I know Bangkok has been in the news quite recently and some of you might be a little frightened for me. Don't be. It might sound like a huge deal but day-to-day life goes by relatively normally. The Thai people are strangely detached from politics. For anyone who thought Americans were apathetic, you ain't seen nothing. In all honesty, I went for a walk after dinner and there was apparently a coup at the same time. I'll have to check the papers tomorrow to see if anything really happened but it was just like any other Thursday night. For those who don't know I'll give you a quick summary of what's going on. The People's Alliance for Democracy are protesting the current govt because of their ties to the corrupt and deposed ex-pm Thaksin, and claim the new guy is just a proxy. But they don't just want a new PM they want to totally overhaul the govt and pretty much disenfranchise voters in the rural North who they claim aren't qualified to make decisions about government. It's pretty much like if after the '04 election people threw a coup and tried to make it so people from the rural South couldn't vote anymore. In any event, there's really nothing to worry about. Some people warned me against wearing yellow (PAD colors) or red (PPP colors) but it's not nearly as big a deal as they made it out to be, especially for me. If I wore a blue shirt around NYC, no one would seriously think I was in the crips.
As far as this airport thing goes, most of the people who were indifferent (and there were a lot) or even sympathetic to the PAD are pretty upset by this stunt. The letters to the editor in the Bangkok Post were all very similar: 'You don't like the government. We get it. Go home so we can get on with our lives.' People are mostly mad at how this reflects so poorly on Thailand which maintains its image as "the land of smiles". Just keep your eyes on the papers for any new details and I promise it's not as bad as it sounds.
Happy Thanksgiving!! I would have preferred to start with that but what can ya do? Thanksgiving here is certainly not the same. I miss everyone terribly and was feeling pretty homesick for most of the day. My dinner was very delicious though. I went across the street to "Mama's Kitchen" which is where I go most days. She has a nice combination of Thai and Western dishes. I got a chicken breast in a cream sauce with vegetables and delicious mashed potatoes (my one dinner stipulation).
My contact with I Can Read! doesn't start till Dec. 13th so I have some extra time and was thinking of a vacation up to Chaing Mai. Maybe some elephant riding through the jungle? I'm pretty excited about this and can't wait to make it a reality.
much love and turkey!