The life of a dog in Bangkok can be miserable. If you are born as a toy dog like a Pomeranian or Chihuahua, chances are good you will never see much daylight or feel gras under your paws. Other pet dogs may be happy if they can get out of their cage more than 10 minutes a day. And the really lucky ones get walked.
Sometimes the owners don't really want the dog anymore and then the creatures end up in kind of make shift dog shelters. Together with street dogs, who may have been injured or people found some pies and took them there. While there are shelters with some prober roofs, water supply and food, many are run by dog ladies: Older Thai women who just love dogs and keep them in their place.
Yesterday I visited two of them, left and right from Srinakarin road, just where the Highway number 9 is crossing. I went there with the doctors from 107 Bearing Pet Hospital. Khun Naridsara, Khun Supaporn and Khun Pichamon are three amazing ladies running a pet clinic. Together with some of the (also female) assistants we went to the dog places to provide some donated food and medicine.
Each place hosts about 100 dogs, all sizes ages and breeds. The first place, owned by Aunt Ket, is reasonable clean, located in a small soi off Srinakarin road. She loves the dogs that much that she doesn't want to give away a single one.
The other place wasn't that well maintained, mainly because of the limited resources. Aunt Sombun is quite poor and lives there with her daughter, her daughters boyfriend and two grandchildren. It is a classic squatter place, slum style environment, or even worst. She has also around 100 dogs there, quite a few in poor condition, mainly because diseases are spreading there. The vets gave rabies shots to a lot of them, also to protect the kids, who are sometimes bitten by the dogs.
A rabies shot costs about 100 baht while distemper is around 270 baht, so with limited money they go for rabies first. None of the dogs in both places are neutered or sterilized. The main reason is that they need to get a extended blood check first to see if the are in a condition well enough to survive a surgery. This and the fact that they will need a week of aftercare increases the costs of neutering to 4000-6000 baht per dog.
One could argue this is not a proper place for dogs and they should be handed over to government run shelters. The problem is that those shelters host thousands of dogs already and frequently running out of money. And at the end the conditions there are only slightly better. So what the vet-ladies do is collecting donations and providing them, but also trying to give advice. Yesterday they at least tried to explain to Khun Sombun she should try to separate the sick from the healthy dogs, and I explained her how to deal with an aggressive dog that bit her once (the dog is quite traumatized, because he was dropped there in a bag with legs tied together).
If you want to help those shelters, just go there and drop some food or even money. There is always someone around. If you don't speak Thai it is not much of a problem – they will understand what the dog food is for.
Today I went with the vets from Bearing 107 hospital to two dog shelters at Srinakarin road, just next to the Highway 9. We brought food and vaccine as well as some supplements and electrolyte for the dogs. Each shelter has about 100 dogs living there. The conditions are bad for western standards, but at least the first place was clean and the dogs looked quite healthy. The other place just under the highway is dirty, the dogs seem to fight a lot guessing form the wounds and many are sick. The owner isn't able to keep the sick dogs apart from the healthy ones, so diseases are spreading pretty fast. About 50 dogs got a rabies shot, to protect them and the old lady, her daugther and the little grand kids living there.
Since I mentioned that I am a dog lover, here are some pictures of the pack. Pixie is the oldest, she came with us from Germany, but she is a street dog from Spain. She is 14 years old now. Yoda is a temple dog from Bangkok, and Puna lost a leg during the red shirt protests (but it was a car accident, just took place at Ratchadamri during the protests). Pimmy and Pipa are both from Laos. We found Pimmy more dead than alive on the side of the street as a few days old puppy. We got Pipa from our friend Noy, she survived distemper as a puppy.
They live with us in the house, but we walk the dogs at least two times a day, and they can go into the garden whenever they want – or told. Other than most dogs here in the compound our dogs are NOT in a cage, and never will be.
The way most dogs treated here in the village is just cruel and just not good for the dogs. Single dogs are locked away in the back of the house, others are never allowed to go even outside the house (in particular so called toy dogs). We have a Labrador living in the next street who never walks – even when I offered to walk the dogs, the owners refused. A beagle and a retriever are living alone in the yard of another house, only getting food two times from a maid (at least).
I am not sure if 170 house and from there around 20 dog owners are a good representation of the state of pet dogs in Bangkok. I actually hope not. It sees that every street dog has at the end a better life than most of those in our Moo Ban.
It took me a while to find the new beer garden that replaced one of my favorite places just next to the BTS station On Nut in Bangkok. Until a few months the beer garden was very local, very improvised but had it's own charme – and a great selection of food and drinks. But it's gone, making space for some entertainment center.
Alternatives came up quickly: Just next to the BTS, still opposite Tesco, opened a small place around a pond, with Thai food stalls and two beer bars. Nothing special but does it for a quick beer.
BUT: The real beer garden experience moved a bit further down. Just take a motobike taxi at the corner of Soi 81 and go for 10 baht around 500 meter. Once you cross the bridge the new beer garden is on you left hand. The On Fire shop moved here, serving excellent German style sausage and German style meatballs as well as fish and chips and different fries. A pizza shop opened as well. Two bars are serving drinks, and several Thai food stalls give you the spicy experience. Plenty of space to sit as well, and still the old price structure (Coke Zero for 20 baht is a real deal). They show even CTH on two big screens
In contrast to the old beer garden you can expect clean toilets here, and they are for free.
In summary, the new place is a bit further away but still in a walking distance and a good alternative to spend some time for dinner. It's a bit better in quality than the old space, what is not a bad thing, just needs a few more food stalls with more variety. It isn't as fancy as W-District, but the advantage is that the hordes of young teachers haven't discovered it yet.
It seems that a parking strip opposite our Moo Ban exit is a popular drop off place for street sellers. Nearly every morning we see a pick up truck unloading either pillows and bed covers, mattrasses or - honeycombs.
The guys who are selling the honey and the combs are provided with a bicycle that was also unloaded from the truck and have to roam the street the whole day.
From what the combs looked like I guess it is wild honey that was collected in the forests – and maybe illegally.
Not sure if it actually a good idea to take the combs out large scale because it destroys a bee colony, and bees are so needed for pollination.
Just in case you want to know, how you can loose some weight or get back into shape, have a look on Karsten Aichholz recent blogpost. He covers nearly all, from running to biking (I provided some routes), workouts inside and outside a gym, Yoga, you name it.
So, no excuse anymore that you just don't know where to start. Move your a**..
It is time to be clear and frank: There are reasons why Thai people don't like foreigners, and I would like to list the 5 reasons I think are most important.
Thai people do not like foreigners because:
1. They make lists why Thai people don't like this and that
2. They generalize all Thai people as if they were all the same
3. They don't even specify what like actually mean (Facebook like?)
4. They like to read lists like that a lot, and lists about 5 ways to date Thai girl even more
5. They don't speak the language.
Oh, there could be a misunderstanding with the least point: It is actually that many foreigners don't really speak Thai much (I have to admit, my skills aren't as good as I wish for).
And in case you haven't noticed yet: Lists like this are BS, of course. Even IF all Thais do not like foreigners, there would be more than 5 reasons. Lists are the opposite of a differentiated view. Reality isn't black and white, it comes in many grey shades and even colors.
So, it isn't even a question if Thais like something unless you make a survey with a representative number of randomly selected participants and unbiased questions.
I am blogging since at least 15 years I think. I was always a writer and journalist. Blogging gave me the freedom to write whatever I want. Not just to speak out, but just write about any topic I want and can. Because, I can. It is my server, my blog, my home. No editor in chief, no publisher, just me and my readers. Ok the latter aren't that many, but hey, at least some.
Since I moved to Asia, blogposts for my German blog faded. More and more I was shifting to my Blogs about my life in Asia. That was 9 years ago. My problem is: I don't know what to say anymore. All of the countries I lived in Asia so far have no or very restricted freedom of speech. So nothing political, in Thailand not even some complains about customer service – you can get sued for defamation (and many companies just love to do this).
Market in Samrong Nuea
Another food blog? No. Another secret places in Bangkok? No. More stories about my life? Not really, but some, just to keep friends up to date.
But keeping in touch with friends isn't working with blogs anymore. We have Facebook and Instagram. No need to write 6000 words about my trip to Hua Hin. Nobody wants to read this anyway.
So, just to feed the search engines, ten reasons why I am blogging less:
1. Most about Thailand as a tourist destination is written already, from diving spots to coffeshops
2. Most about Thailands culture is also written
3. I can't really write about politics in Thailand
4. I am not experienced enough to make a proper analysis about Thailands society
5. A picture says more than thousand words (what is the excuse of the lazy guys, of course)
6. My daily life here isn't that exciting, since I don't party all night
7. I am not getting paid for it
8. But I can get paid for other articles on other platforms
9. That's why I just ignore the numbers here and end with the fact
10. that lists are just a dumb way to attract readers :-)
So, expect more pictures with some notes in the future. There are still great bloggers here, Karsten Aichholz is a great source for living in Bangkok, www.ajarn.com is a must for teachers, and Richard Barrow is still mandatory for expats.