What a difference a month makes – no Red Shirts/Police standoffs when I was there. Miss Peg sent me an email hours before it devolved into warfare, describing what was occurring right outside her door in Bangkok.
A couple of days ago, when we had all the Reds in front of the compound, I moseyed on out for a little look-around. It was blazing hot and the police were in full riot gear, complete with shields, sleeping all over the street and in the landscaping.
Then they had take-out lunch, tidied up the area, slept some more, posed for pictures with people, some of them Red Shirts, bought fruit and cold drinks off the vendors and remained the smiling, genial Thai you see everyday.
Then the Reds came marching down, complete with loudspeakers, busses, horns, and more loudspeakers. The police formed a path for them to walk through. And then the Red Shirts at the end of the march came through with plastic bags and tidied up after themselves. Just like a parade, without the Shriners.
This is such a strange place.
If anyone is interested in the news reports – here is a link to a local newspaper: http://www.bangkokpost.com/
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, there was a little bit of Thailand in my ‘hood today. The Wat Thai down the street had its annual Songkran Festival, otherwise know at Thai New Year.
These lovely ladies flicked water on me as I went past – Thai New Year is also a water festival.
The Wat in my ‘hood.
Buddha’s alter was loaded with flowers.
The Shrine outside was used for a water blessing. After making a donation, people poured tiny cups of water on the Goddess.
Then it was time to eat! I was part of the herd going from booth to booth stuffing our faces with fab food. I ate dumplings, satay, pad thai and mango and sticky rice. I’m surprised I didn't explode.
There was musical entertainment.
It was a beautiful day in the hood – all the more special because I recognized so much familiar from my trip to Thailand.
I hope that there is a peaceful resolution between the Thai Government and the Red Shirts. I hope that Miss Peg stays safe.