April 15th 2019

Today my only child turns 29!!! It’s so wonderful to be in Bangkok, Thailand to celebrate Alexander’s birthday with him this year. His girlfriend, Benz and my husband, Mark together with Alexander and I had a full day planned. In addition, it’s the Thai New Year which is a 4 day long National holiday here!

Last night we ventured out to the hot spot of Bangkok to participate in the massive water fight occurring in Silom area. The entire 5km street is a water combat zone where locals and tourists don super soakers, hoses, enormous buckets of icy or warm water and happily soak any and all people!!!

We purchased our mini water guns, bought water for 5 or 10 Baht depending on the size of the water canister, and headed into the masses! It was tons of fun and getting drenched felt fabulous after suffering the 40 degree temperatures.

It was a playful time for all and brought out a new side of our personalities 🥴😉

This morning Alexander and Benz stopped by our hotel to open their cards and gifts, then we were off to meet Benz’s mother for the first time!

Although we do not share a mutual language, culture, or religion… we shared our lunch together and met for the first time. After eating together I had Benz translate whether it might be appropriate for me to give her mom a hug.

Hugs really do transcend language, religious, or cultural barriers and as we hugged for several long minutes we established a connection and understanding that touched my heart deeply and left tears in more than just my eyes…

Our next adventure was to drive to วัดกระทุ่มเสือปลา Wat Krathum Suea Pla which is the Wat (Temple) where Benz and her mother regularly attend. Benz was going to introduce us all to traditional Thai Buddhist customs practiced during Songkran.

We learned about our Buddha for the day of the week we were born. We bought baskets of food and items (like umbrellas) to present to the monk after chanting sessions ended. We poured water from kettles into cups during the ceremony. We lit candles, poured oil, lit incense, placed flowers, and attached small gold foils on the Buddhas.

There were so many different ways to show appreciation and each different type of blessing also required (suggested) a monetary contribution. Benz also explained the story of Buddha and answered many of our questions. I created a slide show video showing the story of our day… from our arrival at Wat Krathum Suea Pla to our departure after we experienced more icy water down our backs and people applied white powder to our faces for Songkran!

Learning about Thai Buddhist Customs during Songkran