Saturday night I decided to go to Wild Bill's for the annual Thai New Year celebration. I missed it the last three years, but the party is the stuff of legend.
When we walked through the front door we were greeted by these ladies...and a dusting of baby powder followed by a few gallons of water.
The Thais celebrate their new year by throwing water at one another. Back in the day, people would douse strangers with water to cool them off. With increased contact with Western cultures, this practice evolved into shooting water at strangers. God Bless America. And No. One. Else.
White people flock to Thailand for this celebration so they can dance like no one is looking. In Saipan we flock to Wild Bill's, which on any given day has the highest concentration of Thai citizens in Micronesia.
Ordering a beer on Thai New Year can be difficult because every time you walk up to the bar the bartender shoots you in the face with a water gun and then dusts you with baby powder.
It's really not that bad once you get used to it, really.
The great thing about living in Saipan is that every once in a while you run into a celebrity. On Saturday I had a few drinks with Bruce "I'm a God with a Capital G in Japan" Berline
Just when you think the fun is over, here comes another Thai girl with a bottle of powder. I will not use this opportunity to discuss my Crazy Thai Girl thesis.
And then there is somebody else willing to shoot you with a water gun. Again.
Like your grandmother used to tell you, everything is fun and games until your bar has three inches of water on the carpets and thousands of dollars in damage.
I can't wait for next year.
My "dates" for the evening were my cousin Ana and my niece Liz, both of whom recently moved back to Saipan from the West Coast.
Some of you may know Liz. She wrote this letter in support of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.