Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sawadee-Kar ...Thailand

As we moved into the holy week of Vesak, the political situation in Thailand worsen. Countries around the world scrutinize this upheaval but there is nothing they can do.

I stayed and worked in Thailand before. I love this country, the people, the food and the culture. Although there are class differences in this country but it is the 'not so class' that makes the mass. I love the people I met on the streets when I asked for directions, they were so helpful. It is not so difficult because most do speak English or we can also get by with a few Thai words.

The food is fantastic and I ate around the road sides which we are not able to find in clean Singapore. Although I know that it is not healthy with all the pollutions, dust, fumes etc. but since I am out of Singapore, I decided I want to be rebellious. I allowed my immune system to rough it out. Other than a few 'bad stomach' incidents, I am still intact. The incidents were not because of bad food but because I over test my limit of ‘spicy’ level.

As I watched this beautiful country going into chaos, it saddens me. Thailand loves their King and what he said is well honored and respected. As I watch his frail body and seeing him on a wheelchair, I realized that is maybe the reason why he is quiet over this violence. Thailand loves the King but they are fighting for what they believe in, at no cost, even with their lives and will what the King says now affect their change of mind? I believe such movements and hurts that the citizens suffer pain the King’s heart as well. I have watch how the Thai people respect the King, Queen and the Royal Princess. I saw how much effort the Royal family put in to help the agriculture and people of the country. I love the Queen’s project at Narathiwat, all those beautiful hand-woven baskets and because of religion clashes, I am not able to see them in my regular shop anymore.

I was in Bangkok end last year despite friends said better not go because if they close the airport when violence breaks out, we will be stranded. I still want to do my yearly pilgrimage to Thailand…it is always Loykatong time. I will travel a week before the festival to provinces like Saratburi, Suphan Buri, Buriram, Kolak , Loburi and Ayutthaya. I always ended my tour at Wat Tong at Saraburi because my Luangpo is a monk here although he resides in Singapore now spreading the Dharma.

I read the papers, the internet and saw pictures of the breakage of violence with the shooting and killing of a general, when will all this end? I am sure the country’s economy suffers and people too. What are they fighting for…’’The Return of ….”or they are fighting for better livelihood? What is all this red shirt and yellow shirt…they are fighting for someone’s else political power?

It is humane in nature. We cannot be complacent for too long. It only takes someone to fan all the pent up frustrations and the fire will roar burning everyone and everything as it goes. In the end…? The Chinese saying “ When something turned into 3ft of ice, it did not happen in a day”.

Today I saw in the papers that CentralWorld was burnt down because the mob threw bombs into the building. People have stood so low that they do not care about taking others lives. I love the supermarket in CentralWorld and also its food court, what a waste.

Thailand is a beautiful country and I pray that peace comes back quickly for them.

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