So I'm back. No drama no worries. I only realized I got out of the city just time time before a 3pm curfew was imposed because of the government's ultimatum for the protesters to leave the city center met with defiance with at least 5,000 who refused the order. See HERE for more.
Just the facts:
1. Everyone outside of Thailand are thinking that Bangkok is a war zone.
2. All the Thais (and one American) I've spoken to think of it as a nuisance. Yes there are deaths - 35 so far since the 14th of May but they are more concerned about the break in public transportation, workers not being able to get to their desks on time or at all, the declining revenue from tourism.
- Ike the American I spoke to lives on the fringe of the protesters encampment. He said things are very quiet. They just hang around without fuss. Almost like some B grade zombie movie - with the army surrounding a quarantine zone in the heart of a metropolitan city.
- My Thai client complained that it was a nuisance the 50% of his work force can't come to work because of the break in public transportation.
- The immigration dude at Sunarnabhumi airport just laughed when I asked if there was a problem in town - he just said stay clear of Bangkok Central and there would be no problems.
- Having a lunch meeting about 30 minutes from the airport it seemed like just another day in the crowded restaurant. A potential business contact was actually saying he was still hung over from drinking till 6 am today. Obviously this dude was not really concerned about wide spread chaos in downtown Bangkok.
Just my thoughts from someone TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED to comment on politics:
1. There seems to be either:
- a concerted media effort to paint an overly dramatic picture of what is really going on in Bangkok.
- Thais have a calm way of handling matters - they're just going to get on with things and let the politicians, the goverment and the puppet masters hiding in the shadows to sort it out.
2. Is Thaksin willing to bring down his own country to get back into power or is he really just after his money that the government has confisticated?
I still wont condone anyone going into Bangkok. Last year's dramatics were not fun if you were stuck in an airport for so many days. It's just interesting how the world perceives a situation while the local Thais on the street try to just get on with their lives.
The only think I would give a million bucks to know is what is actually going through the minds of the Red Shirts? A 2 months protest by mainly blue collar workers. How do they pay their bills? How much more has been promised to them?
I'm done. I've got a headache from trying to think like I know what I'm talking about or I'm sufferring from lack of alcohol.