Ai ai ai ai – but I’ve got nothing to wear?

20 Apr

I noticed in KL how quickly my attitudes to dress were changing. After a couple of days, full length tunic-and-skirt outfits, complete with veil, were the norm, and I was trying to adopt similar standards. Even a business suit on a woman was starting to look provocative (although no one else seemed to mind – I’d often see a group of women strolling to work together, one in “western” dress, one in a sari, a couple in brightly coloured, but full coverage get-ups, and perhaps one in full burqa).

It seemed to make sense to cover up – no worries about sunburn, no sideways looks from dodgy geezers, quite civilised really.

And then we entered “Amazing Thailand”.

Hat Yai is the first major city you hit on the rail line from the border with Malaysia, and we’d arrived just in time for Songkran – Thai New Year celebrations.

Traditionally, the celebrations revolve around paying respect to your elders, who annoint your neck or hands with water. Devotees also head down to the local Wat (temple), to clean images of the Buddha and recieve a blessing, marked in white pigment by the monk in residence.

The highlight of festivities for Hat Yai, however, seemed to be a parade featuring floats from all the nightspots in town, complete with soaking wet, gyrating Thai girls – in cages, on poles, or just generally bopping about in tiny denim hotpants. The most popular float theme song?

Ai ai ai ai!
But I’ve got nothing to wear!”
Followed by a deep pumping base riff that allowed the gilrs to swing their hips around with gusto

And the costume? Just a wet towel…

Well, they couldn’t find any clothes, could they, poor things…

The entire town, and if fact, the country, seems to go nuts over the long weekend, kids get the run of the city and old people stay safely indoors. Posses drive around in pick-up trucks, drenching passers by. The talc sales in Thailand must peak over Songkran, as anyone on the street is fair game to be smeared with thick white talc and water paste.

Bloody good fun, as long as your prepared to get wet. And of course, we were.



One Response to “Ai ai ai ai – but I’ve got nothing to wear?”

  1. Dee May 21, 2007 at 6:09 pm #

    Darling, you ALWAYS have something to wear! xx

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