*also the title of my next porn release
Songkran: sǒŋ.krāːn Thai New Year celebration that marks the end of the dry season in April. The three day festival is celebrated by throwing shit tons of water at everyone anywhere on the street regardless of age, gender, clothing or any other possible discriminating factor except pregnancy and monkhood.
After a full day of enduring wooden butt I was ready to stretch my legs, walk the streets and start celebrating Songkran. Instead, I ended up getting back on the bitch seat with the stranger from the train and going for a tour of the countryside of Mae Rim, a town an hour or so away from Chiang Mai. On the 6 hour scooter ride, we got lost in farming villages, tried to identify mystery fruits, and saw elephants, and monkeys and cocks – oh my!
While the elephants and cock pictures were free, I was willing to pay to see the monkey show because who doesn’t love those fuzzy little mischievious bastards? And since everyone else was celebrating Songkran, the only audience the monkeys had were me and Etranger, meaning I got to spend 10 minutes cuddling up with Sam as he rested his adorable little fuzzy head on my my lap. I started commenting on how cute he was, and Etranger said that “he” was in fact a “she” and that “Sam” was short for Samantha. When Sam got up, it turns out I was in fact correct. And I could now add my new friend Sam to the list of unexpected boners experienced on this trip.
After about an hour long show of monkeys lifting weights, shooting basketballs and riding bicycles we were ready to head home. This may have been easier had we not forgotten about Songkran and had water not been catapulted at us while we were riding the scooter the entire way back into the city. Danger of throwing blinding buckets of ice cold water at scooter drivers be damned, the Thais were going to celebrate their New Year, or kill every Westerner in the process.
The next day it was time to really celebrate Songkran the right way but I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for my first day of Songkran in Chiang Mai. The plan was to get up early and walk maybe 50 feet to the 711 next door to buy a water gun. Easier said than done. As soon as I left the hotel parking lot a child operating a water gun stand shot me. Then his dad. And then some more random people on the street. I rushed into 711 and picked out a hot pink water gun with a lady bug backpack supplying the water source. Bring it on Chiang Mai!
I quickly ran back into the hotel after shooting the little brat who had gotten me on my way out. I’m totally mature. I filled up my gun and the three of us headed out onto the mean streets of Chiang Mai. We were staying right near the town center, which in Chiang Mai is surrounded by a legit moat. Thinking I would be prepared with my gun and additional water supply we walked into the main area, and holy shit I was totally not prepared. First of all, traffic was not moving at all. Even the scooters which normally zipped in and out of spaces tighter than the space between Gabourey Sidibe’s non-existant thigh gap were at a dead stop. Tuktuks were filled with groups of people water shooting out of the openings. Pickup trucks were packed up with entire families 9 months to 90 years old brandishing water guns and trash cans filled with water and large blocks of ice. Other people were just sitting next to the moat filling up pails of dirty moat water and chucking it at passersby. My cute little gun now seemed incredibly insufficient.
Nonetheless, we trudged forward into town and within seconds of leaving our hotel we went from wet to “so drenched I probably could’ve refilled my water gun by wringing out my clothes”. On the other hand I will give mad props to the free “dry pouch” that came with my 711 water gun, everything in that pouch was bone dry. Thank you 711!
As we walked down the streets we could hear music and started to head into that area. Complete madness. There were live DJs and bands. Cute Thai girls? (this word combo will always be followed by a question mark) were giving out free dry pouches. One of the sponsors had turned the entire area into a foam party – meaning you couldn’t see anything below your knees and flip flips were sliding off feet and being lost in the foam. I had no choice but to brave the streets barefoot or lose my shoes. Shit was real.
Being wise enough to come out sober (or unwise depending on your proverbial glass) I was well aware of how gross it was to be walking the streets barefoot so we headed out from the party and to a Mexican restaurant. Yes, there was actually a decent Mexican restaurant in Chiang Mai. While we were there sitting soaking wet at the bar with a loud, obnoxious, know-it-all American stereotype who was telling us how he learned Thai just enough so he could yell at people he thought were ripping him off, a orange robed monk walked into the restaurant asking for alms. I reached into my dry pouch to get some money when a cotton pant wearing, zen, hippie stereotype intervened. He said something to the effect of “You’re not a monk. Monk’s never ask for money and can’t handle money. Get out of here.” He then explained to us that he spent some time living in a monastery and that monks never ask for or touch money. And from my later experiences that indeed seemed to be true as monks always had someone else collecting money for them. So grimy.
After lunch we headed back to the party and to an area outside of a hotel where a DJ was playing electronic music. The hotel was also providing a hose to all party goers looking to refill their guns. Or shoot the other people standing around. Mostly everyone implicitly and silently agreed to shoot the inadequately armed people walking or driving down the street – I say silently because about half the people were western and the rest were Thai. There was however a kid with a mask on that kept dumping ice water down my back and shooting me with a hose periodically, and also a Kiwi that I think was trying to give me an enema by repeatedly shooting me in the ass with his high powered super soaker. Oh, international non-verbal flirting. I also only learned the aforementioned was Kiwi because he started a conversation with me by asking if I was Thai. Here’s a lesson for any Asian chicks or white guys planning on going to most of Southeast Asia.
For the dudes: Proven fact, Asian girls love white guys. Starting a conversation with an Asian girl has a high chance of going in your favor. Unless you’re one of these guys.
For the girls: A white dude asking you if you’re Thai in Thailand means he’s asking you two things. 1) Are you a prostitute? 2) Are you an Asian girl that wants go to home with this white guy. It is never a winning question for you. Good luck.
And on that note, looks like it was time to head home. Now that I knew what I was in for, Day 2 = drunk Songkran. Come on, if you know anything about me you know I wasn’t about to go 2 days in a row sober.