Pattaya in Black and White – Two Very Symbolic Colours
The two colours are a wonderful mixture of despair or death and supremacy or enlightenment and when you see them draped from one end of a building to the other it is impressive. It is also impressive that my personal computer has a message from Google “Our deepest condolences for the loss of his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej” and that if I go near it with my mouse I get a full screen of “Public Relations Department on Google” about the king.
As I drive around Pattaya this morning I am still very impressed by the stirring mix of emotions these long, black-and-white streamers create in me as if Thailand’s legendary king is already a saint or a being enshrined with the Buddha. He has been taken away from us here in his loved realm and the country mourns in black, but he is now in whiteness, symbolic of his enlightenment and his ascent, and his country joys in white.
However, my thoughts on colours and symbolism are just mine. I am sure that others will see in black and white the dreadful clash of contraries or the bedeviled world of politics where black and white are the bread and circuses of those who want to hoodwink or who cannot distinguish or…..It goes on and on.
Of course, in Pattaya, there are still lots of other colours around, too, and I have photographed some of them. An acquaintance remarked only the other day that the girls in his favourite drinking-establishment are dressed in white blouses and black hot-pants and he made the inevitable irreverent comment about mourning and these young women’s choice of colours or the bar’s choice more like it. Or just possibly no one’s choice but not all of Pattaya’s dancing girls are in black and white. Their birthday suits are honey-coloured.
But whatever you think and however you see it, a building, an impersonal building, draped in black and white streamers, is going to get you thinking. They tell me Bangkok is mourning far more, but I would need to go there to get the taste of it.
This morning I am going to get the taste of some Thai fruits in Pattaya. Their colours are overwhelming! Fruit, glorious fruit, fresh, delicious, tasting of Thailand and the far east, and because it is business as usual in Fun City, I’ll buy to my heart’s content – near those selected edifices impressively ribboned in black and white.