These are the dog days in Thailand, summertime, when fans and A/C run constantly. It was so named by the ancients who believed Sirius, the Dog Star, was close to the sun and responsible for hot weather. Now we are much wiser and know it has something to do with the trade winds. Southeast Asia has three seasons: cool (hot, really, though the Thais usually wear sweaters), hottest and rainy. In Bangkok, "dog" is usually paired with "soi," as in the countless mongrels that live in and around the many streets and alleys that branch off the main boulevards. Many of them are mangy and maimed, and survive with no fixed abode or owner (although they seem to exercise territorial rights). People write letters to the editor to plead that they be cared for, and there is even the Soi Dog Foundation to assist in that worthy goal. The other day when I went looking for dogs to photograph, few could be found, probably because they're smart enough, unlike me, to find shade out of the heat. But I did wonder briefly if a Vietnamese butcher had snapped up the few fat ones.
Cera Resort, a brand new hotel on the coast between Hua Hin and Cha Am that we loved. Later that month. I holed up in the apartment to avoid getting soaked with water during the festival of Songkran while Nan went to visit her relatives in Phayao. She returned with her 9-year-old cousin Edward who stayed with us for two weeks, swimming in our pool, watching Transformer videos, and playing games in the iPod and with toy soldiers we bought him. We spent a day with him swimming in the huge pool at Siam Park and a half-day at the Dusit Zoo where he was mostly interested in crocodiles and the pedal boats on the lake and not much else. I wanted to take Edward to see "The Avengers" but before we could work out a time, he had to go back home with a relative who was driving. So Nan and I went to see it childless, wearing 3D glasses at the IMAX theater. It was terrific.