PREPARE TO GET WET! Today there is a sense of foreboding in the Kingdom of Thailand. No, that's not the word, anticipation is a better expression. In truth it is a little of both. We here in Thailand are about to have our Songkran festival or Thai New Year!
Like all holidays here it is not to be taken too seriously, despite stemming from Buddhist traditions. It is of course a baptism or cleansing as people look to the new year for a better life, more luck, more love, but especially -- considering these are Thai people--more fun. This is going to be 5 days of chaos! In truth it is the biggest water fight in the world, stretching from Phuket up to Chiang Rai, from the border of Cambodia to the border of old Burma. Young and old will take to the streets in tacky flower patterned shirts and dump water on anyone they see. Drinking massive amounts of penny whiskey and beers while driving around from one water fight to the next is something out of a child's dream weekend! It truly is amazing.
On the negative side during this 5 days of insanity, the nation will experience massive loss of life from alcohol related accidents. If you are here, lets have a great time, but for me I'm going to do my fighting on my feet and stay out of the back of roaming trucks.
I must say though the best time I ever had during Songkran was riding around in a Toyota truck with about 10 relatives of my girlfriend and buying chunks of ice so that we could throw icy cold water on our competitors while we whizzed by.
Don't like getting wet? Stay home then you stiff. Songkran is for having fun, and if you're not in the mood you had better not venture outside. We'll be waiting -- you'll be WET!