I have just had one of the best days of my trip so far.
I loved Songkran, it is like a huge street party where you go to soak everyone else. It is not put on just for tourists and is like the biggest Pride, only with water and no attitude.
The day started really well.....I am not going to jail. I went back to the travel agency where I was ripped off and, after half an hour of arguments and walk outs from their side (I was not moving until I got my money back), I got my refund.
The woman who sold me the ticket was out of the country until the day I was leaving and apparently she had to authorise her own refunds. Nonetheless, after several 'do I look like I care' or 'I will wait here till your next potential customer comes around', my money materialised.
So I decided to treat myself to a workout and, as I was leaving the gym with people already playing with water guns and buckets, I bumped into Roberto, the red haired builder that I met in Laos.
We caught up for a while and, as he had no plans, he walked me back to my guest house to drop off my iPod, passport and anything else that I didn't want to get wet. I put my camera in a plastic bag but then thought better of it so don't have many pics.
Although Thailand adopted our calendar they celebrate this festival to mark the old New Year. There is also a religious side to Songkran.
We bought some small guns, which turned out to be a big mistake. £2 badly spent. I soon realised that I wanted power and started coveting the guns that resembled bazookas, but they were £12 which I thought was too expensive. I did manage to find another good gun for only £4 - the water was held in a turtle that you carried as a backpack.
During the festival you cover your face completely in clay, not sure what it means, and then you walk around several closed streets with music pumping and alcohol flowing. It is, however, all done with an amazing sense of fun and is 75% or more Thai.
I could not believe it when we ended up dancing on top of stools to some Thai music with our arms in the air. The worse thing is we were not even drunk.
If my mother saw this pic I would probably lose my inheritance
Being Thailand, there is an element of high camp to the festival. We saw floats with big pink elephants and an endless amount of ladyboys in drag or 'plain clothes'. I even remembered seeing a Brit dancing to 'I will survive' with his pink turtle backpack, mine was green.....I briefly had a moment of clarity and wondered what was I doing but, exactly then, someone took revenge for my previous attack and war broke out again.
Talking to Roberto later we discussed how we both remembered an old dear sitting on a chair by the side of the road. She had one funny eye, and a huge gun. She could not stop laughing as she hit every one. Somehow she reminded me of Yoda, from Return of The Jedi. She was so old and wrinkly and had the same cheeky, naughty, laugh that he had.
As the sun set we started to get cold, and needed new clothes, so we went back to my guest house, got changed, and sat down for a few hours to sort the world out and get soaked further, though only occasionally.
Sadly Roberto has now left but he has gone to Nepal so we may meet again.
I need to start organising my trip to Nepal.