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Songkram

Originally written April 12

I thought I would fill you in on what will probably be a very wet week. Normally I put on long pants, my hiking boots, and often a long sleeve shirt to head to work, lest I get sunburn. Plus my hiking boots are really comfortable. Today however, I wore just a bathing suit, some flip flops, and a t-shirt.

Some time ago, women would wash and powder their husbands’ feet when they returned from the field during the spring plowing. Every year, there is a festival to remember this. Only today half naked women and fat, drunk white guys throw water all over the place and smear plaster on yo’ face. Countless deaths occur when motorcyclists get doused with water and then crash their bikes while at speed. Fights often break out when the younger fatties get hosed one too many times. Those Russians, they seem to be a crazy bunch.

On the return from the boat, we were looking for these water imps as we sit in a mainly open pickup truck. Just when we forgot about it though, ice cold water jolted us. At the supermarkets you see the Super Soakers and other water guns, but the locals and anyone else with a clue use either plain buckets or home made guns constructed out of PVC plumbing pipe. These “pipe guns” are capable of sending a gallon or two of water over 10 meters, and doing with with sustained pressure and control. There is no walmart equivalent. There one draw back is the fact that they are a meter or so long and one can easily see when they are empty. Its when they are loaded and in the grubby fingers of some fat white guy that you fear them most.

Soon we drew up to Soi 6 and were being doused on all sides. I could feel the working women smearing paste all over my neck and then one of them jumped onto the back of our truck with a bucket of water. I quickly grabbed it and threw it into her face. But three more jumped on and soaked us. We were able to unload the truck unmolested, however, the walk back was a gauntlet of locals and foreigners. A woman with no top came running up and smeared the paste all over my beard and mouth. Thankfully, I was wearing sunglasses which kept the goop out of my eyes. The whole way down buckets and the pipe soakers discharged countless gallons of water. The worst was ice water.

Interestingly enough, there is a bit of a water shortage going on, and even more weird is that just 2 hours away, people are being shot up with bullets.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos. Thankfully, my camera can handle the deluge.

Photo #1: A boy lets fly a bucket of water as we drive past.
#2 Thai prostitute attempting to lure an intern into her shop
#3 Two interns with the Pipe Soakers hose a German down.

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