Bangkok’s Burning

It’s been a very pleasant day. I had lunch at my favorite riverside restaurant – stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, button mushrooms, spring onions, water chestnuts, onions, and a few dried chillis. It was a bit overcast and there was a pleasant breeze. Not too hot.

Meanwhile, in Bangkok, the army was advancing on the Red Shirt protesters.

The army seemed to exercise a lot of restraint. Only a handful of people have been killed. (Only?) No doubt the press will focus upon the Italian photographer. They always do. Every death is a tragedy.

Some of the Red Shirt leaders handed themselves in to the police just after lunch. (A few others fled.) There were impassioned speeches, and many of the rank-and-file Red Shirts said they’d fight on.

In response many of the Red Shirts went on the rampage. The Stock Exchange, department stores, a TV station are on fire. Protesters have destroyed ATMs and ‘phone booths in their rage.

From 8 p.m. there’s a curfew in Bangkok. That’ll mess up business tomorrow. (If you want to buy pig intestines to make sausages you need to be at the market around 3 or 4 a.m..)

The saddest comment (for me) was from a close friend, who sent a text: “What has happened to my country?”

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