Organized Chaos

12:54 AM

The country is in a state of stark contrast... and emergency, but in Chiang Mai, you'd never guess by looking outside. There is chaos everywhere across the country, taking very different forms. Chiang Mai is erupted in a country-wide water fight. And you're certainly not exempt for being a foriegner... I've seen kids whisper 'farang, farang' and dump water down the backs up unsuspecting tourists. I can't get down the street to a restaurant to eat without getting a bucket of water in the face. Tomorrow I'm going out with my host sister (it's a three or four day event) and I'll do some of my own attacks.

The situation in Pattaya and Bangkok, and in the privacy of people's homes across the country is much different. The "Red Shirts" who support exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin are facing rounds of tear gas and real guns, not buckets of water and water guns. Thaksin, exiled for corruption among other things, is video conferencing with the protesters and encouraging a "people's revolution" which would give him a chance at reclaiming power. Protesters broke into the building hosting the ASEAN Summit meeting of leaders across SE Asia, and current Thai Prime Minister Abhisit declared the state of emergency. Though I'm in Thailand, I'm sheltered from really noticing what is going on if I wasn't pursuing knowledge of it. In Thai culture, people smile and go about their day no matter what is happening in order to save face. The cancellation of the ASEAN Summit is embarrassing to Thailand, a country still fighting to be seen as developed by the Global North.

Don't worry, I'm safe here and I won't be going anywhere near any protests. I'll be watching to see what happens in the next while.

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