So last night an unarmed man was shot in Phuket while going for a simple stroll down the street. That man was me, and my assailants were both many and merciless. Songkran – the Thai New Year – gives people an excuse to squirt strangers mercilessly with all kinds of water pistols, super soakers and anything else that puts water in your face.
Of course, electronics and water don’t mix too well, so the amateur photographer has a rough time trying to get decent shots around the action with an unshielded iPhone 3GS. The trick is to keep it wrapped inside a plastic bag in your pocket. Preferably double bagged, but untied – in case you need to get it out for a pic-snapping, or to change the track you’re listening to. You never know when a couple of falang clowns are going to leap out of nowhere and start blasting with wanton abandon.
Actually those guys were alright. It was the bar girls with giant garbage bins brimming with water/ammo you had to watch out for. They’d spring out of nowhere and totally douse you. FYI, if you’re solo on a motorbike, a super soaker with shoulder strap and side arm water pistols should be your weapons of choice. If you’re trying to ‘get’ somebody on a bike or in a passing tuk tuk, you want to hang near a fountain outside the mall with a bucket – fast reload times and heavy saturation potential make you a likely victor in that scenario. On Songkran, buckets and balloons are like the grenades and super soakers are like the uzis, best used for drive-bys … pistols for surprise-squirts.
I picked up a 60 baht (2 dollar) water pistol and clipped it under the handle bars of my bike for quick-action fire. I’d roll slowly down the street on my scooter, watching for an upcoming ambush. Groups of laughing Thai would spot me from afar, all nervous and innocent looking, and start pumping up their guns in readiness. I’d get juuuust close enough – wide, innocent eyes narrowing to an evil focused stare – then whip out the pistol, pop ’em in the face and speed away giggling like an eight-year-old. They never got a shot off. Street justice. I guess all that time spent playing videogames has finally paid off :)~