Today I went to “play Songkran,” as it's called, in downtown Pattaya. (It was the last day of Songkran in Pattaya, it would go on to end in Bang Si Lee on the 20th.) For those who don't know, Songkran is the Thai new year, and celebration involves throwing water on everyone you see. I wasn't prepared for the varying temperatures of the water, with some freezing and some tepid (some people put ice in their tubs of water), and I definitely wasn't ready for the revelers who smeared flour paste on the faces of passerbys. I had a decently powerful squirt gun, though, and used it liberally, filling it up at the water barrels people had dragged onto the sidewalk.
I left the gym at 11 and got back around 3 to train. A pickup-taxi had knocked into a water-pipe so I wasn't able to shower right away, but I made sure to wash the dubiously clean Songkran water off my body and the caked flour off my face before training.
There's a festival tonight, similar to the one at Bangsilee on the 15th. I'm quite tired so I'm not sure if I want to go. One of our young fighters named Superbon will be fighting, as will the boy from our gym who made his debut at Bangsilee.
[I ended up going. Both boys lost, but fought very well. Superbon fought a boy who was a fair bit bigger and older than him, beating him on kicking technique but losing a decision on power. It was Mong Guh's second fight, so he looked very raw, but his aggressive style looks well and is effective on the scorecards. The other boy fought a more disciplined fight, despite eating a lot of long kicks and punches, and took it on points. Shout-out to Mike and Elmira who, I think, recorded both these fights. If they did I'll get them up on Youtube.]
Training was postponed today by a huge rain. It reminded me of California. When I lived in Southern California, it used to be sunny then explode, with no warning, into torrents of rain that could last for days. The carpet at the gym was getting wet and and water was flowing into the shop at the front of the gym so we got out brooms, dustpans, and basins and started clearing out the water.
It was a lot of fun. I watched the water on the street carry along small animals. There were two toads and a big earthworm that looked like a baby snake swimming in the stream, as well as some curious insects. One of the kids pointed out to me a scorpion-like thing that had the claws and body of a scorpion, but no stinger. I looked at it, thinking, “What the fuck?” before someone picked it up in his dustpan and gently took it outside to set it down in the middle of the road. This was right before he smashed it.
Training went on pretty much as usual after that. We dried off and did bagwork and pads. I did notice some difficulty breathing, though, maybe due to the humidity.
For those who didn't catch the first entry, I'm currently at Sor Klinmee in Pattaya.
April 12 -- Daniel Fights
April 15-17 -- Festival in Bang Si Lee