05 May 2009

A pack of rabid dogs

I had a pretty normal day. I took my almost three-year-old shopping for a few new movies at MBK, met up with my husband and five-year-old for lunch at Siam Paragon and then came home to relax a bit before heading to the store and being instructed to take the waiting tuk tuk through the rabid pack of wild dogs milling on our side street. Oh, screeching halt. Rabid dogs in a pack... not so normal.

After stocking up on just a couple necessary items for tonight's teriyaki dinner, I started the walk home with a highly iced beverage in hand. I was humming along to my kids favorite theme song (stuck in my head) and enjoying the satay stand operators friendly smiles. Until half-way home, I saw a small crowd gathered in the middle of the street and looking further down the road a group of about sixteen dogs milling about the street. A tuk tuk and two motorbike taxis were taking members of the crowd slowly through the dogs and depositing their passengers on the other side.

Waiting for just a couple of minutes, I climbed on my designated motorbike and the driver shrugged his shoulders and said, "Rabies. Free." I was dropped just beyond the dogs and the motorbike ventured through the pack again to pick up another passenger. The walk home ranks up there with one of my oddest moments in Thailand to date. And, I must admit, riding with your ankles dangling at mouth level near a pack of rabid dogs does get the adrenaline pumping. I had desperately been hoping for the tuk tuk instead of the motorbike.

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 46:
Lemon Grass Martinis
A perfect drink to calm the nerves and refresh the palette. Great thanks to my mother who, while visiting, was my guinea pig for this recipe. Here's the improved version, Mom! *wink*

6 stalks of lemon grass (1 stalk set aside, 5 stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces)*
1 cup of water*
juice of 1 lemon*
1 teaspoon honey
2 shots of vodka
1 small wedge of lemon
Ice for shaking

In a small saucepan, add water, 5 stalks of sliced lemon grass and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for five minutes. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Strain and add juice of one lemon. Place 1 teaspoon of honey into a martini glass and place glass into freezer (can be done far in advance). Take reserved lemon grass and cut into a two inch spear. Pound one end slightly and thread a lemon wedge onto the stalk. In a shaker, add 1 shot of the lemongrass mixture, 2 shots of vodka and a handful of ice. Shake. Strain into frozen glass and garnish with prepared lemon grass spear.

*The combination of these ingredients will create more than necessary for one drink. Save any leftovers in the fridge for up to one month.


  1. Yow! Glad you know how to make a great sour martini to soothe the nerves brought on by your day.

  2. Yikes! Didn't think dogs with rabies still roamed the streets...

  3. I look forward to sipping a lemon grass martini tonight as I read my new Thailand travel book. My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon there for next Fall. Can I ask you a few questions about places for cooking schools and the like? We both are fans of loving rice and your stories were a reason we chose Thailand for our honeymoon. Thank you. Peter, London, 6 May.

  4. I had the same experience when I lived on a sub soi of Suk Soi 21. There was only one tuk tuk helping people through the dogs and everyone seemed surprised that there were dogs in such a large pack. I don't think this is normal in Bangkok though, more in the rural areas of Thailand. Hopefully this is your last encounter with rabid dogs. My husband and I love your blog. Keep up the great prose.

  5. Wow! What a day. You don't see too many packs of rabid dogs in the states. It sounds like you earned your drink and I salute you! Raise your glasses folks for the bravest person of the day. :)

  6. Your twitter feed is f**king great. Love following you and hearing your stories.

  7. Noooooooo. I would have fallen over and died. You write as if it is 'no big deal' to have to travel through a pack of rabid dogs. Were they foaming at the mouth? You are crazy girlfriend.


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