Monday, April 13, 2009

Interruption to blog break

I'm just interrupting my blog break to say thank you for the comments and emails checking that we're safe. We are all safe, thank you, though it feels more volatile than before.

None of this has really gone away since the previous trouble with the yellow shirts last Autumn but it's been confined to the areas around Government House. This time it's the red shirts' turn. I don't tend to cover politics here and I don't want to start now, but if you're interested you can find out here what's going on.

On Saturday we were home in the apartment but could hear lots of racket from the street. Loudspeakers letting us know the fruit sellers are coming up the soi are quite normal so at first I didn't think much of it. Eventually I got up to look out the window. We're 25 floors up and could hear the hollering and honking clearly. It wasn't fruit sellers, it was the red shirts:

This is the first time the politics has been so close to our home. We don't live far from the PM's house, either, and yesterday on the way back from Sunday lunch at the pub, the streets around his home were full of police and soldiers.

It's currently Songkran here - Thai New Year. This is probably the most important festival of the year here. It doesn't feel so cheerful with these riots going on in the city and may even contribute to the temperamental atmosphere.


(I fly to the UK on Saturday night but confess to feeling nervous about separating myself from the family.)

20 comments:

Ange said...

Good to hear you're ok! I can't believe the political situation is this crazy! I'm in Vietnam for the Songkran break but it's hard being out of Thailand and not knowing what's really going on.

JJ Beattie said...

It's awful isn't it? Will it never end? Bangkok is like a ghost town these last few days. It doesn't feel the happy Songkran it is usually. Add in those Songkran high spirits to crowds of over excited and empowered people ... it feels combustable.

HelenMHunt said...

That does sound scary. Hope it starts to calm down soon. Thinking of you xxx

SueG said...

Unbelievable, and I can imagine how nervous you must be about leaving for your trip. Thinking of you, though...

Susie Vereker said...

Thinking of you, JJ. Sounds more worrying than usual.

Angie said...

Thanks for the update, I was worried when I saw the news. It's been a volatile year there, hasn't it? Sending thoughts your way and hoping you and your family remain safe.
xx

Lane said...

Take care JJ and thanks for updating us.
xx

Pat Posner said...

Thinking of you and yours.

Take care
xxPat

Debs said...

Am sitting in the library on the Queen Mary 2 at the mo, checking emails, and was relieved to hear you're okay.

Hope it all settles down soon. X

KeVin K. said...

Didn't even think to check here -- you're on break after all. Asked the folks at Novel racers if you were okay.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kate said...

Thinking of you...hope it calms down a little soon, I was in Bangkok around Songkran a few years ago and can see how things could turn from happy to difficult quite unexpectedly.

Take care,

Kate xx

Alexa said...

Glad that you are okay. It sounds crazy, hopefully things will calm down soon.

JJ Beattie said...

Oh you are all so lovely. Thank you for getting in touch and checking we're all okay. We are. Maybe it feels odder because of the holiday... it's so quiet. On Thursday, with the new year holiday over, things should get back to normal... a bit, but who knows.

Eerrrh. I wish it would all stop.

DOT said...

Good to hear all is well with you and family.

This morning, UK time, the BBC news site reports that the demonstrators have voluntarily decided to end the protest for fears of more of their supporters getting harmed, so I hope everything will be returning to normal.

Carol and Chris said...

The situation certainly seems to have become more volatile and the escalation of violence is worrying!! I'm glad that you and yours are all ok...was watching the news thinking 'Blimey, that's just outside Siam Paragon!!'

Would be fab to see you if you can fit me in (I know how manic it can be trying to see everyone!!)

Love
C x

librarylizzie said...

Good news! You were the first person I thought of when I saw the news on the BBC. That's the power of blogging!

take care,,,,

Jon M said...

Take care and keep us posted! And enjoy your trip back too!

uphilldowndale said...

Hope all is calm soon

Lisa Phuket said...

Dear JJ,
Well, back to normal here in Phuket(as normal as can be..). I just came across your site and wanted to let you know about the Boathouse writing competition. Short story, any subject but with Thai flavour up to 2,000 words. Deadline 25 May. Prizes besides publication in Phuket Magazine free stays at the Boathouse, dinner etc. Details on our website www.boathousephuket.com
Best regards,
Lisa

JJ Beattie said...

Thanks Lisa, I'll see what I can do. JJx