A week of parades

After writing my last post about not carrying my camera around enough, I fought my I-live-here-inertia and grabbed it one morning to take pictures of my latest daily breakfast obsession, Lucky’s.

But the same thing that always happens, happened: I’m too self-conscious to start snapping away at mundane things in crowded restaurants, so the camera stayed in my bag.

On my bike ride home, though, I got stopped by a policeman…directing traffic for a parade. Wednesday was a big holiday here, known as Loy Kratong (see my post from last year). I couldn’t tell whether this was a parade celebrating the festival or not, but I can tell you that I had nothing to do for 20 minutes as these children went by, so out came the lens:

future ASEAN delegates

I don’t think seeing very dressed-up but mildly confused kids will ever get old to me:

So cute!

Maybe the only thing funnier than little kids dressed up in fancy dresses is big kids dressed up in clothing they clearly aren’t enjoying being in:

the remaining elements of my story: impatient motorist, policeman, male thai peacock

I think I only counted one smile out of the entire group of teens parading by – showmanship clearly isn’t a priority here.

Unfortunately, the policeman blowing his whistle at me and every other motorbike when we got a little restless didn’t warm my heart as much as the costumes did. In Thai, there’s a concept called “jai-yen-yen” – literally, cool heart.  Usually Thai people are pretty good at it, but apparently it doesn’t apply to rules of the road.  (Every single day, I get honked at by impatient vehicles while riding my bike. Yeesh).

As soon as that policeman was turned around and one person dared to sneak their motorbike through the street, everyone else broke loose. I feel a little sorry for the kids at the end of the parade, who probably didn’t understand why no one was watching them, only speeding by.

I, too, hopped off my bike and walked it through the parade, weaving through the throng of parents slowly moving backwards, holding their ipads at awkward angles to take pictures.

As it turns out, Wednesday’s parade was only a precursor to two other parades: the one I almost got caught in the next day (but I weaseled out of it! ha!) and the World AIDS Day Parade on Saturday, which I willingly participated in.  That’s for the next post, though, stay tuned.

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