20 November, 2010

A Chiangmai Loy Kratong 2010 update. It sounds like Baghdad outside tonight

While in Bali, I invented the Nucleatte Coffee. 
Goes off with a bang when you add  cinnamon.

A brief diary update: We've been back in Chiangmai for a whole 3 weeks now after the Bali trip. Just settling in again... but we're off to India next week. Hell, two months of dosa masala & lentils - methane alert!
Marie after a Nucleatte Coffee

The above pic, and the one below, were taken in the surrealistic shopping centre where we often do our daily geriatric walkercise tours:

Until recently there was a 25-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex head just near here.
We always expecting the White Rabbit to dart past. Or maybe a happy fish.

Now it's the festival of Loy Kratong (I suggest doing a Google Image Search using the search terms Loy Kratong Chiang Mai 2010). This year there are lots of new molded plastic statues, all internally-lit, dotted around the old walled city and its 700 year-old moat. No doubt the statues will do their part to encourage all the bad luck and evil spirits to float off down the river with the hundreds of traditional floating candle 'kratongs', or to flee into the sky with the hot-air yee-peng paper lanterns:

... and oh yes, of course, some internally-lit giant t-shirts for the God of Commerce...

  ...and a shop-counter shrine to encourage the spirits to make customers spend lots of money. Apparently, the spirits apparently enjoy consuming red things (like Cherry Cheer or strawberry jelly), red being the colour that Chinese-Thai tradition equates with Power and Strength:

One fruit-juice stall sported a sign:  WE LOVE JUICE BEAUTY 
Hmm... what is mean?

Meanwhile, down south, Bangkok is the ungrateful recipient of the north's secondhand floodwater. People in some parts of the city are having to get around on raised wooden footpaths - as in this Bangkok Post photo of the stairs at Saphan Thaksin SkyTrain Station:

  (I'm sure we can trust that the red shirt was an unfortunate coincidence)

Bangkok, built inadvisedly on a river delta floodplain, will surely have a short life and a merry one. At the same time as Climate Change is creeping water levels ever higher, the sheer physical weight of the city is causing it to sink by about a centimetre per year. It might also help to mention that a lot of Bangkok's groundwater is being pumped out - not too smart. Have a squint at our prophetic post on this very blog from some years ago. And psst, don't be tempted to buy real estate in Bangkok. 

We shall try to keep y'all updated on our progress around India. First, it's off to Kolkata, a flashy Indian military wedding in Delhi, then to the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. Where's Nagaland, I hear you ask. OK, stay tuned to FunkyPix2 for news of the latest trends in head-hunting fashions.