I am sure Songkran is a joyous occasion in many parts of Thailand; but in Pattaya it sucks.
If you are in Bangkok, or almost anywhere else, there are a couple of days of soaked chaos and then life gets back to normal. Unfortunately, the official day of mayhem in Pattaya is not until the 19th; long after everywhere else has dried out and gone back to work. Some people use this as an excuse to chuck water around for eight days or more.
I have no problem with the day itself. If you venture outdoors on the 19th, you are going to get wet; and I have done just that in previous years. Armed with a waterproof camera and a change of clothes in the car, I have wandered the streets of Pattaya and had a good time.
The problem comes in the week before the official day. The vast majority of the people in Pattaya just want/need to get on with normal life during this period; but their are a small army of dickheads who are determined to fuck up things for their own enjoyment. And the embarrassing thing is that these dickheads are mainly foreigners.
Of course there are some Thais playing early too. There is a gang of small kids splashing water in my soi; but they can be easily avoided or, as a last resort, run over. And if you demonstrate to the Thais that you are nicely dressed and not really up for a soaking at this time, they will leave you alone.
Not so the inbred, tattooed, fuckwits that take up station outside the bars on walking street, Beach road and second road. To them, this is Songkran and everyone is a target; irrespective of the willingness of their victims.
Yesterday, in the space of a few hundred yards, I saw incidents that made my blood boil. First, an old couple, smartly dressed, walking down the road minding their own business; until the arseholes outside a bar tipped a bucket of water over them. The old lady was soaked and close to tears, the old gentleman was shaking with anger. Their attackers just laughed.
A little further down the road a Thai lady on a motorbike was going or coming from work; smartly dressed in some kind of uniform. Drenched and mocked; her impression of foreigners was forever ruined.
And finally a young couple with a baby in a pushchair. All three soaked, pushchair awash and baby screaming.
I have nothing but contempt for these scum; but as I am an ancient, weedy wimp, there is not much I can do about it. But I do wish them a face-full of faeces infested water at some point in the proceedings. Meantime, I shall continue avoiding all public places (including on the 19th as I no longer have a waterproof camera); until this Songkran nonsense is over.