Freezing in Bangkok
It’s 1:00am when I’m walking down Khao San Road, Bangkok. I’m feeling freezing cold. I wasn’t really expecting this to happen, since it has been 35 degrees celsius all day. So what the hell is going on in Bangkok? Well, I’m walking down the street being soaking wet… Why? Because today, today I celebrated the Thai New Year: Songkran.
Before I head on, why’s this blog in English? While travelling I’ve met many travellers from other countries that are interested in my writings. A lot of ‘m are dissapointed in me for not writing in English. That’s one reason. Next to that these travellers use Google Translate to translate my Dutch writings into English, but I believe Google Translate isn’t translating my writings in a way to really experience it the way I want them to experience it. And, of course, the English language is the gateway to the world and therefore to gain more fans worldwide. So I might as well give it a try! Might as well.. Backpackers phrase, nice!
I got up at 11:00am this morning. Feeling pretty hangover from the night before, goddamn cheapass Songsam Rum! It isn’t giving me a headache though, but I feel sick. The heat at that moment isn’t much of a help either. My stomach can’t handle more then the muesli, fruit and yoghurt I’m eating right now.. a real traditional Thai dish.
After two hours of regrouping myself, I’m ready to attend the Songkran festival and ready to get soaked. Because this Thai New Year Celebration is all about that; getting into waterfights with waterpistols, waterballoons and buckets full of water. Sometimes the garden hose will do the job too.
I start off in the street where my guesthous is located: Rambuttri Road. A good place to “warm-up”, as in to get ready for the road where the real party is going on: Khao San Road. All the street stalls selling clothing are no longer there, they are replaced by Thai family’s which are guarding big buckets full of iced water. Everybody is attending the Songkran, from kids to adults and from adults to the elders. Everybody is enjoying it big time, I can tell by the big smiles on their faces. They all squirt water on everybody, but there seems to be an extreme focus on tourists… My friend and I are fucked…
But no worries. We come well prepared. We brought the biggest waterpistols available on the market. Don’t know the official name, but let’s simply call it the Super Soaker 5000 CPS (CPS = constant pressure system). 5000, because it can carry 5 litres off water. Did I tell you about the size of the squirt coming out? Shit son, it’s finger thick! It’s way better than the waterpistols with the squirts as small as the squirts coming out of a plant spray I use back at home. Long story short, we are well prepared.
We are friendly guys, so we will not be the first ones to attack. But if somebody dares to attack us, they regret doing that because of the huge squirt coming out of our waterpistols. Or is it because we always go for the headshot? Anyway combining the huge squirt and headshots is deadly and makes our “enemies” scream and running away from us. Every now and then you see two groups of people getting into a huge waterfight, which is awesome to see! As you will understand, we can not avoid getting wet.
When we finally arrive at Khao San Road, we are soaked and covered with clay. Apparently, that is one of their traditions too, to rub moist clay on everybody that’s passing by. As a tourist you are a victim of all the water, but you can also count on a lot of respect, smiles and handshakes from the locals. They love it that we enjoy celebrating Songkran with them.
The celebrations go on all day, and we are kind of tired off it around 20:00pm, when we decide to go to a restaurant and eat some. Although it’s not allowed to use the waterpistols in the restaurant, I can’t resist myself to aim at a kissing couple and pull the trigger… Two-head-shot, 1000 points. I guess I deserved the guy’s angry look and him getting up and pulling the trigger of his waterpistol three times to leave me there soaking wet. I laugh my ass off, can’t help it.
It’s a little bit past midnight when we leave the restaurant to go back home. To my surprise there are still waterfights. The temperature dropped enormously. Suddenly, there is a Thai guy coming over and throws a bucket of ice water all over me, my enjoyment of Songkran is over… This is where I reach the point on which I’m walking down Khao San Road, feeling freezing cold.
But… although I’m feeling freezing cold at the moment, I think Songkran should be on everybody’s Bucket List!