But the celebration was muted from past years. King Bhumibol was unable to give his anxiously awaited yearly birthday message. His daughter insisted it was not serious, but the diagnosis sounded serious to me--bronchitis & esophagealitis. In the paper it said..."he couldn't eat." Not good news! We all pray that he will recover and be with us a lot longer.
Things have been a bit chaotic here recently with two Bangkok airports shut down. Dissolution of three political parties accused of voter fraud and corruption cleared the way for a new government and satisfied the demands of the PAD (opposition party). For the moment! Nothing in this political game of chess is certain.
Latest news today...Potjamon (ex-wife of Thaksin) flew in from Hong Kong. Does not bode well!
I avoided the election year color clash in the US simply by being in Thailand. Now I have my own color clash here. Across the ocean it was the red states and the blue states, and our President-elect Barack Obama did blur the colors a tad. Turned a few states purple--my favorite color. Can't wait until he's innaugerated.
Now here in Thailand we have our own color clash--red shirts vs. yellow shirts. Yellow is the color for the King who was born on a Monday, so that was the day of the week to wear yellow shirts and they were seen everywhere. Now with the take-over of the airports and the escalation of political unrest, it's not safe to even wear your yellow "I love the King" shirts. I miss not seeing the sea of yellow shirts on Mondays.
Red shirts are the color of choice for the supporters of Thaksin [UDD] and they are strong in chiang Mai province. The go around the old city here with bull hors and flags flying off the top of Tuk-Tuk's that quintessential Thai transport.
They did stop that once the airports opened. Unfortunately, nothing is resolved with the current political situation. Only a stalemate at the moment. As the Thai say, "jai yen" and that's all we can do...be patient, watch, listen and be flexible.