Friday, April 18, 2014

Songkran 2014, Part 2

Later on Sunday evening, after our daytime Songkran playing, we headed back out into the fray.  This time we grabbed a tuk tuk to the Silom area, one of the biggest Songkran waterfight areas in Bangkok.  

The scene at Silom is a bit hard to describe and my video doesn't really help elucidate much, but here's an attempt: pure craziness.  People, water, wet chalk: everywhere.  Absolutely everywhere.  Blocks and blocks of wet, soggy, chalky people spread across a 6 lane road, all having fun, dancing, cheering, smooshing wet chalk on each others faces, squirting each other with water guns, pouring cups/buckets/whathaveyou of water on each other (that water ranged from creepily warm to searingly ice cold).  So much fun!

Here's our arrival on one of Silom's side streets... a few sprays of water and chalky faces here and there at first, followed by the overwhelming sight of all those people on the main drag:


Here's what I mean about people smooshing chalk on each others faces... people bought little bags of chalk pellets along with a small bucket, mixed the pellets with water and then walked around (or stood still as others passed by) and gently touched the faces of the other people, usually saying "Happy New Year" or "Happy Songkran." I read somewhere that the chalk custom is derived from the chalk blessings that monks put on houses, shop windows, and the ceilings of taxis.

Anywho, here's the chalk application... we think a lot of dudes were targeting this girl in front of us because she was cute:



Here are some shots of Tim and Mr. Ben, all chalked up:


And a video selfie:



After all of that chalking, everything was covered in a slick wet paste of sorts... motorbikes, people, the ground...


More craziness, including firehoses, strange guys on motorcycles popping wheelies and getting cheers from the crowd...



There were some characters out that night, including big fat guy dressed up like a baby as well as a two person, baton-throwing parade making its way through the alleys:


And, finally, a stroll down Patpong alley, one of Bangkok's girly bar/red light districts.  It was pretty much just Songkran shenanigans, there, too, as opposed to the type of shenanigans that normal happen in that area.  Also: you can catch a glimpse of Mr. Ben filling up his water gun resevoir at a very sketchy barrel partially full of water of unknown origins.  Gross. 



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