Coup! What Coup?
Dave and I were very surprised to wake up last Wed. morning, 21st September, to a barrage of emails from concerned friends and family asking if we were ok.
We had been out the night before to a Fado concert (it was wonderful and I will write about that later) and on our return had just gone to bed.
It appears a lot of people had been glued to their TV’s watching the drama of a military coup unfold, until the TV stations were shut down for about 12 hrs. There was no bloodbath, which I think the foreign media felt a little cheated about! The Coup leaders called for a public holiday on Wed., banks schools and govt. buildings were closed but Dave went into work, as it was an important finance meeting. I cancelled plans to go in to town and stayed around home watching the news and reading internet reports as well as the newspapers which were published as usual.
The next day I was due to guide tourists around the National Museum, I called the guide leader and after due thought decided to go. My journey was uneventful and I was very glad I had gone as I was the only guide to turn up, neither the French, nor Japanese, nor Germans made it, thus I had a truly international group of tourists to show around. Yes, there were people waiting to do a tour of the museum. By this time of course everyone was reassured, the coup was a safe one.
The guided tour went ok, I ‘lost’ a few as we made our way around the Palace but that was ok and at least one of the 14 people I started out with really enjoyed my tour because he told me.
I left Bangkok on Fri. 22nd Sept. and have been in Taipei, Taiwan ever since so my only news of Bangkok is from the newspapers, but it seems ok. Their have been lots of opinions voiced about the backward step Thailand has now made with this Military intervention in its fledgling democracy, but truly I don’t think it is all that bad. The ousted Prime Minister was really a nasty person who put on his “I’m a nice guy” coat when he visited the poorer areas of Thailand and professed to help them by giving loans and cheap medical care, however these people just have more debt and the medical system is in deep trouble because it had no money to back the scheme. Meanwhile Taksin got richer and richer and didn’t pay taxes and wouldn’t resign when asked by the majority and held a sham election with no opposition parties!
Good luck to them I say, you work with the tools you have and make the best of a bad job and I hope this is just a blip on the learning curve of a new democracy.