April In Thailand: Red-Shirts, Songkran, and Phuket

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Here we are at the end of another month, and I didn't write a single thing here the last thirty days. I am definitely out of the habit of keeping up this blog now, both due to lack of time, but also to lack of inspiration. Not to say that my life has been boring, lately. April was a fairly exciting month for Thailand, actually. But for some reason I just haven't made myself sit down and write about it.

Part of the problem is that the format for this website has always been long essays. And lately I just can't seem to make the time to crank them out. So this past month, in place of long blog posts here, I have been doing some "micro-blogging" on Facebook and Twitter. So feel free to check me out there, in case you are ever worried if I am still alive.

Looking back at what I posted there gives you some idea of what was on my mind this past month:

  • 5:16 PM April 5: On the train from Prachinburi after a 65 km bike ride through the countryside.
  • 6:15 PM Apr 7th: What a great storm we just had in Bangkok. Lost electricity twice. And it's not even rainy season yet!
  • 10:22 PM Apr 7th in reply to bradlai1982: I decided to give Twitter another try. And for some reason, I like it a lot more this time around.
  • 10:25 PM Apr 7th: Had a new dish for lunch today: radish, egg, and squid stir-fry. It was MUCH tastier than it sounds!
  • 8:03 AM Apr 8th: "Comfort has its place, but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you've come to mow its lawns." - David Sedaris (via @nickgray)

And then the Red Shirt Protests started, and pretty much took over everyone's life for a few days:

  • 2:19 PM Apr 8th: Live blog of the Red Shirt protest in Bangkok today from Nirmal Ghosh of the Straits Times http://tinyurl.com/csajbp (h/t @bangkokpundit)
  • 4:41 PM Apr 9th: Day 2 of the Red Shirt Protest has moved to Victory Monument, a major transportation hub in BKK. Nermal's Liveblog http://tinyurl.com/c5ldlh
  • 6:13 PM Apr 9th: Hope no one is planning on driving on Thong Lo or Ekkamai tonight. Both are parking lots.

And then I thought things had settled down:

  • 9:04 PM Apr 10th: Time to go out for a drink before the Songkran madness starts tomorrow.

But boy was I wrong, or at least the "madness" was not what I was expecting:

  • 1:02 PM Apr 11th: Holding Prime Ministers of all the Asian countries hostage in a hotel does not bode well for the future of Thailand.
  • 3:33 PM Apr 12th: Unbelievable scenes on Thai TV now. #redshirt mobs attacking government officals' cars. Why are the Thai Police so completely impotent?!
  • 3:26 PM Apr 13th in reply to underexpose: I wouldn't call this #redshirt mess a Civil War, yet. More like Civil Skirmish. But I worry that a real war is looming.
  • 5:14 PM Apr 13th: Just finished filing my income tax, two days before it's due. Now it's back to watching Thai events unfold on TV and Twitter.
  • 12:35 PM Apr 14th: The #redshirt protest seems to be slowly breaking up, thankfully. Protests are OK. Burning busses and attacking the PM's car is not.

And then, finally, it really was over:

  • 7:32 PM Apr 14th: Watching thousands of Thais celebrate Songkran on Silom. Looks like a great release after a stressful weekend!

After the Red-Shirt-tainted Songkran, my attention turned to moving to Phuket:

  • 9:31 AM Apr 18th: In Phuket for the weekend. Let the apartment search begin!
  • 6:48 PM Apr 18th: Enjoying the sea breeze and a beautiful sunset on Mai Kao Beach. Maybe this move won't be so bad after all.
  • 11:53 PM Apr 18th in reply to nickgray I'm glad we had a chance to see you tonight. We had fun hanging out with your folks as well. Have a great flight tomorrow!
  • 5:33 PM Apr 20th: Back to BKK from Phuket. The search for a place to live was successful. Now it's time to start packing up the house.
  • 6:35 PM Apr 20th from Nambu in reply to robdejonge: Yes, I'm moving to Phuket and taking the official @ITS4Thai office with me. That's the beauty of working online...from anywhere!
  • 8:43 AM Apr 21st in reply to augustahopkins: We have some new business opportunities down there. Plus, it's time for change! Been in BKK for over 6 years now. (Amazing)

And after that, I was definitely off-balance and leading a chaotic life:

  • 5:24 PM Apr 22nd in reply to jonrandy: Around Xmas I started playing a web-based game called Travian and had to quit this week because I was too addicted! :P
  • 8:48 AM Apr 28th: I have officially given up on my New Year Resolutions. Three and a half months was not too bad, right?

But then we ended the month on a high note (63 stories high, that is!)

  • 11:30 PM Apr 30: Celebrated Piyawat's new unemployment with a ginger-flavored martini at Vertigo tonight.

The month of May will be mostly all about our move to Phuket. But before that starts, we will spend the long Labor Day holiday in Ko Chang with Piyawat's family. Then it's time to pack everything and move to the South. It's going to be a busy month.

1 Comment

Yeah, I was in Bangkok (heading for Phuket myself) over Songkran and was less than thrilled with the red-shirt protests. We had a hell of a time getting to the airport for our flight.

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on April 30, 2009 3:53 PM.

ITS4Thai Subscriptions and Facebook Profiles was the previous entry in this blog.

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