Archive for the ‘ Travel ’ Category

Thailand in a Bag

If you missed Vietnam on a Stick or Life on a Stick Part 2, then this might not make a whole lot of sense.  But it is amazing how when you start to look for something, you start to see it everywhere!  It started in Vietnam when I  noticed just how much stuff you can get on a stick.  It seemed everywhere I looked I saw something else on a stick.

Back in Thailand, I decided to see how much stuff I could find in a bag.  Once again I was not disappointed.  Here are just a few samples of what you can get in Thailand in a Bag!

Big Fish in a Bag

Little Fish in a Bag

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Welcome to the year 2553

April 13th marks the beginning of the new year in Thailand and to celebrate they take to the streets with guns……..WATER GUNS!  Three days of non stop soggy urban warfare welcomes in the new year!

Buddha died 543 years before Jesus,  so Buddhist countries start counting years from there making this the year 2553.  The celebration of the new year is called Songkran and it takes place from April 13th through the 15th every year.  There is a serious and spiritual side to the holiday, where people visit temples and wash the Buddha, but the most visible part of the celebration is a massive city wide water fight!  What better way to celebrate during the hottest month of the year when temperatures are hovering around 100 degrees (39 Celsius) every day?  Here is how it works:

In the week or so leading up to Songkran, street markets and stores begin selling all sorts of flowery Songkran shirts.  These shirts look like what we would call “Hawaiian shirts” and basically label anyone wearing one as a target.  We eagerly bought shirts and several air powered water cannons to participate in the festivities.  We jumped into a Tuk Tuk (little open air motorcycle taxi) and headed for Khao San road.  Within minutes we were soaked from head to toe.  Every street corner we passed had people throwing buckets of water at us to wish us a good new year.  Pick up trucks with 5 to 15 people in the back and garbage cans filled with water were driving around throwing water at anyone with a squirt gun or Songkran shirt.

Khao San road itself was filled to capacity with smiling faces and dripping bodies!  A few tourists, who did not read up before arriving, tried in vain to reach their hotels without being doused with icy water.  A few were angry, but most just smiled and went with the moment.  I am amazed at how much fun it was to shoot water at people who could not be more wet if they were in a swimming pool, but somehow this kept us entertained for hours!  We took a bus ride home and continued to do battle from the windows of the bus.  Water was flying in and out of the bus windows as the driver laughed and encouraged the antics!  What a great few days!

Raise your hand if you think this is an activity you would like to have in your country!  I for one would vote to hold city wide water fights in the US every year in July or August.  Maybe we could tie it in with our 4th of July?

If you want more information on the religious or historical aspects of Songkran or want to see some videos here are a few links.  Enjoy!

Wikipedia Information

This video has some good images of what I described above. It is from Chiang Mai in the north where the moat that runs around the city fuels the water supply and fun but it shows the tuk tuks and the pick ups and other crazy scenes!

Life On a Stick Part 2

Since my photo blog “Vietnam on a Stick” I have continued to see so many things put on sticks!  So many that I have decided to post a second part in the series.   Most of these photos are from Thailand but a few are from Vietnam and Cambodia.  I am sure when I get back to the United States, I will continue to see things on sticks but here are the latest from South East Asia on a Stick!

Propeller on a Stick

Disgusting on a Stick  (Some people might call this “Delicious on a Stick” but they would be wrong!)

Relief on a Stick

Big Brother on a Stick (Also called “Surveillance on a Stick” in case the dog wakes up!)

Tim on a Stick

Houses on Sticks

Stairs on a Stick

Waffle on a Stick

Path on Sticks and Boat on a Stick

Bicycle Bar Seat on a Stick

Blade on a Stick

Sink on a Stick

Buddha on a Stick

TV on a Stick

Poop on a Stick (OK so it is not poop but if you squint a little it could be!)

I have more but I will save them in case I need to post part 3.

An Unusual Bucket List

Lots of people have a list of things they want to do before they die.  These so called “Bucket Lists” inspire us to take risks and live the lives we dream about.  I don’t have a bucket list.  I prefer to take life as it comes, and not to turn down a good opportunity when it arises.  However I do keep a different kind of list.

I have a list of things I want to do someday but never will.  It’s not that I don’t want to do them.  It is just that if I did do them, the consequences would be too great.  So I just keep the list and dream about what it would be like to do these amazing things.  Take a look at 5 of the items on my list and see what you think.

1.  Quit Smoking: Like many people, I love a challenge.  This is why people climb mountains, run marathons, and a host of other difficult feats.  People claim that quitting smoking is one of the hardest things they have ever done, and others simply can’t.  The problem with this goal is that I don’t smoke.  I am not willing to start smoking or smoke long enough to develop the habit so I could quit.  This is why I keep it on this list.

2.  Rob a Bank: Maybe I have seen too many caper movies,  but it looks like so much fun planning and executing the perfect robbery!  I would not want to rob the bank while it is open with masks and guns.  I would rather plan out a sleek way to slip in, grab the money, and slip out before anyone noticed.  The problem here is that I don’t steal.  Oh… and I also do not want to go to jail if my plan fails!

3.  Land a 747: This one is pure fantasy but if I was ever on a fully loaded plane where the pilots were rendered unconscious, and the call went out for one of the passengers to land the plane, I would love to be that guy!  The tower would talk me through it and when I land safely, the passengers would cheer my name!  Did I mention this plane is full of swimsuit models?  Hey, it is my fantasy!  The problem is…………..well……….. this is just never going to happen!

4.  Escape from Prison: This might go along with #2 if I got caught robbing the bank.  Once again ,I like to imagine planning a great scheme breaking out, and then I like to think about what it would be like living on the run and staying undercover.  The problem here is that I do not wish to go to jail or prison in order to break out.  So I leave it on my list of things I would love to do but never will.

4.  Grow a Beard: Just once in my life I would love to experience a huge grizzly beard big enough to provide habitat for several small animals.  The problem here is that my facial hair is too patchy and a beard would never fill in fully to cover my face.  At least I am further along that this guy!

How about you?  Do you have a list of things you would like to do but never will?

Vietnam On A Stick

It is amazing just how many foods and other items people can put on a stick!  The following photo blog depicts just a few of the interesting items I found on sticks in the last few days.   Once I started looking it seemed everywhere I looked, I saw more stuff on a stick!  I found this to be so much fun, I am considering another photo blog titled “Thailand in a Bag”.

Flavored ice on a stick

Smell on a stick

Squid on a stick

Egg on a stick

Communism on a stick

Shade on a stick

Fish on a stick

Potato on a stick  (This was delicious!!!)

Fire on a stick

Old lady on a stick

Bridge on a stick

Air Conditioning on a stick

Fruit on a stick

Power on a stick

Inflation on a stick

This is less than half of my “On a stick” collection but you probably get the point.  Look around today and notice just how much stuff we put on sticks!