Shocking Pink

Home for the next six months in Chiang Mai, although I have some misgivings about the colour. My first thought was that I hope it doesn't give the local katoeys (ladyboys) the wrong idea... but then, perhaps the Thais don't have the same colour stereotypes as we Westerners? After all, his Majesty was photographed leaving hospital in a pink suit last year, whereupon what seemed to be the entire Thai nation spontaneously emerged from their homes in a sea of pink over the next few days.

What colour to wear is an increasing dilemma for Thais in these difficult political times. After the PAD movement appropriated the royal yellow last year, their opponents responded by turning out in blood-red t-shirts and bandannas. In the recent Pattaya confrontation which saw an embarrassing cancellation of the ASEAN summit, a new group was on the street, clad in blue.

So we're fresh out of primary colours, and much of my preferred t-shirt wardrobe is going to have to be thrown out. Black and brown are depressing, white doesn't stay white long in the dust and smoky exhaust fumes of central Chiang Mai, green isn't such a bad idea if only because it goes with how I feel when faced with a plate of grilled Isaan insects. But there are only so many shades of green you can wear. So maybe I'll have to put aside my inbuilt aversion to pink, and start sporting some more adventurous colours from now on. Cerise, coral, fuchsia, raspberry, rose, salmon pink, shell pink, shocking pink, the possibilities are endless.

All the same, I think I'll give the favourite katoey haunts of Chiang Mai a miss. And pink socks are definitely out.

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Ben Shingleton said...

Welcome back Pete. I have 2 pink 'T's in the wardrobe, bit old now but I used to wear em out quite a lot, they were bought for me so I think the Thai's like you wearing them (especially family). Despite my deteriorating dress sense, I still won't do white socks and sandals though ;) Maybe soon eh.

Mike said...

Hi Pete, nice to see you back. As for pink well like Ben I do have a a pink flavoured shirt or two - only since I lived here and strictly for LOS.

Unfortunately due to MTF's washing skills I now have some pink socks and no Ben despite my increasing years I do not wear them with sandals.

Just had a day in Hua Hin though and spotted a few of the white sock and sandal brigade!

Camille said...

Welcome back!

No pink here though.