Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh Siam! Precious Thailand!

Now that the Irish winter has well and truly taken hold, i have come to my beloved Thailand once again.
I plan on staying here until March 1st.
Having arrived on Dec 1st i spent my first 2 weeks in and around Bangkok and, thanks to some friends living there, i got to see much more of the city's nicer side than before.
I particularly enjoyed the beautiful Lumpini Park area and the wonderful apartments with vast views of the cityscape and the river.

While i was in BKK, the Thai people celebrated the birthday of His Majesty the King. Although he is quite elderly now, and has been ill in hospital for some time, the King managed to make his annual public appearance. The short event was televised to the nation and the King's short speech though very frail was very timely and direct.
He said his greatest wish for Thailand was that her peoples would become united in peace and that her politicians would serve the people's highest interests, without any corruption whatsoever.

The Red Shirts who support ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra, we are told, are poised to stage a full rebellion in the New Year. Despite the fact that Thaksin is now exposed and disgraced for his corruption, and has been convicted and sentenced in absentia [because he is in exile], the majority of the electorate still support him and want his safe return to government.
So democracy, such as it is in Thailand, continues to be in a state of disintegration.

If there is a bloody revolution in the near future, only one thing could make matters even worse. The death of the King, it is said, would most likely lead to an all-out civil war here. And, although nobody wants to contemplate his passing away, His Majesty is very old and sick now and death will come sooner or later.
His rightful successor, the crowned prince, is not generally highly regarded compared to the present king who is adored by all across the board. The king is widely considered to be the only force holding the country together.

I wish only good things for Thailand but i fear the inevitable collapse may come sooner than anyone dares imagine.

My few short months here may well turn out to be far more eventful than planned.

So, i have retreated to an airy room on the 20th floor, with a calming panorama of the ocean in Phuket.

The summer here is in full bloom.
And the pleasant waves on the beach below that once brought a tsunami murmur:

'Things change, sweetheart.
Carnage, chaos, and corruption are no different.
Wait long enough and EVERYTHING comes and goes
.
Whatever rises falls'.

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