"When truth and compassion part ways, follow compassion." ~ Unknown

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hua Hin

Big Buddha near Hua Hin

So we're now in Hua Hin, a beach town located on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It's a lot like Florida's gulf coast towns in that it's half ghost town. Hua Hin is close to Bangkok so there are a lot of second homes, weekend get-away condos and apartments. Even the King has a residence here.

Dogs will be dogs and so will we

We're staying in an apartment M. Lee found on Airbnb. It's right on the beach overlooking the Gulf and much nicer than the tiny room we had in Chiang Mai. It's way to nice for the likes of us but we're willing to be corrupted. The odd similarity is that, like our place in Chiang Mai, we are very nearly the only people here. It's like we're ghosts in a vacant house. We're the only people on our floor so we've been sleeping with the front door open for the breeze.

Hobbit monk blue door into rock inner sanctum

It's a bit creepy but a nice draft. Our isolation here is compounded by the fact that not one member of the skeleton crew that runs the place speaks a word of English. That just seems like a bad idea to me but that's the way it is. Anyway, we met the owner of the apartment next door this afternoon. He is preparing the place for a family coming this weekend.

Me, Swami and Giant Golden Tortoise

Bummer. But it's late. More on Hua Hin later. I've got to get to sleep.


Roy said...

I like all the dog pictures you include. (I guess you do the occasional cat...) I always get this weird, little thought popping up--although it's irrational, I am always momentarily startled that cats and dogs in exotic foreign places are the same as they are here in Kansas City, U.S.A. This thought in turn makes me understand the sameness of people everywhere. I mean, I already know this, but your dogs make it real.

asha said...

Yes. Seems dogs everywhere enjoy that wonderful doggieness that we know and love. Oddly, there are cultural differences as well, based on how people treat them. Sadly, people in Mexico and Central America are extremely abusive to dogs, all animals really. Dogs suffer terribly in those countries. They limp wounded and starving through the streets and, for the most part, people ignore them. However, I've seen men and boys kick them for sport. It's outrageous and disgusting. Animals are treated so poorly in Latin America that we don't even want to visit those countries any more. China is even worse although, among younger people especially, there is a growing animal rights movement. In any case, dogs in these countries are clearly depressed and frightened.

Dogs in Thailand have it much much better which, I believe, is due to the fact that it is a Buddhist culture. The idea of dogs as pets and family members is new and, yes, dogs are lapping it up, but even street dogs have it good. At least in the areas we have been, the majority of dogs are well fed, even fat, and content. But they have a different relationship with humans than dogs in America. It's a separate but equal kind of thing. The street dogs have their territories and many even wear tshits. They are fed regularly and are not harassed but, beyond that, keep to their own society and, in general, seem to be enjoying life.

Temple dogs, like the one in this photo, have it especially good. Some even wear embroidered gold coats. Mostly though, Thai dogs are not pets and do not respond to cutesy doggie greetings the way American dogs do. I know. I tried and was pretty much ignored. The one shadow is the scarcity of female dogs. I suspect Thai population control involves killing female pups but don't know for sure. It's just that there are very few females on the street so I fear the worse. These old patriarchal cultures can't seem to get their heads around castration, which is the humane form of population control.