it wouldn’t accomplish anything other than revenge. So, I have nothing but my wits to deal with this menace of the streets. It worked so far…

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