Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Surviving SongKran & Bike Week?
The past two weekends have been very busy indeed, first another Water Festival has come and gone, were you able to survive the weekend’s water fight on Soi Bangla? How is your wrist watch working, any problems after getting soaked as you walked down the street? No problems while you were driving from place to place in Patong, a bucket of water in the face can be very dangerous if you are driving a motorbike. Were you able to find and purchase an adequate water gun to deliver a nice stream of water or were you one of the unlucky people who had the guns with the weak streams, ensuring you always got the worse of any duels? And just when you thought it was safe to go out again in dry clothes, there was a die hard soul that insisted on carrying Songkran that extra mile. I know there were some that chose to start a day early, I got wet on my way home late Thursday afternoon, even though I tried yell “mai Ow” (meaning not want). Were you one of those hardy souls that play well into the night on Friday, wondering up and down Soi Bangla, both getting wetter and wetter as you repeatedly reloaded your water gun at 10 bath a refill.
I am wondering how many people like myself forgot that Monday was a national holiday as far as the government offices were concerned. I ventured over to Phuket Town from Patong early Monday morning in an attempt to get in and out of Immigration quickly, only to be met by closed doors and a sign telling me the obvious that the offices were closed for the Songkran holiday. OH Well, what is a little gas wasted on a nice Monday morning.
How many of you actually observed the true meaning of Songkran and visited a temple? Did you get the traditional blessing from the monks? Perhaps you as a foreigner, went with your beautiful Thai “girlfriend” on Sunday out of respect.
So you made it through Songkran and your wardrobe is finally dried out when the peace and quiet of the day is broken by roar of big motorcycles descending on Phuket from all over southeast Asia, such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam as well as expats from Holland, Canada, England and the USA. Some of you may have noticed that several clubs actually came to Phuket on the original dates of the Phuket Bike Week, driving around Patong with a special police escort.
For those of you that braved the frequent rain storms that marred the festivities were treated to a rare display by the Royal Thai Navy and marines as they demonstrated their skills by storming Patong Beach using smoke grenades and firing blanks to simulate a real amphibious assault.
The scheduled Beauty Contest and Tattoo Contest were fit in between rain storms, picking the most beautiful Phuket lady along with the most colorful, spectacular tattoo. Notice the interesting choice of outfits the contestant in the beauty pageant.
All of you that made the effort and dodged the rain drops to look at all of the spectacular big bikes that were on display were rewarded with some great bikes. Along with some beautiful women adorning the bikes.
Luckily, the gods decided their continued celebration of Songkran was on hold for Sunday afternoon, allowing the tree planting along Beach Road to take place, plus the big ride around Phuket to celebrate togetherness.