Thursday, August 13, 2009

Long live the Queen!

Yesterday marked the official birthday celebration of her Majesty, the Queen. The Queen's birthday falls on August 12th and is given the status of a national holiday here in Thailand. All week long, people have been celebrating and sharing in the glory that comes with having an official day off of work. Yesterday, Mae Sot was more lively than I have ever seen it before. Hundreds of people roamed the streets, shopped at the day market, and hit up the world's GREATEST carnival.
I was initially skeptical of the carnival, as a few people had remarked that it was "lame" and "for kids only." Fortunately, I decided to ignore such blasphemy and check it out myself. As it turned out, the carnival was loads of fun, and there was nothing (absolutely nothing) childish about elephant shaped carousels and inflatable Spider Man toys.
Enjoy the following pictures taken by both my friend Kelly Christie and me. (The better quality photos were taken by Kelly!)

They look excited now, but those expressions will turn to outright fear once the ride begins.

The ride!

Carnival bingo. Would have loved to try but I still don't know all my numbers in Thai!

Whether or not you know it Ms. Queen, Mae Sot really throws down on your birthday.

Liz, David and I (Small world moment: the second time that I have worked and made friends with people David grew up with)

Grab your rifle and shoot a balloon!

Rambutan woman! I am obsessed with these tasty little treats. One kilo for 20 baht (75 cents roughly) Peel and be merry.

Thawa, me, Geoff. This was from my first visit to the carnival, where I thought it would be a good idea to ride this thing. Expecting it to be slow and creaky, we got much more than we paid for. Strict safety regulations on Thai roller coasters? In your dreams...

Big kids, little boats. (One of them almost sunk his boat-- he was pushing the "big")

Hungry? There's always enough sticks o' meat to go around. Including fish on a stick that is shaped like a panda/rabbit. (???)

**Other highlights included the "nothing scary about it" haunted house and the 30 cent ice cream cones.**