Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Day After Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong has long been Thailand’s most beautiful festival with candle-lit balloons rising into a night sky illuminated by a full November moon. Five years ago I was in Pattaya. Few girls and women were dressed in the traditional costume. The police had banned fireworks and their marine patrols gathered the krathong offerings less than 20 meters from shore. No one was allowed to light a fire balloon, perhaps the most exotic image to grace a night sky.

Instead drunken Thais and farangs race cars and motorcycles, as if to tell the water goddess celebrated by the holiday, “Yet mung.”

Angie's mother was up-country. We weren't a thing anymore. Mam, my love, had broken up with me. She wanted to move on with her life, so I celebrated the romantic holiday with two beers and fell asleep dreaming of times gone when the world still appreciated beauty.

I woke without my traditional holiday hang-over at 7am.

There wasn't much to do on a Sunday, if you’re not reliving Kris Kristofferson's SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN.

I got on my motors cooter and drove south to Ban Samae San. The traffic was light. The drunks were sleeping off copious intakes of whiskey. Arriving at the outskirts of Ban Samae San I avoided the fishing village with its thousands of racks stacked with fish drying in the sun. The smell drowned out any other smell, for there are only two things in the world that smell of fish and one of them is fish.

I rode to the hill temple overlooking the undeveloped offshore islands. Not a single worshippers was in sight. I struck the bells with a wooden mallet and wai-ed my respect to the water goddess. Afterwards I descended to the navy pier. No one was there either.

The morning temperature was about 75, which good summer day in Maine. I stripped to my shorts and dove off the dock into the crystal clear water. My balls shrunk to peanuts and my penis to a cashew. Only Cialis could revive them to normal size, but I was celibate these days, so I drifted on the current for several hundred meters and then swam back to the pier.

To be truthful it was a struggle.

But the water goddess forgave my year’s excesses, otherwise I’d make the Pattaya Mail as another farang suicide with a photo of me wrapped in a white sheet, but I wasn't ready for that, because even that year I had a lot of living to do.

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