So it’s the third day of Song Kran in Chiang Mai, I can’t emphasize how crazy it is out here. I thought yesterday (Day 2 of Song Kran) I’d be able to wake up early in the morning and go around and explore the town and take some pictures. Nope, after I had breakfast, it had already begun. I had to ditch my SLR camera back into my room and change to something I didn’t mind getting wet in. Unfortunately, due to my carelessness of the first day of Song Kran and staying out for a solid 3 – 4 hours dancing and water fighting on the street, I was horribly sun burned. I’m rocking a wicked farmer’s tan now, so I’m going to wait till I head south to the beaches to balance it out, going shirtless with this farmer’s tan would just look ridiculous right now. So now, the only thing I can wear is my button-up shortsleeves I brought.
After two days of doing Song Kran, I think I had enough of being soaking wet from head to toe. So I ended up booking a cooking class with a cooking school that’s like a half block away from my guesthouse. I booked the lesson where you go out to tour a food market and a farm that grows a lot of the ingredients and also you cook out in the farm as well. I chose the very pinnacle of Thai dishes to make: spicy papaya salad, chicken tom yum soup, pad thai, matsuman curry (we made the curry paste as well) and finally for dessert, mango sticky rice.
I started the day at the cooking school waiting to be picked up to go to the market. I was picked up in one of those trucks with an open canopy that they use as a taxi in Thailand. I knew something was not right with the situation at that point but didn’t look into that much, it was still early in the morning…we stopped at a open market to chat about fresh ingredients used in Thai cooking, it was cool to see this because there really isn’t any supermarkets to get your fruits and veggies in Thailand. We got to walk around for a bit which was nice because I happened to find the best thing at the time…donuts! freshly made donuts, so good for the first thing to eat in the morning.
Next stop, we went to the train station to take a 30 minute ride to the farming village where we were going to cook. When we arrived, we all got on bicycles to pedal over to the next stop, a farm that grows different kinds of basil, there we had a quick lesson on the different kinds of basil and how they’re used in different dishes. After we collectively picked some for cooking we finally went to the kitchen where going to cook. All of my food that I cooked turned out quite delicious, I’m not a bad cook at home either, so it was nice to learn some new dishes. The pad thai was my favourite of the bunch.
So, on the way back, we hit up the train again and we arrive at Chiang Mai at about 4:30 PM, the festivities have probably started at least 6 hours ago. We get to our vehicle and I realize it’s the same truck from this morning. Well, shit…not even 2 minutes of pulling out of the train station, a few buckets of ice cold water come flying into the back of the truck, all of us are drenched as we fight to keep things dry like our backpacks, cameras, wallets and newly acquired recipe books. We get the driver to stop immediately so that we can hide all that stuff inside. As we drive around town dropping people off, I realize that I was the only one picked up at the main office of the school, which was the last stop.
The area that I’m staying at, is close to ground zero of where all the major waterfights are happening. I think in the two days that I’ve been out participating in the waterfights, today of all days, was the day I got the most wet. Every place with kids parked outside ready to throw buckets, every passing vehicle armed with people with waterguns and every farang who’s participating are making the back of the truck the main target. After the first bucket is thrown at you, you lose your inhibitions about being dry, now you just accept it. The iced water is refreshing and the tepid water is nice after cooling off a bit from driving around. After the first bit of water hits you, you are free to let loose and enjoy life.
So much for doing a cooking class to stay dry…