Loy Krathong Parade in Chiang Mai – and what we did instead

3 Dec

Pretty Thai Lady in Loy Krathong Parade

The one day my burger-loving husbands feels like eating healthy and having a salad for supper, it seems like the entire universe turns against us in an attempt to keep him from having his salad.

Well, maybe he just picked the wrong day and location to be picky on where and what to eat for supper. It is the end of November in Chiang Mai – festival time. Loy Krathong is in full swing and our guest house is right outside Thaphae Gate, a place where much of the festivities are taking place.

This particular night there is a huge parade going on. The streets are blocked off and groups upon groups of young Thais dressed in traditional outfits push decorated wagons or carry decorated poles through the streets. At the same time it seems as if every single farang (foreigner)  in Chiang Mai and just as many locals gathered on the sidelines to watch the procession.

Men and drums in Thai Parade

And we would probably be doing the same, if we weren’t on a mission to get to a newly opened café close-by. The day before we had browsed their menu and I think it was their very appetizing image of a Caesar’s salad that made Konrad crave healthy food. So far he only had fruit that day.

Finally, we managed to manoeuvre through the masses and got a table at the café from where we actually had a quite good view of the parade going by outside.  We are kind of starving, so order our salads quickly and some tea to bridge the wait.

The tea comes right away and we enjoy it while observing tourist after tourist with giant DSLR cameras and huge lenses (and an older lady with her iPad) take pictures of the same 3 pretty Thai girls outside. They wear beautiful shiny, traditional dresses, their hair is made up high and sparkly long earrings dangle around their faces.

Wagon in Loy Krathong Parade Chiang Mai

As we finish our tea the parade is moving along and I start wondering how long it might take to throw together two salads. But there are a number of other patrons here longer than us already, so they must we working on their orders first.

In the meantime a Thai travel magazine keeps me entertained. When I finish that one it seems like we’ve been waiting for our food for an hour. A look at the time confirms that indeed it has been an hour and twenty minutes since we ordered. This is getting ridiculous and we are quite grumpy from hunger.

When we notice people who came later than us are receiving their food one after other, we are fed up. We don’t even want our food anymore. We don’t inquire, just pay for the tea and leave. However, I still have a salad-craving husband and my stomach seems to have resorted to eating itself.

Loi Krathong Parade Chiang Mai

More crowd-fighting. It is interesting how much you start disliking people, when you are hunger-grumpy and they stand in the way of our food. New plan is a vegetarian restaurant close-by, they should have salad, right?

Nope! At least no Western-style salads, only Thai salads. Not what Konrad was looking for. After all, he only orders Asian food that I have had before and he must have liked the bite he tried from it.

Buddha Statue on Wagon in Loi Krathong Parade

At this point I don’t care anymore. I am ready to punch anyone standing in my way. All I want is something to EAT! The solution: the McDonalds right next to our guesthouse.

And no, they don’t serve salads here in Thailand. Not quite the healthy food we spent hours and lots of nerves to find – not even close. But we are so hungry that we turn it into a feast, Filet-o-Fish, McChicken, Cheeseburger, McNuggets… Oh yeah, these are just synonyms for … SALAD!

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