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18
Dez
2009

The Thai Animal Clock



The day before yesterday I also gave some clues how to determine the time in Bangkok quite exactly.

But people and especially Thais are rather unreliable. Accordingly, one is in danger to rely on a clock that´s going wrong.

Unlike the country´s animals. You just can´t determine the time more exact. I managed it to predict the time in the middle of the night with only 10 minutes wrong.
Of course, this is only possible in the village since in Bangkok there are hardly any animals except dogs, cats, cockroaches and bed bugs. The rest is negligible.

This is much different in the village where the proportion of man and beast is 1:3.

Naturally, there are the obligatory cats and dogs (the latter ones at least 3 per village inhabitant), buffalos, cows, ducks, chicken, pigs and of course elephants.

In addition, there are a zillion singing bird, who don´t belong to anybody.

In Thailand´s rural life it is rather unimportant what time it is. When the sun comes up, people wake up. When it gets dark, people eat and go to sleep.

For me as a Bangkokian socialized in the West this is not as easy because even in the village I persue a sophisticated scheme of lying in the sun and reading/sleeping and lying in the bed and reading/sleeping. Without knowing the exact time this two-fisted schedule is hard to keep.

Since Thailand is quite close to the equator a day has almost always 12 hours daytime and 12 hours darkness.

Especially when it´s dark, the missing shadows and position of the sun make it hard to find out what time it is.

Is it worth to turn around in bed and try to fall asleep again, or will the sun come up in 20 minutes?

For this reason I am giving some leads:

At 9 p.m. giant bugs start making a noise, so loud that even the Thais can´t sleep. Hence, they run around in their yard armed with water buckets and soak the ground in oder to make the bugs come out of their holes in the ground and kill them.

At 11 p.m. suddenly all hundreds of dogs start to howl. A concert that goes on for at least 20 minutes.

At 1 a.m. the same thing happens with slightly less howling.

At 2 a.m. the roosters start to crow for the first time of the day, only to find out that the sun still won´t come up and then fall asleep again (Thai roosters believe that they are in charge to bring the sun up by their crowing).

At 3:40 the roosters mean business and won´t stop their noise until late morning.

At 5:30 the cows moo for the first time (and exactly once).

At 6 a.m. the bells on the cow´s necks start ringing as they are moving now.

20 minutes later the sun comes up and the day starts.

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