The drench resistance
As a general rule I try to avoid being shot at. It is one of those basic rules in life which are always right, always correct. Now, I haven't just woken up one day and decided that this is a good rule to follow, no, it is from experience that this rule has come to life.
When I was younger, I was shot at. A couple of times. Four to be exact. Well, there were shots in my direction, I wasn't really shot, but that is just a technicality. To my defence I have to say that out of these four times, only two were by my own soldiers. (Yeah, yeah, they say it was an accident, right...)
So I try to avoid being shot at, which for me was part of my decision to move to places where people are less prone to being shot at.
I tried. Thailand seemed like a peaceful place, the Land of Smiles, of understanding, of acceptance, it seemed like the peaceful oasis I was looking for in my attempt to be less-shot-at-than-usual in life.
And yet year by year I am reminded that nothing is as it seems, there is always something under the surface and our greatest hopes are nothing but illusions we will never reach, oh cosmic disappointment that life is.
Year after year I am reminded that guns are bad, and people are worse. Well, at least if you give them a gun. I come from a place where everyone has a gun. It's like an iPad, you've got to have it to fit in. And there I was thinking that I ran away from this madness, forgetting Asia knew its share of gun-toting maniacs not too long ago.
Year after year the terror comes back, and I cling to my front gate like a local trying to break into the French embassy during the falling of Phnom Penh, clutching the iron gate crying to every possible god in the area, please, please don't let them get me, I really, really don't want to get wet.
Year after year I can't leave my house without being completely soaked to the bone by high-pressure double-barrel triple-bearings highly hydraulic water guns designed by a team of collaborating Nasa engineers and al-Qaeda consultants.
I remember the days when Songkran was a soft passing of a talcum-filled hand on a smiling cheek, where small drops of water were thrown with a nimble wrist, like rain from heaven in the scorching heat, a child laughs, a white face drying in the golden rays of the afternoon and small silver bowls of just the right amount of water in them glistening in the beauty of our solar serenade to the new year.
Oh, the past, the past... when did it change to a drive-by soaking from a moving pickup, with a shooting squad armed with ice water howling into the air to a gangsta rap theme song? If it was only luk thung, I could live with kantrum wet-squads terrorising our dry existence, but not rap. Not that. Oh well.
I know, I know, it's just water, and they are not really guns. But the thing is that there actually were some water guns even in my dreamy version of a Songkran memory. There were.
I remember them, and you know what, it was even funny. The problem with guns, is not only that when everyone has them it stops being funny, but that when they are acceptable. Well, it really is hard to keep any control, and people tend to abuse every permission you will give them. It's in our nature.
I really do try to avoid leaving the house during the Songkran week. It is just unpleasant in most parts of town. And yes, it does scare me.
Not the guns, not the water, but the people.
And I am not talking about Thai people. Any people.
Hoping you had a just-wet-enough Songkran.
Boaz Zippor is an artist, writer, poet and rambling ranteur living in Bangkok. His views are featured in his personal article reservoir www.bucketmoon.com.