Friday, November 28, 2008

Bangkok Now - Calm before the Storm?

It is not every so often that when I go to the shopping complex around my house that I get to park my car easily in the evening. Yesterday was just one such day. It was not crowded and there were plentiful parking for me. Within the complex, a sense of peace contrasting from the bustle of a normal work day. A calm, an eerie sense of clam.

Yesterday, some of the big companies had let their staff off early for the fear of a rumored impending coup. It is a day for people to go home and be with their families should there be a major event. But I bet the people let off went to join the mobs instead. And no, coup did not happen yesterday and no one is sure now what will come as speculation of every kind spreads.

With nothing to do but just to wait, businessmen hooked up for casual meet ups which were not in their initial tight work schedule. Some Singaporeans, stuck in Bangkok, with surplus time thus met up. The conversation from business jumped quickly to everything under the sun. Foreigners were indirectly benefiting the shopping scene as their packed short trip of clothing cycled out (aka: ran out of clean underwear). Some with nothing to do mentioned that they just hung at MBK, spend money, ate, idled and waited for news. Calling up Thai Airways on their emergency number as instructed on published mediums results in no avail. No one picked up. Some became the ball in a ping pong game, with their Singapore agents telling them to contact Thai agencies and the latter telling them to call back the former. With no idea then what to do, they went for massages, karaoke in the night and of course to experience the hidden pleasures of Bangkok. An indirect drive to the tourism industry in the midst of what should have been a tourism disaster. So true till their money ran out should the situation extend if indefinitely.

If mountain in my way, I move the mountain some say. And people returned to Bangkok via alternative exhaustive routes. Land in Phuket, bus to Bangkok. Transit in KL, then to Laos and bus into Bangkok. All kinds of surprising route were thought up. It is easy to get in but getting out is the tough part. Flights from Chang Mai to Singapore all booked till 6th December. Train tickets to Malaysia all sold out. What other way thus to spend the time? Go for a holiday some had planned. A weekend driving to Kanchanaburi, a day or two at Pattaya, but as kiasus and kiasees some will be and rather not venture for the uncertainty of danger they think. So they just wait, and waited and will wait further till the situation irons out. But will it soon?

A round of coup, some domestic airport forced closures and the countless protests I had seen. For the first time I will say, this one is different. This one is major. Thais had the TRT, and then the PPP and of course now the PAD. Even the ARMY and whatsoever ABC could not unify the country like we have the PAP. I take my hat off for the PAP thus, which one word shrinks the balls of all. PAP, one direction, many angry and yet what can we do? We better not do. All we can is but to adjust our mind to the tune of PAP (in other words: kee-kar-lumpar-dua-suay-liap umm-kar-kong-chu-lai). Chaos chaos, never so peace. But in chaos comes a balance, or a balance will it not?

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