Saturday, August 17, 2013

Save the Life of an Eel

In my hunger, i'd temporarily forgotten the number one rule of Mae Sot - don't go out at night on foot. Especially alone. The dogs aren't vegetarians. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after i'd climbed over my first gate and established a firm resolve to get some food, that i remembered this rule.

While eagerly searching for a stick to ward off canines, i was a bit taken aback to instead find a pink, writhing eel lying in the middle of the road. After puzzling for nearly a minute, I moved him on top of a sewer grate where all thirty inches of him wriggled and finally plopped into the rushing water below. I stood up and asked myself if i was the only of my friends to ever have an opportunity to rescue an eel from a city street.

I kept walking, keeping an eye out for carnivorous fiends, when i heard the mystical dong of the Buddhist monastery's morning bell, pulsating through the alleyways. Apparently the Mae Sot dogs enjoyed the sound even more than i did, as within moments, hundreds of eerie howls accompanied the bell. The sounds mingled together to produce a great horror film soundtrack which was kind enough to accompany me as i hurried my pace and kept my head down. I hadn't seen any dogs yet, and i still didn't know what i'd do if i saw them - but the absence of dogs on this street along with the ghostly howling coming from all around me haunted me even more. Are all the dogs finishing up a committee meeting and about to come marching down the street to me en masse?

Without any more mishaps, i arrived at the 7/11 (probably the only recognizable chain in town), where i bought a small sandwich and a strawberry yogurt. I paused to mentally prepare before embarking on my return journey.

As i rounded the first corner, and started walking back down the main street, something in one of the parked cars caught my eye. Was it...? Yes, a human. A crazed madman waiting to attack the first passerby. A murder victim, lying dead in the driver's seat to be found by the police. Wait, no, it was just the seat cover. My eyes and my mind had conspired to deceive me. Although i now knew that it was nothing, my heart had started to thump harder, and my adrenaline was already pumping. And after being jolted in fear, everything starts to seem menacing.

Menacing. Like those two dogs lying in front of Siam Bank ahead, on the right. They were both big and ugly. They hadn't seen me yet, but i was going to have to walk by them - there was no other way around. I kept walking, keeping as silent as possible. Still hadn't seen me. I realized that one was sleeping. The other was scandalously licking himself and thus hadn't seen me yet, but if i walked in front of him, surely he would see me. I held my breath and kept walking, keeping my head down and ducking behind cars when possible. Finally, i looked back and determined that he would no longer see me, i had made it past.

Only a few minutes later, i got back to the guest house where i'm sleeping on the floor of a friend's room for the night. As i didn't have his key, i had to climb the gate to get in - the gate which is right next to the room where the manager is sleeping. I had to climb very quietly. The gate was cleared with relative ease and utmost silence. I entered the room, plopped down on the floor, and judged whether the strawberry yogurt was really worth the effort. It wasn't.

But the adventure was definitely worth the journey.