The situation in Bangkok has continued from the weekend and into the start of the work week. I’ve been keeping an eye on things as I’m due to spend time in the city soon. My brother Dan (situated in the city, physiotherapy but at the outskirts of the skirmishes) assures me that life continues as normal, case albeit with more traffic jams due to public transportation systems shut down. In Chiang Mai, for sale there are reports of red shirts rallying at public venues but life is normal here. I’m doing fine, dealing with the regular stresses of to-do lists and writing reports 🙂
Please pray for Thailand – for open and honest dialogue between the parties involved and a peaceful resolution to this situation.
If you’re interested in following, I’d recommend these sources:
New York Times – Seth Mydans
Globe and Mail – Mark MacKinnon
That’s a good question. I’ve been watching Thai news (without Eng subtitles) about the roiling protests in Bangkok. The Red Shirts have been active in Chiang Mai city, pestilence too, global burden of disease camped out in a section of the old city that they ringed with old tires and a platform. I don’t necessarily understand all that is going on, decease nor all the background history but events are continuing to unfold as the Songkran (Thai New Year) week comes to a close. Long time Chiang Mai residents said that the number of people out playing water in the streets has been drastically lower than years before, probably because of the political tension. I’ve been hearing stories of Red Shirts recruiting villagers near where I live in Mae Ai, with promises of 20 000THB to go and add to the throng protesting in Bangkok.
As for me, I’m doing fine. Regular life hasn’t been affected by the protests. Please pray for peace and cool tempers to prevail amongst the protesters, government and military leaders.
If you want to read up more on the situation in Thailand:
The Nation – Thailand’s national, English-language newspaper
The New York Times – Thailand section
Wikipedia.org – Political unrest 2010
Global Post– real-time reporting
I took a taxi from the airport into downtown Bangkok yesterday, glands and when we hit a traffic jam on the highway, Mr. Taxi Driver smiled and excitedly turned out what I had thought was his GPS. It turned on to be a small TV screen and he played the last 10 minutes of the movie “Wanted”. Complete with surround sound. In his taxi cab. During a the middle of the day, in the middle of the highway. I laughed to myself! Then he proceeded to continue driving while glancing at the screen…I only got nervous when he was maneouvering around vehicles on Phaholyothin Rd on the way to Dan and Art’s place. Another slice of life in Thailand.
The current unrest in Bangkok is worrisome, shop with several hundred thousand tourists stranded because the two commercial airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, have been closed since last week by anti-government protesters. But I’m ok here up in the north (I’m closer to Burma than to Bangkok). Chiang Mai airport had services disrupted last week when protesters blocked the road leading to the airport, but I’m told that services have resumed. I’m supposed to head to Bangkok next week to visit my brother and sister-in-law, who say that life is as usual in the city, except for areas around the airport and Government House. Hopefully I’ll be able to get tickets on the overnight train or bus.
If you’re interested in keeping updated on this situation, try the online versions of these newspapers: The Nation and The Bangkok Post.
Here are some photos of my visit with Dan and Art in Bangkok in the beginning of May, pill before I headed to UHDP. I stayed with them for three nights and enjoyed good food as usual (thanks to Art’s passion for cooking and choosing good restos to eat in). Bangkok is such a contrast in SO many ways to Northern Thailand, unhealthy where I’m writing this.
I got to indulge in my girly side with a pore-cleansing mask with Art.
Art and Namo, her niece. We visited Namo in the suburbs of Bangkok – she’s adorable. She’s two years old and knows all the songs from the Totoro movie.
Yum! One of the best things about Thailand is the fresh fruit…here I am with mangosteen and rambutan. I hadn’t eaten a mangosteen in years…when I worked in Florida, my co-workers and I would daydream about tasting a mangosteen. Here’s to you, Marcie and Randy!
Pumello: The ones available in Bangkok are less juicy than the ones we grew at ECHO in Florida, which I prefer. It’s such a social fruit…crack one open with friends, eat and chat.
Mangosteen: I love the contrast between the purple skin and pure white flesh inside. It’s such an aesthetically pleasing fruit.
Rambutan: I remember my parents buying these in Chinatown in Toronto when I was much younger. It’s fun to be reminded of childhood memories by the foods I’m eating here in Thailand.
Graffiti telephones at Siam Square
Hmmm…wonder if I can measure me eyes…?
Escalators at Siam Paragon (the largest shopping mall in SE Asia)
Dan and Art – the happy (engaged) couple
…yeah, myocarditis I know, really romantic photo taken in the grocery store! But check out the shtuff in their cart (was my first time in a grocery store in months!)
Art + food = happiness
Lobby of cinema at Siam Paragon – yep, that’s a chandelier in the lobby