Still@Koh Chang Thailand

Still@Koh Chang Thailand.Day 11/21. No plans,just nxt steps:BangBao 2C sunrise 2moro. Lightening at sea today.

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One Reply to “Still@Koh Chang Thailand”

  1. Acting on a touch of remorse that I wasn’t seeing enough of my family, I organised what was supposed to be an impromptu, calm week away from everything in Thailand for us all. We arrived and the whole place went mental.

    The day we landed in Bangkok, the Red Team was rioting and trying to get rid of the Yellow Team. Thai politics is pretty simple as they wear colour-coded uniforms, making it a lot easier to understand for the visiting spectator.

    There was a lot of hullabaloo about it on all the news channels but it’s quite difficult to get nervous about Thai riots. In somewhere like South Korea you get students tooled up with Molotov cocktails and setting themselves alight before hurling themselves on to lines of heavily armed riot police. In South Africa, mobs might stone police while putting opponents into tyres before setting fire to them. The most the Thai Red Team could do was set a bus alight and even for this they looked quite embarrassed.

    Thais are not really cut out for violent protest – this is, after all, the Land of Smiles. It’s difficult to riot with a big smile: it just doesn’t sit right. We hotfooted it up north to Chiang Mai; not for any cowardly reason – it’s just a lot cooler up there. Unbelievably however, as our car left Chiang Mai airport, we were attacked on numerous occasions. Luckily for us, the assailants were only throwing water bombs.

    We’d landed right in the middle of Songkran, the Thai New Year festival. Since this takes place in the hottest month of the year it used to be traditional for people to spray each other with water to cool themselves down. In Chiang Mai this has been taken to another level – a three-day urban water assault that is quite extraordinary. Scores of pickup trucks roam the streets with huge barrels of water in the back and seven or eight youths hurling the stuff at everyone and anyone. Meanwhile, gangs wait on street corners with buckets and hoses while moped drivers weave in and out of the traffic with the pillion passenger using huge water pistols to deadly effect. After five minutes or so you relinquish any hope of staying dry and focus on finding the best weapon you can buy for defence.

    We stopped at a petrol station and bought four huge Super Soakers. Continuing onwards towards the hotel, we executed several very successful drive-by shootings. By now, the kids were completely in love with the country and wanted to move here as soon as possible.

    My four-year-old son, Jackson, was all for getting out of our vehicle and engaging in some hand-to-hand combat, but we were tired and the lure of falling into a cooling pool was successful. We settled in quickly and any thoughts of revolution quickly faded as we tried to switch off from everyday life. Then my eight-year-old daughter, Parker, made friends with a girl who lived in Bangkok and came back that night full of alarm: “Dad, did you know that if you stepped on a coin with the Thai king’s head on it you could go to prison?” I replied that I didn’t know that but that I would be very careful in future when handling money.

    “Also, Dad, if you put a statue of Buddha underwater then he can drown and you can be arrested for that as well.” I assured her that we had no statues of Buddha but that, if we did, they would be kept very dry.

    Later that evening, on the telly, I watched the Thai riot police use water cannon on the Red Team down in Bangkok – and it wasn’t for Songkran. It seems that you can’t drown the Buddha, but Buddhists are fair game.

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