Guest Post From My Dad: Feed The Cows

(For those of you who don’t know, I occasionally post funny excerpts from emails from my dad about life in Thailand.  Note:  This was written back in May.)

I just found out that tomorrow,  the ninth,  may be the Feed-the-Cows holiday.

What is the Feed-the-Cows holiday?

My question exactly.

Well, apparently the answer is that it is when the government offices are closed….. because it is the Feed-the-Cows holiday.

The government lays out a lot of food to……oh, you know.

They give them vegetables, rice, water, and whiskey.


My question exactly….again.

“They give whiskey to cows?”

Stepmom: “It is there in case they want it.”

“To cows?”

 Stepmom: “They don’t have to drink it.”

 “But to cows?”

Stepmom, starting to get a little angry:  “Look no one make them drink it, but if they want it it is there.”

Instead of starting an argument of logic versus Buddhism,  about how cows are idiots and probably won’t even realize they are drunk, so why waste the money on whiskey,  I go with, “Oh.  I didn’t know that.”

Sometimes you can’t keep this stuff inside.  You just have to tell someone.


The email from the next day:

As a kind of a follow up on the “Feed-the-Cow”‘ holiday I mentioned before….

Today as I was checking my email for anything interesting, or to steal a joke and pass it on, as if I was the one who was interesting,  I got called by your stepmom to see what was on the local news channel.
Sure enough, there is a ceremony going on with all of the government officials in full military-type dress uniforms, looking very somber and official.

Six people in a different official/ceremonial dress are leading three cows out to the front of a huge crowd. The officials hold a large platter of vegetables up to the cows, and let the cows eat from it.  

I get a “See, I told you,” from your stepmom.

I ask, “So, where is the whiskey?” Forget the food.  I really want to see cows drink whiskey.

In fact, I also want them to drink enough of it to get drunk.  I want to know if they get happy, or worried,  or if they kind of get loud and  moos-ing.

All I got was kind of an evil look from her…. so I am back at my email account now.

Oh, yeah, the people in the crowd on TV got to run and grab handfuls of officially-sanctioned “good luck” rice,  but I am not going to ask about it.   If I do, I will just get some kind of explanation that is totally logical in the Thai mind and only causes more questions in mine.

I think I’ll just let it go.