The dog wouldn’t shut up. It was sitting under a truck just outside the office. I don’t know what was more annoying, the dog or the fact I seemed to be the only one hearing it. It was like Edgar Allen Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” and I was the only one hearing my heartbeat.
Every three seconds the dog would bark and it would echo throughout the office. I couldn’t concentrate while everyone else went on with their business as if the dog’s barks were nothing but a soft rock radio station playing “Smooth Operator”. I even told everyone I wanted to kill the dog and they didn’t seem to understand why.
I walked outside and stomped my feet near the truck and chased the dog off. I came back in the office to curious faces waiting for an American freakout. I smiled and told them this was a perfect example of the difference between Thais and Americans. While they didn’t seem to notice or care about the annoying yelps from the diseased dog, I couldn’t think straight and needed to get rid of the mongrel. They asked me if it’s good they can be so relaxed and I said it was, but it’s something I, and many Americans, can’t tolerate.
The Thais have a saying, mai bpen rai, which roughly translates to “never mind”. It could also be thought of as “no worries” or “it’s all good”.
These people are so relaxed about everything. I hope a bit of it rubs off on me and I can take some back to the tense United States. Of course, barking, flea-ridden, disease-filled dogs don’t last too long in America.