A dose of good luck.

Songkran in Bangkok.

The car was barely moving as the crowd took possession of the street, dancing and swirling in a hectic movement. The heat was suffocating, penetrating my nostrils and leaving me in a sweat. New Year’s celebrations in Bangkok get heated, in every way.

The city entered violently into my life, showcasing its brightest and most picturesque facet, blending thousand-year old traditions and rituals with a feverish dynamism. Tacky adverts draped squared blocks of flats: giant buildings with no aesthetic value whatsoever that in their simplicity and hues of gray somehow managed to fascinate me terribly.

How could such a metropolis be so behind its Western counterparts? Anywhere I looked vendors bustled about, brandishing worthless merchandise, colourful knickknacks and some of the smelliest and most bizarre street food I’d ever had the honor to try. Khao San Road buzzed with laughter as the parade went by
“There Chada Hostel¨ the driver mumbled in what seemed to be the only English words he could spit out, pointing out a four storeys, hospital-looking building further down the road.
“Thanks, you can pull over¨ I said relieved, handing out 40 Thai Bath.

The journey from the airport had taken forever, tackled by the mob filling Bangkok’s main drag. The cheerful crowd welcomed the coming year pouring merrily down the streets, and I couldn’t help it but stare at such disorienting hustle. I ventured out of the vehicle cautiously, creeping hesitantly towards the hostel, still shaken by the 15 hours journey London-Bangkok.

A shiver ran down my spine as water splashed around me in a restless battle among thousand contestants wielding water-guns and water-buckets. New Year’s rituals come along with Songrkran, aka Water Festival, a three days celebration during which it is common to pay homage to a temple, and youngsters pour water onto elderly’s palms.  The tradition has then transformed into a giant water-fight, a rite that is said to bring good luck and an attempt to beat the heat, I must assume.

As I lifted my gaze to the terrace above me, I glimpsed at a ebony-haired, brown-skinned, 12ish boy dangerously looking out of the edge, just to find myself, a split second after, soaked in water from head to toes. The inevitable had occurred, and I hopelessly accepted it, instantly refreshed by an abrupt surge of energy.

“You okay?”stammered the kind-eyed woman next to me in her broken English.
“I’m fine”, I said, bursting into laughter.
The same brazen pair of eyes protruding out of the balcony gazed at me once again: “Suk-san wan Sonkran”. Happy Songkran Day.

Th 1

47 Comments Add yours

  1. Your words put me there, in the middle of the crowded street. As you described the boy above you on the balcony, I braced myself for the impact of water. He (and you) did not disappoint. Lovely writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thank you so much. This is truly encouraging, especially because it comes from such a talented writer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m blushing. Thank you for the compliment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This only increases my desire to visit the far east….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      You should indeed, Thailand is such an inspiring country!

      Like

  3. I really liked this. It made me want to go back to Bangkok! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. j8w7 says:

    Wow, very interesting!-JW 😆

    Like

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thank you. New Year’s celebrations in Thailand are quite an experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reminds me of when I went back to the Philippines. I wonder why most of SE Asia seems to have this kind of aesthetic, the colorful draped against the moisture-worn concrete buildings…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Well, that is a great question. Asia seems to me like an otherwordly experience, no matter where you are.

      Like

  6. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. I really enjoyed your writing style and I could get a really good feel for the crowded, chaotic atmosphere and penetrative heat of the sun. Really good work. I’ve never been to Bangkok but I felt transported there by your writing.

    https://onlyindreamssite.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thanks a lot, this is truly motivating.

      Like

  7. aqualific says:

    An interesting read! I myself do not have the chance to travel abroad but I am truly glad that writers like you could provide me with a glimpse of your experiences in other countries:)
    This definitely motivates me to visit Bangkok one day! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      And I’m glad I could help. Thanks for checking it out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. stillaliveandloud says:

    I like your writing, very well put! I’ve been to Cambodia and I can feel the same atmosphere in your article. Maybe I should go back to Asia and visit Thailand as well. And Vietnam too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      I totally feel the same! I’d love to go to either Cambodia or Vietnam but, for the time being, I’m quite short of funds. Perhaps next year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. APlaceWeLike says:

      I’ve tried to visit your blog but it seems like it’s been deleted? You should check that out!

      Like

      1. Thanks for the info. The blog is still there; just the address linked to the profile was wrong. It should be fixed now : http://stillaliveandloud.wordpress.com

        Liked by 1 person

      2. APlaceWeLike says:

        No probs 😊

        Like

  9. Janice Wald says:

    Hi,
    I spent a month cruising the Asian Pacific Circle this year. HongKong, Korea, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, it was a great trip.
    I met you in the Community Pool where you indicated you are new looking for new blogs to follow. I help bloggers. Tips for engaging readers, improving content, and increasing traffic are at my site.
    I brought you the link to my About page, so you can read what my blog can do for you.
    http://www.mostlyblogging.com/about/
    I also host ten networking events each month where you can meet new people, a monthly contest, and free incentives for subscribing.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Sure, I’ll have a look. Cruising the entire Asian Pacific Circle is on my bucket-list, it must have been an exceptional experience! I plan on blogging about the Asian side again so stay tuned for more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Janice Wald says:

        I almost became a travel blogger, but now I blog about blogging tips instead.
        I will look forward to your visit to my site.
        Janice

        Liked by 1 person

  10. That was fun! I can imagine myself attending this festival in the future! (^_^)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Yup, it was an awesome experience 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jhaneel says:

    Wow! I feel like I was right there amid all the hustle and bustle. You are a fantastic travel writer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thank you! So is you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jhaneel says:

        Aww, thanks. I appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Such a nice place. You put me in there by your writings. We might start our Asian trips next year (hopefully). I found your blog through Janice’s mostlyblogging.com site (follow to follow). I’ll keep following your travels 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      That’s nice, thanks for checking it out. I’m going to keep it updated with articles from the Asian side. And of course, I’ll check out yours too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  13. paintdigi says:

    Fine posts, beautiful blog .. Congratulations
    Welcome to see my creations:
    http://paintdigi.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thanks, that’s nice to hear. I shall check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. annj49 says:

    Lovely story 🙂

    Like

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thank you fo taking time to read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. gracelead says:

    I enjoyed your writing on this post. It portrayed the setting so well, that I felt as though I was on the journey with you. https://gracelead.co

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  16. What a beautiful blog! Inspirational! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thanks, that is extremely encouraging 🙂

      Like

  17. okonato says:

    Great-description!-Now-I-know-how-Songkran-is-without-actually-experiencing-it-myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thanks a million !

      Liked by 1 person

  18. brettfish says:

    Sho, this is so great – the collaboration of pictures and words work so well – love that you are doing this together and clearly you have a way with words, so keep on…

    love brett fish

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      I truthfully appreciate your comment – thanks for taking time to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Travelairess says:

    Thanks so much for checking out my blog. Your writing style vividly amplifies your experiences. Terrific detail!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. APlaceWeLike says:

      Thanks a million 🙂

      Like

  20. Always a Foreigner says:

    I was drawn into the story from the start! Great writing and I enjoyed your experience in Bangkok.

    Liked by 1 person

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