Musn’t grumble

We are back in Auckland and I am down and teary about that but I’m going to try hard not to complain so will leave it at this.

Our last couple of days in Thailand were not without drama. We were taken to see some wild monkeys on Friday and fed them a bag filled with bananas which they seemed very appreciative of. Daniel and Elizabeth are not scared of animals like other children can be and Daniel held a banana just a little bit too long for the liking of a rather large alpha-male who then attacked Daniel, giving him a small open wound on his hand. I saw the attack but can’t say for certain whether Daniel’s wound is the result of a scratch or a bite. I am pretty sure it is a scratch but I am not 100% sure. The distinction is fairly important because rabies is transmitted through saliva.

We asked some locals about it and they told us not to worry so we didn’t think about it for the rest of the day. But then that night I decided this was too risky not to take precautions and so as we flew out of Khon Kaen early the next morning, I resolved to find a doctor at an airport en route to New Zealand. We made our connecting flight in Bangkok with little time to spare so it was in Hong Kong that we sought medical help. We had to wait two hours – something to do with Chinese New Year – and the doctor who saw Daniel was rather confused and unsure what to do. Eventually he decided that monkeys do not carry rabies. My response was, “Are you sure?”. I really wanted to say, “Don’t you want to google that?” but I know how doctors feel about the google diagnosis and so I kept my mouth shut.

As soon as we left the medical centre, with one unvaccinated Daniel, I looked it up and found that monkeys do carry rabies. So then I became a bit dismissive of everything the Hong Kong doctor had said. But by then we had another flight to catch and so we decided to take him to a New Zealand doctor. This is where he is right now with Ben and I have word that they’re making up the vaccine for him now. I have also discovered that the vaccine can be administered right up until symptoms appear. After that it’s too late and certain death. Daniel has no symptoms of any sort and I think the risk is low but the consequences so severe that it’s just not worth taking the risk.

The evening after the monkey attack we went to a very glamorous golf resort for dinner. It was such a stark contrast to the poverty of the surrounding area that I felt a bit embarrassed eating there.  But the food was excellent and I ate the best som dum I have ever had.

Here are some photos from our last day.



Pee-Nang, Elizabeth and me


Elizabeth took the next three photographs and they are amazingly excellent. This next one of Pee-Nang is so good. She looks serene – which is probably a good description of her – and nothing like her 72 years.IMG_5299

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