Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thai New Year: Songkran

We’re off to Chiang Mai tomorrow for six nights. A big holiday is coming up: Songkran, Thai New Year. The evidence is apparent all around as folk flee the city to go home to their families to celebrate this favourite Thai holiday.

This holiday coincides with the hottest time of the year here. The weather in Thailand is something I don’t tend to talk about on my blog because I’d get hate mail. The heat is unrelenting though and when it’s this hot you can’t stand still without breaking out in a sweat. It’s not nice hot. Oh sorry, please don’t send me hate mail.

The Thais deal with this heat during Songkran by drenching everyone in water. For three days. THREE days. THREE.

There’s only one thing I hate more than being hot and sweaty, and that’s being wet. And guess what? Westerners are prize game because the rules no longer apply! Apparently a policeman can’t arrest you during Songkran for throwing water at him!!!!!!

The first year I was here I hid for three days in the apartment. Husband, a colleague and two backpackers took the children and several big water guns down to the bottom of the soi (ahem, to the red light area!) to play water fights. The children were in their element. Their mother is the meanest woman in the world when it comes to water fights.

The second year we were away with Husband’s sister and her family. The resort we stayed in was on the edge of a not very busy road and trucks full of Thai’s drove past to go to the town for the fun. They were delightful: on seeing a group of four children ranging from 4 to 13 on the side of the road with bottles of water, the trucks would slow down so the kids could get a good hit, and the Thai would send a gallon or so over them. It was a lot of fun from the boundaries of the resort where no-one could drench me.

These pics are from last year.

Nephew: Armed and ready to shoot.

Yes, this is MY son and his cousin. I AM a proud mother: I've taught him such valuable lessons for his journey through life.

And that's a hit. BiL is rather pleased with himself.

I will be back next week. I am not taking my laptop, just a notebook because I'm nurturing my inner mojo... Back soon.


Yvonne said...

Great post JJ! Have a fantastic time in Chiang Mai, I'm dying to go there - I was looking into it a few months ago, a travel agent here offers a Thai cooking course and a few days at the elefant sanctuary there. Brilliant! And I wouldn't send you hate mail. I was in Darwin a few years back and the heat and humidity was painful. Lots of people "Going Troppo"!

sheepish said...

Hi have a really great week and restore your inner mojo. No hate mail from me either as it is plenty warm enough where I live.

Cal said...

I love your blog. It's in insight into a completely new world! Am I weird for liking the sound of getting soaked when boiling hot? Reminds me of hot summers as a child and 'accidentally' being hosed with water by my dad as he watered the garden!

SpiralSkies said...

I completely understand the heat thing - I'm useless in anything more than English Spring weather. I don't know how you can bear it!

Great photos - can't wait to see the ones you take on your trip. Have fun XXX

Susie Vereker said...

Many, many years ago we lived in Chaing Mai too for three months in the old Consulate. I was young so it felt very grand having staff, an orchid house and, better still, our own statue of Queen Victoria!

Desperately trying to think of something to say in Thai - but, despite taking it seriously at the time, have forgotten most of it! Have a good trip. Should be a bit cooler for you, I hope.
Jai dee - that's supposed to mean good heart or something.

Lane said...

Have fun jj. Look forward to hearing all about it.

Carol and Chris said...

Have a fab time in Chiang Mai - I think you will love it!!

C x

Sarah*G* said...

My kids have those exact same all in one swimsuits. From Next right?
I don't think I would get a look in with my kids and husband if they could go out for a water fight. They would not bat an eye lid if I didn't want to go!

hesitant scribe said...

It all looks so fab!

P.S. Award at mine for you xxx

kathleen m. said...

I LOVE water fights! I wish I were on that truck - you'd be able to nab everyone!! lol

nice blog!

liz fenwick said...

Hav a wonderful dry break!

Yvonne said...

Hi JJ, I've tagged you on my blog if you fancy it, quite an easy one!

Jon M said...

Have fun, take care of that mojo!

Carol and Chris said...

There's an award for you over at my blog honey!!

C x