There were at least nine bombs exploded around Khrungthep last night in two separate waves: one around 5:00 pm and another around midnight. Two people were killed and more than thirty were wounded including a foreigners whose leg was amputated by a blast at a seafood restaurant in the Phratumwan area.
The first wave of six apparently coordinated explosions went off in the Sapahn Kwai and Victory Monument areas. The second wave included one near the famous backpacker hangout Khao San Road and two around the Central World Plaza area where a half-million people were expected to ring in the new year.
After the first wave, the government urged people to stay home and most new year’s celebrations were canceled and stores closed several hours early. Tawn reports that the restaurant he and his parents and his parents’ guests ate at had suffered multiple reservation cancelations.
The government came out shortly after the blasts and claimed that the bombs were the work of supporters of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and were not linked to muslim separatists in the south, where bombings and other violence have been a nearly daily occurrence.
The evidence for the government’s claim that the separatists are not behind this is that the types of bombs used, mostly improvised explosive devices set off by mobile phone and grenades, are not typical of what the separatists have used. Assuming it is true, that would seem a logical conclusion. It also has the benefit of deflecting any global attention to Thailand as being the next battleground in Islamic extremism.
By pointing the finger at their political opponents, the government has an opportunity to take measures to strengthen its position, especially in light of what has been a week full of verbal attacks by the anti-coup forces including claims that General Sonthi, the leader of the coup, has two wives, and that the interim Prime Minister Surayod’s home in the north of the country is on government land that was acquired illegally.
If the coup government is to retain power, they will likely take more extreme measures including the possible re-implementation of martial law. Otherwise, we may have a counter-coup sooner rather than later.
In general, travel to Thailand is still very safe. The likelihood of being involved in an incident is minimal and it is unclear whether these bombs were an isolated event or something that will continue.
Croissants and New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Not to be trite and change topics, but I’m not going to let a few bombs dampen coverage of other events in my life:
Markus and Tam came over for dinner last night and we made spinach, mushroom and Italian sausage lasagna – a combination I absolutely love – and a very large green salad. The homemade croissants were featured, pictures in a minute, and for dessert we had apple cinamon tarts and lemon pound cake (both homemade).
Markus was still jet-lagged from his return from the US the day before, Tam was tired from working early in the morning and he had an early morning on the first, and I was tired from the 35-km bike ride Markus and I took that morning in Min Buri. So we wrapped up the evening by eleven, before Markus fell asleep on the couch.
Tawn returned home from dinner with his parents and their Italian guests by about 11:20 and we were in bed and asleep a bit before midnight.
Such a bunch of old fogeys.
Left: Rolling out the dough, one step in the lengthy process that involved rolling out the dough, folding it like a letter, turning it ninety degrees and rolling and folding again. Then the dough would be chilled and allowed to rise in the refrigerator, then repeat the rolling and folding process a total of four times.
The croissants turned out well, the texture was perfect, very light and flakey. I think I made them a little small and so the next batch will be rolled out physically larger.
The odd thing, and I went back and checked the recipe on this, was that they tasted very bland; not enough salt. I put in one teaspoon as per the recipe and used unsalted butter, following Wolfgang’s instructions, but they really needed a bit of salt to bring out the flavor.
I also tried freezing some of the croissants: a few that were unbaked but rolled to see if they can be baked from frozen and turn out okay, as well as a few baked ones that were immediately frozen to see if they can later be heated up. Will these frozen croissants produce the same fresh-baked results? We’ll see.
Above: The finished results. They look real, right?