Hoochie coochie songran at temple

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Saturday, April 3, 2010

Seeing the "thailands idol contest" at Wat Chiang Man was a highlight of the week. Coupled with the Songran opening on March 30th April promises to be quite the month for more celebrations.

There are always celebrations here in Chiang Mai. It goes from one to another, seemingly without a break. Since the city is based on cosmological principals that combine Buddhism, Brahmism and Animism each month is dedicated to a different "influence"

Songran remains one of the big festivals. "No one stays dry." "They always have someone drowning in the moat." "It's like Christmas where the kids only get one toy: a water pistol."

Fortunately not being one to like having dirty moat water thrown at me for WEEKS, I chose to fly south.

To Adaman coast: Phukett (yes that's where the tsunami hit) and perhaps make my way down the more rugged coast to Krabi.

In the meantime catching up on some posts. Been very fruitful week.

The Songran opening at Thai Pae gate meant another chance at watching beautiful Thai men and women dressed in traditional garb. The festival queen contestants even rode bikes in their long skirts, holding umbrellas with a coca cola logo.

There was FREE coca-cola, and a half dozen other food stands giving away FREE food. I tried to figure out why, who was supporting this, etc. Didn't really matter or make sense, but there were ramen noodles, pad thai, little flowers made of colored jelly, quail eggs, fried chicken (yes fried chicken that's big here.) You'd think they would not eat so much deep fried foods, but instead of cheese and beef it's a lot of deep  friend chicken and eggrolls.

Notice the pictures of the beginnings of a water fight. The sprinklers were funny, too. The mist so heavy it was like standing near niagara falls.

Full and happy I walked north to the area where I stay: It's called the Guesthouse area. For good reason: the little side streets have one guest house after another.

The architecture a mix of boxy style and some fabulous romanesque buildings with grand balconies. Moved to a more traditional studio apartment in the area. Great location: very Bohemian, the space is nice with a balcony and a very comfortable bed.

This place is for people who stay a month ormore so not as many backpackers and "truthafarians." On way to video store (yes a store with English DVDs and a large selection) i heard what sounded like a rock and roll band. Getting closer the food vendors outside Wat Chiang Man (oldest temple in city) heralded a party.

And party it was. Most of the people Thai natives (in fact I would say all... though you never know who is from what country here) I had my awesome Kodak Zi8 vid cam. The las vegas style show was underway and sheezam. Look at those dancers. OMG! This is in front of a temple?

As if they put on a showgirl/boy  concert in front of your local catholic church. Unusual to say the least.

We have the glitzy hoochie coochie teenage girls, the big band orchestra, and the best part: they played NON STOP. one song segued into another like clockwork.

Did they rehearse this? I though. Who's directing it? Where did these songs come from?

A litany of performers sang short songs that had that whiny pleaing thai melody yet had the volume adn the beat pumped way up.

Favorite singer included: A tom jones impersonator that the middle aged women swooned over as they gave him flowers, A young girl maybe 8 who could not carry a tune for the life of her; the Michael Jackson wannabe who was really funny in white costume and top hat, his dance moves phenomenal; a talented singer who had an outfit on that looked like it came from the musical Oklahoma.

Many videos of this. Not sure what will get posted right now, but do have a few pictures of the evening. Some of Songran, some of the Wat fest.

Once again I left the festivities with a smile on my face and just laughing. I mean laughing. So many things don't fit into expectations here. Nice when it turns out to be better than ever imagined and really bursts your bubble.

A HOOCHIE COOCHIE / CROONER Concert in front of the Temple during the start of a high holy month. It's as if they were doing it on Good Friday in the states.

Very auspicious indeed.

Happy crooning

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