We are splat bang in the midst of Water Festival Mania in this part of the world. In Thailand Songkran is celebrated, with massive waterguns, tubs of water and young children with little bowls of water – all aiming to soak you!
In Myanmar, the Thingyan celebrations last at least four days and ensure a total drenching, with the aim of cleansing the sins of the previous year.
It is all great fun, but it does get a bit wearing after a few hours of not being able to venture outdoors without being absolutely drenched through and through. So I toyed with the idea of heading out of Bangkok, to a jungle retreat perhaps, or to the beach? The beach certainly appealed as did the allure of starfish hunting in the ocean. However, I found it rather difficult to make a solid plan. Getting out of Bangkok is not difficult, but does require at least knowing where you are intending to head. I did not particularly feel like taking a flight somewhere, and howfing my bags on and off of buses with a fairly fresh surgical would did not appeal much either. A train journey would do the trick, though again I would to be clear about where I was heading and have accommodation sorted. I also had an appointment with Dr P a week after the surgery so would need to be in town until then. And although the wound was healing well, let’s face it, it is still a laceration and was very tender. I was not convinced that it would be entirely wise to dunk it in the ocean and pursue random starfish!
I saw Dr P on Wednesday, and he was very pleased with the healing. But the surrounding skin was pretty inflamed and angry. Happily he felt that the dressing was no longer needed and after a brief consultation I was sent off into the great outdoors to get on with healing.
With a few days before my return to Yangon, I made a few enquiries, and looked at a few options but many places were fully booked as folks head out of town for the holiday. And then one friend advised me that travelling out of Bangkok would probably be pretty stressful. Transportation is pretty booked out and the main destinations would be very busy. So I decided to settle on staying in Bangkok and lying low for Songkran, and take up residence beside the lovely little pool at our apartment.
As it turned out, that was clearly the best decision because I returned back to the apartment to a number of messages and the news of two massive earthquakes off Aceh and a tsunami alert. It was good to be in contact immediately with family after our 2004 experience. And I have no words for the relief and gratitude that a major tsunami was not triggered.
So no starfish hunting this time, although I did visit Ocean World which does have a starfish department. That will “tide” me over for a while