Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thai politics welcomes the next PM

Well, next up for Thai politics is a new PM. I suppose this is not surprising considering we have had a new PM about once every six months here. I would like to be optimistic and say that Abhisit does appear different than the others. First of all, he was born in England and is well educated, finishing at Oxford of all places. He is younger and seems to appeal to the public.

Now the PAD will leave the streets of Bangkok and declare a victory of sorts. They wanted Taksin's puppets out and it would appear they have done that. This guy is no Taksin puppet and has opposed him for most of Taksin's political life. So the PAD gets to go home and relax from all of their protesting and demonstrating. 

So it's over right? Wrong! Now it is the RED mobs turn to protest and take to the streets in order to disrupt and destroy the current government. This will begin as soon as the King gives the approval to the new PM. Interesting, confusing, and oh so Thai.

But again, I'll take all of this protesting and vote wrangling over the way most South East Asian nations have solved their political struggles. Cambodia killed a few million in solving theirs, and Burma is still killing all opposition as if it was a Rambo movie, oh yeah it was. Vietnam had their war, one of the ugliest in the region. Thai's seem to always avoid the final outcome most nations fly to when power is confronted with resistance: FORCE.

Good luck Abhisit, if you can last a full term you will be the first in recent memory to do so. Well, technically Taksin finished a term, was re-elected and then Couped from office shortly after. 

The vitals of PM elect ABHISIT VEJJAJIVA: 

Born in Britain, educated at Eton and Oxford
Entered parliament in 1992 as one of its youngest members
Party leader since 2005
Opposed military coup that overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra
Profile: Abhisit Vejjajiva

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dancing Shrimp

I love trying new food. Sometimes it takes a few beers to get me ready to try it though. In this video Nan and I are enjoying a Thai dish known as Dancing Shrimp. In reality they are uncooked shrimp served with spicy peppers which freak them out and make them jump around in the bowl. When one gets over the sheer oddness of the dish, it is very spicy and tasty. It is also supposed to, much like sushi, be more healthy as there is no cooking oils or grease used in their preparation. It is just herbs, spices, and shrimp.
Give it a try on your next visit to Thailand.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The night of the Smiling MOON

It was the night of the smiling moon. December 1st Bangkokians rushed to their rooftops and backyards to check out an amazing event. Venus and Jupiter aligned just above a sliver moon and a smiling face peered down over a very troubled land of smiles. 

Things have gotten worse here. The PAD in an act of desperation has lain siege to the two primary airports of the city and blocked all travel in and out. Hundreds of thousands of tourists and travelers have been stranded and even more than that have been blocked from returning to Bangkok. The PAD is trying to get rid of a tyrant, Taksin, who has pulled the strings of Thai government with bribery and political blackmail for years -- even thought officially he is a convicted criminal in exile -- he still has a lot of power here. I understand that the PAD stands against a government filled with corruption, but is this the way to do it? Now cancellations of tourists and business travelers are swamping local hotels, and my good friend at Bandara Resorts where I do some free lance copy writing, has basically informed me that they have had massive set backs for the next 6 months. 

The global economy is in turmoil and a nation like Thailand does not have the resources to offer infusion packages and bail out plans. That is a lie only the big nations can tell. So this gamble by the PAD to force something to happen just may come back to haunt them. I must say I agree with their political ideals and hopes. I respect their sacrifice. I am just very concerned that now, even if they win, they may have coast the Thai people any hope of a decent economy in the coming 2 years. Sometimes in winning the battle we lose the war. Let's hope there is a result, a leader who can join this two factions and connect the Thai people again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Video of the Week #2 DAVID BOWIE

  David Bowie has been my favorite musician for a greater part of my life. What has been amazing to me is that I have progressed as he has. What I mean is that Bowie has not settled over his more than 40 year career in music. He continues to evolve, change, and make magical pieces of music for every decade. Sadly, most people stick bowie in the 80's with his "Let's Dance" and "China Girl" efforts. Good songs, don't get me wrong, but far from his best work.
Bowie has done it all from punk, hard rock, disco, soft rock, and through it all he has never forgotten to be David Bowie. I chose this video from his long career because of visual elements and the songs very odd but interesting lyrics. He just never fails to make me think.