Sunday, March 23, 2014


I've posted a lot on the protests here recently.  They're still going on, it's dangerous sometimes, blah, blah, blah.  Enough said.

We had a great weekend in Bangkok!

My former college room mate was in Bangkok this weekend for work.  This is what we love about Bangkok.  Even though we are half a world away from friends and family, we get more random visitors here than we ever did in Minnesota or Wisconsin.  We had dinner with a high school friend just a few weekends ago, and now we just got to spend a weekend with a great friend of mine from college.  It was wonderful.  And yes, Lawren is still better at Settlers of Catan than me (or Mary).

This morning I got up early and took the subway up to Bang Sue to get a few pictures of a steam train excursion to Ayutthaya to celebrate the 117th anniversary of the State Railway of Thailand.  Although I would have enjoyed taking the train, we had other things to do today.  I was still able to snag a few pictures early in the morning.  If you want to see grown men behaving like little children on Christmas morning, go watch a steam train.  This applies to every country in which I have ever seen a steam train.

The early morning steam train worked out well, and I was home in time to find Mary getting out of bed.  We had plenty of time to get ready for morning church.  We typically attend church in the evening, but Mary had plans to work on a group project for grad school tonight, so morning church it was.  We were glad we attended, as we discovered it was the last week one of our friends would be in church before moving.  Beatrice is a refugee from the Congo.  She has been granted UN refugee status and is moving to Toronto next week.  We're sad to see her go, but also very excited for her!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saint Pat's Day

Mary and I headed out for a Guinness and pub food on Monday to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  We opted for Molly Malone's on Soi Convent in the Silom neighborhood.  It was the first time we've been to this neighborhood in months due to protests nearby.  We were reminded of three years ago when we went out to a different Irish pub in the same area with Mary's Dad when he visited us here over St Paddy's.  I recall that day clearly as it was one of the coolest we've experienced in Bangkok.  If my memory is correct, the high that day was 63 F.  This year was more typical.  It was in the upper 80's in the morning and was still over 100 F at supper time.  Summer has arrived.

Here I am waiting for my beef and guiness pie.  Mary enjoyed fish and chips.

We didn't stay out late as the area around Lumpini Park continues to be a danger zone for protest related violence.  This particular pub is a 10 minute walk from he park and is not in a dangerous spot, but the subway station we go through to get home is right across the street from the park entrance where the main protest stage is still set up.  The political violence here has decreased significantly in the last two weeks since the protests were consolidated to Lumpini Park, but there are still reports of shootings and grenades late at night around the park.  It's still best to avoid the park and adjacent streets, especially after dark.

This coming weekend we are looking forward to spending some time with one of my college room mates who will be in Bangkok for work.  Hard to believe it's been almost 8 years since graduation!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Evolving Protest

Mary was happy to see the Asok intersection near her school completely clear of protesters today.  This is the first time the intersection has been fully opened for traffic in almost two months.  Mary gets off the subway here each day and walks about ten minutes to her school.  You can also see our condo building on the skyline at the top near the center of the picture.  (Picture from twitter @quandrew).

This is what things looked like at the Asok intersection a few weeks ago.

With the protests moved to Lumpini Park just down the street from us, a number of new military security checkpoints have appeared, including one right next to the entrance to our condo.

Only one minor incident reported today.  Two grenades were thrown outside the criminal court on the north side of central Bangkok.  Only one exploded and nobody was injured.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Bangkok is a fun city to live in, but sometimes it seems the best part is how easy it is to get out of the city to beautiful mountains, beaches, and jungles.

This weekend we drove about 3 hours outside of Bangkok to Petchaburi province with some of my Thai and US coworkers.  We stayed at a resort along the Petchaburi river, went rafting down the river, swimming, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset at the edge of Kaeng Krachang National Park.  We even sang a little Karaoke at night.  An all around good time.

A brief update on the continuing political unrest here:
There have been a number of violent attacks over the last week at anti government protests in Bangkok, including a grenade attack that killed two young children last Sunday.  The children were leaving a grocery store with their father and had nothing to do with the protests.  There was also quite a bit of fighting on Tuesday night just down our street (Rama IV) near the Lumpini protest sight.  A number of people were injured by grenades and gunfire, but nobody was killed.

Starting today, all the protest sites in central Bangkok are consolidating into a single site at Lumpini Park.  This should help traffic patterns return to normal, and we're thankful that Mary will no longer pass by a protest site on here way to and from work each day.  We will be keeping a close watch on how things go at Lumpini though as this is only a 10 minute walk from our condo.