Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: May 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I have been in kind of a mental slump lately. Maybe it is the return of the heat to this region, or maybe it is fatigue due to my brutal work schedule.All I know is that I have had a severe case of dont-give-a-shit-itis in the past couple of months. A possible cure for this condition presented itself in the form of an invitation to join a colleague and his Thai wife and 4 year old son to Thailand last month for Songkran.

Songkran is the Thai New Year' Celebration. In the old days it was held when certain astrological conditions were met that closely coincided with the vernal equinox. Elders and monks were visited and water was sprinkled on the shoulders of family and friends as gestures of good luck for the coming year. Faces of those  blessed by Buddhist monks bore a chalk marking, also a symbol of good luck.  Seems like no matter where you are there is some sort of vernal equinox celebration.It seems a universal human need to welcome the time when the Sun is aligned with the equator and daytime and nightime are equal. Christianity's Easter is an example.

In modern times Songkran has been pegged around the middle of April. Different regions of the country celebrate at different times but mostly it is observed between the 13th and the 19th. The gentle sprinkles of water have given way to water bazookas and 5 liter buckets recharged from giant bins of ice cold water. Motorists on certain streets have to run a gauntlet of revelers armed to the teeth with diabolical water dispensing devices. No one can expect to stay dry. My mobile phone was a casualty of an errant splash.

A Direct Hit on a Mobile Dreadnaught

Couple of the Valiant Troops

Waiting for the Taxis

These Guys are not to be Screwed With

Looking for Trouble

Logistics Kept us full of Beer

Thailand, Land of Smiles!

Howling at the Moon

You Fill in the Blanks! No Magnums?  Dammit!!!

This is Weird on Different Levels..What's with the Bow Tie? Formal Night?

After 3 Days of Songkran, I can Relate with these Thai Pups!
At first I was I was skeptical. How much fun can I have being squirted with ice water constantly for 3 days? Come to find out, it was a blast! I felt I was 10 years old again. It was like an aquatic Mardi Gras. What's better than the sanctioned, unlimited use of a water bazooka against others?

Everyone was in a good mood and I never saw even the hint of a conflict. I love Thailand and its people. The Land of Smiles! They know something about happiness in life that us Westerners have yet to discover.

Go to Thailand during Sangkran (or anytime), you will not regret it!