Is that a Phii behind you?

Our dear friend lives in the countryside. After sunset there are no lights anywhere. The stars must be brilliant on a moonless night. “Do you ever go for walks near your house in the dark?” I asked. “Just to see the stars?”

He smiled because he knew I was baiting him. “Of course not. I am Thai” he said. “I believe in the ghosts”. 

Ghosts are phiis in Thai. Everyone believes in the ghosts. Our villiage is just as devoid of pedestrians at night as is my friend’s farm. We don’t venture out either, not ever, though we fear snakes more than phiis, and also the packs of ill-mannered dogs.

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