Ok. Down in Songkla I became acquainted with an American couple---I
no longer remember their names. The man was an RPCV who had come
to Thailand in the early days of PC when Malaria control was going
on. He learned to speak the phak dai dialect very well. He married
a volunteer from another group. They both stayed on and worked
for the Thai government. He told the story of having the ill luck
of being bitten by a little village dog. There had been an outbreak
of rabies in the area apparently, and even though the dog seemed
fine, the government had it killed and sent the head to Bangkok.
Meantime, my friend was horrified to learn that he would have
to undergo all the shots in the belly (since the time it took
to get the dog head tested and results back was so long). Anyhow,
my friends were telling this tale to me while I was vacationing
in Songkla at their house. My friend's description of the pain
was so graphic, and I was so green, that it completely freaked
me out. The next day or something, a Thai friend and I went to
picnic on the beach. As we (the couple had gone ahead to the spot)
were walking along, talking, we saw a big ugly dog. I immediately
started to make a wide detour. My Thai friend put out her hand
for the dog to smell. (A very unthai thing to do) I was panic-stricken.
I pulled her away from the dog and took off running down the beach.
Dog thinks its play time and runs after me. I become hysterical,
cannot outrun the dog, and run screaming right into a group of
tourists. I mean slammed into them, knocked down cold. By the
time my friends got to me, I was bloody, crying, and the dog was
barking happily and running round in circles.
I didn't realize how unusual, atypical, actually being bitten
was, but at the time we were there, there still were cases of
rabid animals getting out and biting people.