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On a visit to tea plantations in the mountains near Mae Salong, Thailand, I swerve the truck sharply to the left to avoid a snake, managing to stop just before plunging off the road. In the rearview mirror I can see it: a young cobra swaying and flaring its hood. It's the scene to my left that scares me–over the edge, a sharp drop into a bamboo grove. I back up slowly; the cobra lowers itself and glides off the road.
"Maybe," suggests my wife, "that cobra was the Buddha. Maybe that's why we didn't go over the edge."
"If that was the Buddha, wasn't I supposed to run over him?"
keeping to the center
of the road