The Yellow Shirts Wane

Mission: Impossible

For the next eight weeks or so, our 36-story building will be undergoing exterior painting.  We’ve been informed that painters will be working on our balconies through a one-month period on our side of the building, so the balconies are to be cleared off.

The problem is, this is where I wash and dry my laundry!  I can’t very well go a month without doing laundry.

So I’ve been trying to wash in small batches, looking above and below the balcony to guage whether the workers will be in our vicinity on any given afternoon.

The odd thing is, these guys aren’t using a traditional scaffolding: they’re just on a wooden seat dangling over the side of the building.

End of the Party

The tide of yellow shirts (worn because yellow is the color associated with Monday, the day of the week on which His Majesty the King of Thailand was born) has started to thin.  They are here and there, maybe ten percent of the people are still wearing them, but it is no longer the nearly one-hundred percent of people that we saw last weekend.

There is still a warm afterglow here in the Kingdom.  Thais are very proud of the coverage this event received around the world.  Most of it was quite positive, although I did run across a very disturbing message board on ( first highlighted this to bring it to people’s attention) in which people, mostly farang, are discussing the anniversary celebrations.  The following comment, from “Nickthegun” in Oxford, England, pretty effectively illustrates some of the ignorance that was posted there:

“So, yeah, they love their king. Although it is kind of sickening to see some of the shiat the thai people have to live in and yet they still worship some guy in a golden palace who never wears the a pair of socks more than once….”

And an equally ignorant comment from “Hercules,” location not identified:

“I hate anyone being deified like the Thai people and their royal family.
I don’t care two hoots for the king. You can’t force me to respect him, you silly people.”

What is it with these people?  How about you at least get some accurate information before you start bad-mouthing a nation of 60 million people?

Fortunately, there were several responses from farang who had lived (or are still living) in Thailand, who provided some much needed balance to the messages, pointing out that the King has earned the respect and admiration of his people through sixty years of working hard on their behalf, putting his education and knowledge to work through a wide variety of agricultural, social, and scientific programs.

Being here has really allowed me to see something that I can say is certainly missing in the United States: a national leader who works selflesssly on behalf of the citizens and exhibits true moral leadership.  There’s not a single politican in the United States who I can think of at the moment who would fall into that category.  As for other countries in the world, I’d love to hear your nominations for moral leaders.  Anyone?

Rain and More Rain

This rainy season has been quite warm, but the past few days we’ve been having afternoon showers.  Today, in fact, the rain dropped the temperature a full six degrees, bringing it from a uncomfortable 34 C (93.4 F) to a more reasonable 28 C (82.4 F) by the time we arrived home about six o’clock. 

Rain clouds move fast here.  It doesn’t just start to lightly rain; it just cuts loose all of the sudden like the crumbling of a dam.  Here’s a short video showing how in the course of just two minutes, the sky gets much, much darker and visibility goes from about 1-2 km to being able to only see the next building over.


2 thoughts on “The Yellow Shirts Wane

  1. Chris has taken the big step of moving to Bangkok with his Thai boyfriend…I’m only insanely jealous, because there has never been one worthy enough for me to do it. And, you’re doing well, apartment, jobs, occasional parental support…I know, it gets very weird…and I know so having dated Thai guys before.Enough with me….I just love hearing the day-to-day and how it works….keep it up boys!

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