I love the Wat Thai temple in North Hollywood, because it's so much like going to Bangkok that for a few hours, anyway, you're persuaded that you've saved on that plane ticket for a little while. The only difference between Wat Thai and a real Bangkok temple is the lack of dozens of mangy, maimed stray cats, but those I could do without anyway. This weekend was the Songkran festival, which is the Thai New Year. The tradition holds that sprinkling water on people on this day brings good fortune for the coming year. Thai children interpret this custom as "bring the biggest Super-soaker you can carry, and drench anyone under 16 who walks by you." My children joined in this custom with gusto, so hopefully they'll have lots of good fortune this year.
If you missed the Songkran festival, many of the food vendors are at the temple every weekend from approximately 11 to 3 on Saturdays and Sundays, although on regular weekends, there's no dancers and no chance to win a bizarrely ugly denim vase at the game booths. But if you can't get to Thailand this year, go anyway. And try the pork sausage on a stick, which is a garlicky, not-too-greasy little taste marvel, certainly one of the best $1 snacks I can think of anywhere.
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