And you thought I’d already finished beating the Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella pun to death this week . . .
Huh. Who (besides Jabba) ever thought umbrellas in Thailand would be as ubiquitous as the ever popular Plastic Stool? Not me. At least not until I was stuck coming up with a subject for today’s post and turned to my collection of photos I’ve taken while in Thailand for some inspiration. And suddenly, umbrellas were everywhere. And here I thought they were just used by diminutive elderly local women slowly plodding along crowded Bangkok sidewalks where they can unfurl one without warning with the intent of poking some farang’s eyeball out.
But no, it turns out that umbrellas crop up in the Kingdom even other times when you least expect them to. Which would be when it is raining. Not that a major downpour is an unusual experience in Thailand, but seeing someone armed with a good umbrella during those times is scarce. You see a lot of cheap umbrellas. The kind that turn inside-out with the first gush of wind. And all the street markets are still festooned with umbrellas during the rains too. The vendors have just been smart enough to unfurl lengths of plastic sheeting above those umbrellas to keep them dry. In fact, you can’t hold a street market without umbrellas. I think it is in the Thai Constitution. Even when it is a night market and there is no rain. Or sun.
Flipping through my stock of photos, I got all excited when I ran across a Monk Shot! that was an Umbrella Shot! too. Until I ran across the next one. And another one. And another. There are quite a few wats featuring a Buddha sitting or standing under an umbrella too. And again, my heart began beating faster when I found a photo of Buddha statue carrying an umbrella. Huh. Evidently one of the mudras I forgot to include in my post on that subject was Carrying Umbrella. ‘Cuz I found several shots I’d taken of that not-so-unusual example too. Even if in that particular pose the umbrella is closed. I’m not sure how enlightened you have to be to walk around with a closed umbrella over your shoulder when it’s raining or high noon. But then I’m pretty sure I’ll be coming back in my next life umbrella-less.
Rumor has it that some Russian spy, like back in the ’70s, assassinated someone in London by using the poisoned tip of an umbrella. I think there was a Bulgarian involved too. Because that’s the kind of thing Bulgarians would be involved in. Not that that has anything to do with Thailand. Other than with the recent collapse of the ruble Thailand is becoming Russian-less once again. (Shame that.) But I do wish I’d been carrying a poison tipped umbrella on that day I met the bastard who started this whole 7 Shots thingy off. Trying to cull through my umbrella shots for just seven has been a chore. Even after I threw out those from Bali, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Singapore. On the plus side, that means I can do a 7 Shots post for each of those countries in the future. Just featuring umbrellas.
Ditto for a 7 Shots post on umbrellas at wats. Because what surprised me in the number of umbrella shots I’ve taken is how few were photos specifically of an umbrella. At least in SE Asia, umbrellas photobomb your shots frequently. Of course the huge metal umbrellas often seen at Thai temples are an iconic shot and qualify as specific umbrella shots. But evidently the Buddha is quite fond of umbrellas too because they pop up at wats frequently. I even have a photo of a line of bells from a wat in Chiang Mai, each with an umbrella over it. ‘Cuz if an umbrella is good for the Buddha, it’s gotta be good for his bells too. I’ve taken specific shots of umbrellas at the Umbrella Village in Chiang Mai too. ‘Cuz you kinda have to. And I kinda had to include one of those photos in today’s post too. Which made for a much better photo than my friend Helena’s ass with a freshly painted elephant on it, a shot from our day spent at the Umbrella Village that should warn you away from taking that excursion yourself. But don’t worry. I’m pretty sure a 7 Shots post of lesbian ass is not in your future. And since she is my friend, I won’t mention some of the similarities her ass and an umbrella share in common either.
Even sticking to those photos just from Thailand that include an umbrella numbered in the hundreds. Seriously. Ubiquitous Umbrella Shot! may become my new photographic meme. I don’t even have to snap any additional ones. So despite Jabba swearing he’s never seen umbrellas for sale in the Kingdom, unless the government gives them away like it does with rice, someone must be offering them somewhere. That or I have an umbrella photo fetish that I wasn’t aware of. So yeah, winnowing my photos down to just seven for today’s post was difficult. And while there were many I liked better and many that were better composed, since I may be starting a new trend my final shot for the day will be an almost unbelievable Ubiquitous Plastic Stool Shot! featuring an umbrella. I know. It’s a good thing it’s Friday so that you have the weekend to recover.
Now if I can only find a photo of a monk sitting on a plastic stool holding an umbrella, my life might be complete.