On celebrating Songkran, aka Thai New Year
Looking at the picture of you and Brooks at the end makes me want to cry. Also, I love the photo of him at the beginning and the sentence that says, "She did, indeed, splash him real good." That's the briefness + intellectual tone that makes your humor so punchy.
I think the strongest part of this piece is the distinction you draw between Thailand and the U.S. I absolutely loved the entire "A city on full lockdown" paragraph. It really does open my eyes as someone who was not present for your travels, and puts things into perspective for me (an ideal outcome, I would imagine, for travel writing).
One thing I think a piece like this could benefit from is a magnification of one moment or scene. The catalogue, poetic style is so beautiful and serves you well, but more time with a moment like Brooks getting his surprise splash or the exchange with the little boy, DK, could help to fully immerse me in the joy and surprise of it all before returning to the wider scope.
Another win for Margaret May. Brava.