Friday, April 15, 2005


songkran is a way for people to forget all their troubles for 5 days and go absolutely crazy. it's nice. the entire neighborhood of banglamphu all the way to khao san road and beyond to sanam luang has become a virtual war zone; a slushy, hideous pit of decadent fun and the accompanying outright sin. it's beautiful and hideous and disturbing and in a lot of ways terrifying.

it started yesterday when 'o' and i had spent too much time hiding out in our house, not even braving a trip out for food, watching horrible movies with stars whose names could only be contrived, slobbering in the uneartly heat, until we finally sucked it up, dressed in our finest rags, gathered our crumbs of baht, and tiptoed out, trying as hard as possible (and failing because i am a farang girl with a thai boyfriend who has an attention grabbing boy band hairstyle) to be as inconspicuous as possible. we crept down a small side-soi, hoping it would be safer, when along came a truckload of about 12 drunk thai wailun. they immediately attacked, with no hesitation, and got me flailing on the ground, trying to remove my clothes and pouring buckets of slop all over me until i was a choking mess. a rather shocked 'o' asked them nicely and quite reasonably to please unhand his long-time girlfriend, and they responded politely by the sudden appearance of a large axe, with which they chased us for several surreal minutes, and in response to which we ran blindly, half sobbing in fear.

at songkran here you expect to lose your shoes, and look like shit (think drenched rat), and be too drunk, and have to dodge people who come out of nowhere to smother you in horribly sticky gray powder, soppy with local tap water. the boys are all hoping to lose their girlfriends and get another one for the night, and the girls all wish they could do the same, but compensate with tiny tank tops and impractical tight pants or skirts, trying at least to attract attention and self esteen, and dancing with abandon on discarded coolers, in corners of what could only be junkyards, while people crawl and writhe around them spouting nonsensically their deepest desires and ripping out their hair. it's a time to find your greatest enemy and either decide to love them or kill them, and in the case of most of the thais the latter is a much more acceptable saving of face. so they sprout knives, and jagged beer bottles broken over knees, with half lit cigarettes hanging from their mouths and sneers that could win academy awards. there is lots of drama and posturing, and big words that are hardly discernible for the spitting rage.

sigh. in between i am sending frantic letters for permanent jobs here because thailand is an extension of me- yes i am part of it like a niggling uncontrollable twitch of the eye or looped song stuck in the head, reject me or not. it despises me and cares lovingly at the same time- best lover i ever had and the worst at the same time. (nah the worst would be x, who told me if i were dying to please not call him, and whom i have finally and honestly told to rot in hell in the contagious spirit of the season, with a friendly warning to the girlfriend which was blindly and sadly ignored. ) but i do have a loft to go back to, in NY, which is furnished, and a half dozen jobs in my inbox which may pan out. if i can swallow the vomit and repulsion which accompanies such torturous thoughts... alas i have determined that i should not think of it seriously until next week, when things should fall back into too-bright place.

my poor friend somghiat tried to sell water, in a big refrigerator, and sadly lost all his money to an apathetic crowd. after which his best friend borrowed his room key to fuck some new sao sao he had limp over one arm, and cleaned out my friend of all money he had in the world. having watched 'o' try pretty doggedly to acquire a job/pay in a city which degrades the slightest tint to skin, i feel horribly helpless towards my very kind, very decent friend who deserves some honesty and respect. but more an more i am seeing that the thais are just people after all, and people suck.

i sent my secret lover a guilty sawasdee bi mai message and left 'o' at the bar (the irish pub over khao san center, which i have been meaning to tout here as being quite a worthy waste of a night out, with a great cover band) when he became annoyed at my affection, and i went home to smoke a bit of grass i had laying around from ko phangan and scream into my pillow thanks for being alive.

a couple of admittedly lame pics:


MaryJaneRottencrotch said...

quote from

"it was a great days water throwing down the cowboy yesterday , a great atmosphere of laughter , the whole street singing along to isaan songs blasting out of loudspeakers , kids playing , pick-ups coming through loaded with people all getting into the fun.

although there was a lot of drinking and most of the girls were legless there was none of the menace you can get in crowds such as you do at english soccer matches or rowdy concerts , no hint that violence might make an appearance.

suddenly from out of nowhere a group of about 6 drunk thai youths jumped down off the pickup that was passing just where i was stood and laid into a thai youth.

punching him and hitting him with beer bottles , soon he was down and then they really got going on him , kicking him very hard in the face and head. looked like a rag doll being kicked around . it was relentless ultra - violence. they were on him like a pack of wild dogs. others joined in either to stop the assault or attack the downed mans friends.
a big falang went ballistic too and had to be held back by thais after he punched a thai man in the face.

by now a policeman had arrived and within a couple of minutes a police pickup was on the scene , the guy was still on the ground. the police didnt so much as look at him or offer any assistance in getting him into their vehicle to take him to hospital.

he was being given mouth to mouth and chest thumping by some thais.he was unconscious with wide staring eyes.

eventually a car pulled into the soi and he was bundled in and the car drove off.

the pickup containing the gang was still down the other end of soi cowboy when the police arrived and it was pointed out to them but they didnt seem to want to know.

within 10 minutes the police had left.

i heard today that the man died later in hospital , he never regained consciousness , and he was part of a crew delivering beer to the bars.

nobody seemed to know what sparked it off."

Seriously, go home. Thailand not nice place. Unless you have a death wish. Do you?

5:31 PM  
elocin x said...

yes dearie i am well aware of the dangers in thailand from past experience... however NYC is not especially safe either now is it.

(love elocin)

5:36 PM  
MaryJaneRottencrotch said...

Just be careful.

A country where someone can be kicked to death in front of a crowd during a so-called festival while the police do nothing is hardly the kind of place any rational person would want to be.

Try Europe for a change. It's pretty civilised i hear.

5:46 PM  
;-) said...

omg u really need to stop with the europe thing and expand your horizons Mary Jane. have u even been to thailand??

11:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home