Sunday, 21 March 2010

Weekly Photo(s): Redshirts!

Well, I finally saw me some protests. Yesterday I was travelling by skytrain from Saphan Taksin to Siam. At Saphan Taksin the platform looked out on a stream of bikes and pick-ups bright with red shirts, red bandanas, red fluttering flags. The riders grinned and waved at the waiting passengers. From of the train window I could see the streets below, the red convoy continuing almost all the way to Siam station. Every time the train stopped and the doors opened we got a blast of honking, cheering and the rattle of plastic clappers. Looking down as we went over Silom and Rama IV roads I saw pedestrians, saw workers from offices and from construction sites waving and clapping from the pavement. The city below the train route was exuberant; it felt surreal and special. Not everyone is welcoming the Redshirts, and there has been negative impact on some businesses (a problem especially for small/independent ones), but this is a far cry from the dangerous situation a lot of English-language sources were predicting. Where it goes from here remains to be seen.

Recommended reporting from bloggers who got closer than I:
Red Shirt Protests: Day 8 from Gavin Gough
Red Shirts in Bangkok: Signs of the Time from (with translations of banner slogans)
On a different note, I'm way slower than I intended in making the walking-journal and walking-guide kind of posts I started this blog for. A combination of factors - life being incredibly busy, those kinds of posts taking longer to create than I'd imagined, and the protests meaning I can't always easily get to the places I want to check out. But I'm working on it, and here's what's coming up:
A khlong-side walk in Rattanakosin
Walking at night (a series of posts)
A peek inside the National Museum
And I'm open to requests, if anyone wants to know my thoughts on walking in a particular part of the city.

1 comment:

  1. I'd especially enjoy any khlong walks. I have a few friends who do take walks beside them, but I'd like to know more about the buildings I'm passing, and what was there before (if anything). I have a general book on klongs, but it doesn't really go into detail (more photography than anything else).

    I'm told that there is one in Thai... (I'll have to track it down).