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August, 2008

Just the other day, as I was relaxing with a bowl of spicy dried peas and an icy Cheers beer in front of a popular Thai nature channel, I was absolutely flabbergasted to learn that an awful lot of the things that crawl, creep, sneak and slither around this city of ours tend to be incredibly dangerous. I immediately phoned the Thailand National Institute of Dangerous Animals to voice my concerns and get some sort of comment. He was on his lunch break and never called me back. Not to be deterred, I decided to do my own research. So please, before you venture out into this great city, I beg you to cast your eyes over a few words of advice on dealing with what are undoubtedly some of the worlds most dangerous creatures.

Elephants - Most commonly found with their backside sticking out of a Chiang Mai roadside bar. Although the Asian Elephant is only a fraction of the size of its far more impressive cousin in Africa, even an SUV equipped with bull bars is going to be runner up in a fight with one of these brutes. No animal that cant jump should ever be trusted. Try not to look directly into an elephants eyes - they could try to make friends with you, and then where would you be?
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Snakes - Ive been told that its very tricky to tell the dangerous ones from the benign ones. Bugger that! A snakes a snake. Dont try to be chums with anything that resembles a length of inner tube, however charming.
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Spiders - Totally silent, generally hairy and with more legs than I care to discuss. What could be more frightening than the sight of your girlfriend climbing on top of the television to escape one of these monsters?
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Bar Girls - These predators will suck you dry. They are particularly threatening to your fiscal reasoning, common sense and, depending on whether you had any when you arrived here, your self respect.
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Mosquitoes - A bit like bar girls. They are itchy little buggers that in one night can make your body look like the bubonic plague has returned. A can of DEET will usually deter all but the most determined.
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Cockerels - Some species are known as the harbinger of the new day. Tell that to a Thai cockerel. The Thai cockerels body clock gave up any similarities to its chums in the west long ago. These beasts will cock-a-doodle-doo from the day they exit the egg until the day they are mashed into kai piyow namsom soup. This is not really their fault however, as they tend to be smacked up on cheap speed. Cockerels will eventually chip away at all that remains of your sanity. There is no known cure for cockerels.
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Tedious Expats - I cannot stress just how dangerous these animals are. Sometimes disguised as a friendly bloke in a bar they are the worse sort of parasite. Totally self absorbed they can quickly suck out your will to keep the blood in your veins. They are impervious to yawns, uncomfortable silences and any excuses you may make that you really need to be elsewhere. Beware the ones with pony tails! A can of mace will usually deter all but the most determined.
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Soi Dogs - Similar to cockerels. These fellows can be very chatty. Especially around 4 a.m. I read somewhere that sticking your fist up a soi dogs arse could be a cure for its vociferousness. Or is that for tigers? Or was it for King Edward II? Ive mislaid the journal I read this in, so cannot be sure. Its best to avoid soi dogs in packs the accumulation of withering looks that these canines are capable of inflicting can be quite off-putting.
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Pigeons - Remarkably un-malicious during the day, they will sit around in trees or on electricity cables, watching. Dont be fooled. They are reserving their strength for dusk when they will leave their perches to come and run around in your roof. They will remain there, scrabbling about, fighting and cooing their little hearts out until dawn when they will return to the trees and electricity cables to resume their watching. A common side effect of pigeons is uncontrollable sobbing at around 3:30 a.m.
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Tiny little bastard ants that get absolutely everywhere and come from nowhere - here we enter the world of the supernatural, Im afraid. These tiny little blighters magic themselves out of dust. This may sound absurd, but Ive done experiments. Leave a glass that once contained a soft drink on the table. Within 2.75 seconds the thing will be covered in magic dust ants. Im pretty sure they come from moon-beams too.
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Animals on the road - These are the worst of all. When you are walking round Chiang Mai please be careful of those animals that come out at dusk. They will usually have been feeding on laew daeng and red-bull and will be drowsy and confused behind their steering wheels or handlebars. This is when they are at their most unpredictable. You will not know that these animals are there until they attack you. Other motorists are the traditional prey of these marauders, but they have been known to go for the odd unwary pedestrian, cyclist, roadside diner, monk, child. An excellent cure would be the use of common sense. Unfortunately there seems to be a city wide shortage at the moment.
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I hope that the above will not stop anybody from enjoying Chiang Mai in the way it should be enjoyed. As Nick Ross, the ousted host of the UKs Crimewatch used to say: Dont have nightmares, do sleep well. Or something like that.

By Tom Clegg
l  Review  l Rate:  1 Star(s) 2 Star(s) 3 Star(s) 4 Star(s) 1/2 Star  2 rating(s)
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Not bad at all Tom, but you need to put down those dried peas and venture forth into the city at large. Otherwise your foreign readers will think Chiang Mai is really St Andrews on Ping. X
From: Andrew Mills Time: 11 September 2008 18:51:32
   Review 2:
Vote: 9 Star(s)10 Star(s)11 Star(s)12 Star(s)13 Star(s)
Danger rating bullets too small to count tally.
Don't know which is the most dangerous.
either Tedious Expats or Animals on the Road ?
From: Jaturaphat Time: 03 August 2008 21:11:20
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