hart aber herzlich

Next morning the entire village knew that a dog had bitten me. Everyone asked what happened when I was on alms round. I tried to explain the situation laughing because I knew action had been brave, but stupid.

Hands are swollen and hurting but doesn’t look as if there would be an infection. Sleep a lot. Muffin and I spent two hours napping in the afternoon.

People here are what you would call in German ‘hart aber herzlich’, in English I don’t know better than to say ‘rough but kind’. One wanted me to go to the doctor she said she would be afraid if I don’t go. Most asked if I will go to the doctor, which I denied. One man, Gaewat, asked a bit provocative, and now what do you do? Go home? I said ‘No’, he asked ‘go to the doctor?’ I said ‘No’. Then he had a big smile on his face.

In the aftermaths I think this incident brought some respect for me among the villagers. The farang not angry with the dogs, not angry with the owner of the dogs, not whining for having been bitten, not going home not even to the doctor. It seems they see me now fit for living bon doi, on the mountain.

More people ask now if I really stay long here. I do not know, we’ll see. But I say ‘yes’ for now I have no other plans. See how it goes when AD is back. I will go at least for some time, a week or so to see my teacher and AK and some friends. I assume AD will be back during this week at least before our big day the Salakapat, a party in the monastery. Terrible… (not that he’ll be back but the party)



  1. Hi Ayya Phalanyani. Its Andrea again. I do not know when this was written or when it happened but are you absolutely certain that the dog was not rabid at the time you were bitten? How can you be so sure? Of course the villagers might have a fair idea if there is rabies around because people would have died before. I do’nt know what you know about rabies, its treatment and so on but at the very least i should tell you that if you do not get treatment, and if the dog is rabid, you will also become rabid and die. By the time you know you are sick, it will be too late for any treatment. You will die. I just hope that you have already had some vaccinations prior to returning to Thailand and still recommend getting the treatment. If you have had no treatment and you are not certain that the dog is clear of rabies, then you should really go to Bangkok or even to another country to get the full treatment. There is a vaccine that you should have which gives you protection while your the other vaccines kick in. It is a very rare vaccine and is frequentlly not available in asian countries. I am hoping you know all this and i am just being boring. But in case you don’t know, then i urge you to look into it properly.

  2. Lay people like to hear this kind of experience. We will think that a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni is following the Dhamma and have firm confidence in Dhamma. So people will tend to respect those bhikkhu or bhikkhuni who has this kind of daily experience. In fact, forest monk to train lay disciple also to have same requirement. Last year, Ajahn Paen was vassa in HK. A female disciple got accident to break the leg and she couldn’t walk, feeling very pain. But Ajahn still encourage her to walk around the empty village several circle. Well, she didn’t follow that instruction. She went home.
    This year, Ajahn also was vassa in HK. I got accident and hurt my leg, also very painful. Ajahn also asked me to walk. I followed his instruction. So pain is just pain, not my business. Dead is a must but when kamma not yet come, life still is running. Dukkha almost there when there is body.
    Vandana to Bhante Phalanyani.

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