It all started with a trip to the hospital.
Jason was feverish again (now, over one month fever free! cross your fingers!) and so we went to a Bangkok hospital (over here, hospitals are where the general populous go to get medical attention. I don’t think there are PCPs) to try and get it sorted out again. By the time we left the hospital, and coincidentally coinciding with our visit to Au Bon Pan in the lobby, he was miraculously feeling much better and we decided we would walk back to the nearby train station.
We had seen, from afar, cabals of teenagers roaming in the back of pick-ups, yelling at passerbys and indiscriminately attacking pedestrians (with water). We had heard rumors of similar unrest throughout the city but we hoped to avoid it—assuming the tumult would be contained to the locals. We never expected it to get so out of hand.
At 4:39 PM on April 13, 2012 Jason was struck with three bucketloads of water (you can see the perpetrators in the background). We did not immediately take defensive action, but hoped that by allowing this incident one time, we would be exempt from further altercations.
That night, we were proven otherwise. It was time to take matters into our own hands.
The next day we headed to the “ammunition” store where every possible means of throwing water on other people was for sale. Despite the impressive display, it was clear that most of the merchandise had been rifled through, tested and sold already.
We deliberated carefully over which leftover weapon to purchase. Would a huge super-soaker be best? A turtle backpack reservoir for backup water? Neon green, orange, yellow? In the end, we both chose stealthier (read: small and cheap) weapons. Jason opted for a powerful combination with a pistol for each hand and I chose a clever gun which, like those moths that look like eyes or whatever, was designed to intimidate and confuse attackers with an aggressive weird blue cat.
With that we put on our game faces (we are very serious) and headed into the action to get our revenge.
As we stepped off the train and surveyed the station, we were greeted by the sound of distant screams and a pervasive wet smell. There was none of the regular milling about on the train platform. Everyone was single-mindedly heading down to the street with the same purpose: making people wet.
We stopped to survey the scene from the safety of the overpass. What we saw was massive chaos.
(might want to turn the volume down)
Vendors lined the street selling ammunition (water and pricier ice water) for those in the brutal battle and cold beer as a sort of energy elixir for exhausted combatants. Observing the crowd from above, an unknown variable was discovered. Many people had buckets of white chalk water which was generously applied to faces, local and foreigner alike (Especially foreigners with really white skin. I definitely got more than Jason did. (Ha ha! Joke’s on them, my face is so white you can’t see white chalk!)). Oh well, an unavoidable hazard. And in the middle of it all, a solid wall of people marched in slow motion with no destination in mind, only soaking and being soaked. And sometimes applying chalk to strangers’ faces.
Within seconds of entering the churning mass of people, we were soaked through. Any idea about where we were headed was washed away (hah) and we were absorbed into the dripping hive-mind that gripped the entire city that weekend. We marched on, shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other Bangkok-ites, smiling and being continually showered; our tiny, cheap guns no match for the mass of better equipped locals and their sheer numbers. The city had even brought in the fire department to try and control the crowd. But it only got everyone more wet.
After no more than an hour of overwhelming wetness, we admitted defeat and hightailed it (slowly) to the sidelines. Even escaping the center of the crazy didn’t exempt us from attacks. All the slow way back to the train platform we were barraged from all sides. At the top we surveyed the damage.