It’s been over a week since Bangkok’s streets, mine included, were inundated by over 25,000 supporters of ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra. The numbers swell at weekends as rumours abound that Thaksin, daily, pays them to be there (a small fortune for poor rural people from all over Thailand) to gather in Bangkok and demand the current PM Abhisit dissolve parliament and begin new elections.
My boat pier at Phan Fa Bridge just happens to be HQ for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and it’s seems like no end is in sight. Today, convoys of pick-up trucks filled with flag-waving ‘red shirts’ clogged Bangkok’s already manic streets in a sea of red as far as the eye could see.
At least I can still get to the boat pier and resume my work. Last Monday was an official ‘work-from-home’ day at UNESCO in light of congested transport hubs. Tourism in the area has definitely been hit as I roam along the Khao San Road area normally abuzz and ablaze with colour. Even the locals wish life would return to normal.
One big positive is the fact that the protests have remained peaceful albeit in a disruptive sort of way to the millions who call Bangkok home. I never thought my temporary home would entertain such scenes.