It's been a rather quiet couple of days here in Bangkok. Yes, there are still massive protests, but they've been mostly peaceful as of late. Just to keep you current, here's a short list of semi-relevant Thai political items from recent days.
- Some gun fire has been reported late at night in a few locations around Bangkok. Nobody injured.
- "Red Shirt" leaders (supporters of the current government) are calling for nation wide demonstrations on Jan 29 to show support for the current government.
- Northern rice farmers (traditionally red shirts) are protesting AGAINST the current government over lack of payment from a government rice purchase program. The program is out of money and rumored to be plagued by corruption.
- A red shirt leader in northern Thailand was shot up by a machine gun drive by shooting. He's expected to survive. It's not clear which side shot him.
- An election is scheduled for Sunday Feb 2. We'll likely find a nice quiet beech that weekend in case things get ugly in Bangkok.
Moving on to the real danger going on in Thailand. The cold. Today was the coldest day in Bangkok in 30 years! It was 59 degrees Fahrenheit when I got to work this morning. Many of you reading this will not understand, but people in Thailand are actually dying from the cold. Bangkok has been cool and comfortable, but northern Thailand has been colder. Some places even saw frost this week. The Thai government reported there have been 63 deaths from the current cold snap. That's roughly 10 times the number of deaths caused by the protests so far! The government has declared a "cold disaster zone" in 45 northern provinces.
Protesters and motor cycle taxi drivers have been spotted warming themselves by campfire in Bangkok's streets.
Mary and I enjoyed burgers at a local open air restaurant tonight. Yes, Mary has a sweatshirt on.