Thoughts About What Is Happening!
I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on what is going on here at the moment.
I first came to Thailand in January this year, then again in April for a month and on both of these occasions there were tourists everywhere. I came to live here in June and since then I have noticed a change in Bangkok. Where once there were tourists every where today there are far less. In June there were lots of young women outside the massage shops, there now maybe 3 to 4 and the prices have also come down. not by much 10 to 20 baht an hour but this represents a huge amount for the women who work in these places as the prices were 200 to start with and now 170 to 180. Normally they’d get 1/3 to ½ of the amount that the customer pays for the massage. One young lady who I have gotten to know and works close to the Asia Hotel tells me that she only has 3 to 4 customers a day now “and this is working a 12 hour day” and the tips from these men is far lower than before. I also know a tuktuk driver. <Boy you keep some fine company – Stick> In June he’d come home about 3 PM and only work 5 ½ days a week, now he’s working 7 days a week and 10 to 12 hour a day and tells me things are very bad, any worse and he’ll lose his tuktuk to the bank. “No tourists, very bad”. I could go on & on but many Thais are suffering due to the economic & political situation.
Now about me? I am engaged to a Thai and she works as a nurse in a government health center. When all this started in May she told me that she was a little bit worried but was sure it’d all go away very soon. Now more than 6 months on and that “little bit of worry” has grow “to very, very worried”. I’ve read in other posts here that some are just partying away and are trying to forget about what is going on. Maybe some are but are a lot of Thais (not just men) are getting very worried.
I work for an English teaching institution and most of my students are young ladies from university or young ladies working for companies where English is necessary. They tell me they are very worried and fear for the future. Some of these young ladies are supposed to graduate next year and now can see that the chance of finding work is going to be very hard. One of them is from a rich family and told me she’s going to go to Australia next year to further her education. Her friend is not so fortunate and knows that for her, life is going to be hard. Another works for a major hotel chain here in Bangkok and has been told than come January her job will be re-evaluated (she’ll lose her job) and she is trying to find work now but unable to. I’d say 80% of the Thais that I’m teaching at the moment are worried about what is going on, but when I ask them what could be done they just shrug their shoulder and say “don’t know”. How sad.
Now getting back to my partner, she is a fun loving woman but her mood has changed. It is hard now to make her laugh and at night she’ll often wake up from having nightmares and it takes some soothing words for her to go back to sleep or if there’s a loud noise she’ll wake up in fright (we only live about 2 km from Government House). When these things happen and while she’s fallen back to sleep holding on to me (as if for protection). I look at her and feel for her and this country. Thais are worried and nobody knows what’s going to happen but everybody knows that it will most likely be bad when it does. I for one have no plans to leave (unless forced to leave because it’s unsafe for me) and have made plans to live here for a long time.
So I hope and pray that things will be alright, but as this is Thailand anything is possible but I try to look on some of the positives. There’s not many at the moment except that I love a beautiful Thai woman who tells me she loves me and shows it in so many ways. So for the moment that’s enough for me!
Today I came home from work and my partner said I have good news; the rally people are going to leave the airport! This was news to me so I looked on the internet and sure enough there it was. But in true Thai style there’s a catch (there always is) if they're not happy with the new Prime Minister they're going to go back. So don’t hold your breath that everything will be back to normal any time soon!
The PAD says they’ve won. Have they won? No, the three main parties will be disbanded but they’ve already created a new political party and everybody will now join this party and will just form a new one, so things will still be the same.
I was born in a country that had similar problems to what Thailand has now and although much, much smaller, what happened there could easily happen here. What happened there, well after much instability caused by protests and fighting, the powers that be got the government that they wanted but 70% of the people “those that lived outside the main capital weren’t happy so the government controls the capital and its surrounding and the rest of the country is controlled by the local people. Fighting occurred on and off for close to 10 years. Now there’s an uneasy agreement. The government gives the people money to keep things running in the villages and these people don’t bother the government and let it run the country.
I just hope this doesn’t happen here. This place used to be a Mecca for tourists in the pacific. Now it is close to being labeled a banana republic and no foreign investors are interested in investing there and the country is lurching towards bankruptcy.
From someone who cares!
When more and more everyday Thais start to suffer there could be something of a backlash against the PAD…