Happy Songkran everyone! Are you getting wet where you are? Well, it is very hot and very wet here in Thailand! Songkran is now here. The city seems half empty as many people have gone to their home provinces for the holiday. I wish the traffic was like this for the rest of the year. It is very quick and easy to get around at the moment. Most of the vehicles on the road are mobile attack units with barrels of water in the back.
If you are driving in Thailand at the moment, it is advisable to have your car checked out before you start your journey. This car above had broken down in the middle of the road and in a few seconds the driver was soaked. When I went out for a walk this morning I was of course a prime target. There are hardly any foreigners around here (coming to think of it, I haven’t seen any for several days now) and people just zeroed in on me. Actually, most people were very polite. They asked first before putting the paste on my face and pouring ice cold water down my neck. Of course the youngsters just squirted water at me with their water guns.
There are different ways you can take part in the Songkran waterfights. One is on the back of a pickup truck. When the roads are empty your targets are pedestrians, people in buses and of course rival pick-up trucks. For most of the time this is probably the safest method of getting around. However, once you are in a traffic jam there is no point in resisting an attack by the second group of people, stationed by the side of the road. These people are outside petrol stations or houses and have a constant supply of water. They will throw water at pickup trucks and make motorcyclists slow down in order to rub paste on their faces.
There are a few areas in Paknam where most people go. This is Taiban Road and also the neighbouring Sailuat Road. There are thousands of people there. It is basically a traffic jam of pick up trucks and motorcycles. There are also a lot of people walking up and down. That is where I took the above picture this afternoon. You cannot escape getting wet here. Everyone is having fun – singing and dancing. They are doing this all day long. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day…..