Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chilling out upcountry

Some people say that being away from the big cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, etc during Songkran is boring.  After all, there are no designated water fight zones, girls in wet tee shirts, and free flowing booze.  Songkran is a tradition, but more recently, the Thai tourism industry and government has unfortunately distorted this tradition for the sake of tourist dollars. For many, Songkran is big big that Thailand threatened to sue Singapore for having their own version of the holiday celebration.

But upcountry, its more of a holiday of tradition.  People return home to gather and share time together as a family.  Torn apart by jobs, marriage, or other reasons, Songkran offers the opportunity for families from all corners of the LOS to see each other and keep close, for Family is one of the most important aspects of Thai life.  The traditional water splash is more symbolic and intended as a gesture of good will and blessing.  Its fun and polite and not the all out water fight to end all water fights  like on Khaosan Road.

But upcountry, while its more traditional,  its also a time for business.  Small upcountry businesses gear up for an influx of visitors from the big cities returning home.  Local stores stock up on drinks, alcohol, and other necessities.  Resorts like ours are fully booked and restaurants are busy.  That is one reason there is no waterfall trip for us this year.  We are all here, but its attending to business and having some fun while doing so.

Baby Marina Chillin out at the resort kiddie pool

So we do celebrate and chill the pool instead of at the waterfalls.

We play with all the new toys, like this country version of the tut tut that B's aunt bought for her food catering business.  By the way, these are around 60K baht up here, brand new and they look a whole lot better than those in Bangkok.  I do not recommend anyone over 5 feet 3 inches tall driving one of these as the controls are so close together that I did not even have room to shift gears once I got into the cockpit.  Its built for skinny little guys or girls only...555

Its been usually cool upcountry and it even rained in the city this afternoon.  Some say its not a good sign when it rains during Songkran when it traditionally is the hottest and driest time of the year.  Is it an omen of the heavens crying over the year to come for the land of smiles?  I hope not and wish that all this political turmoil will end soon and the real Songkran and the Land of Smiles will return again.

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