Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rock the vote, but no votes on the rocks

This is an interesting time to be in Thailand. If you have been reading any news stories about things other than Justin Bieber and the polar vortex, you might have heard something about the protests in Bangkok. They have been going on for a while; I started reading about them well before we left China. But, they are basically confined to Bangkok, and here in Phuket, an especially oblivious foreigner might not know that they were even going on. Especially if one flew directly into Phuket and didn't even have to think about Bangkok along the way.

I've kept up with the news a bit, but of late it seems to have been mostly a low-level agitation. A few people, tragically, have died during the unrest. My understanding is that for the most part, you can avoid the protests. Friends in Bangkok report that they are going about their lives. Now, however, there will be something for us to notice here in Phuket town. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called for elections, trying to end the protests. Unfortunately, the protesters, who think the PM's government is hopelessly corrupt, aren't jumping on board the election idea, and are encouraging others to boycott. The elections are going to happen, despite the threat of more disturbances as the elections are protested.

Will there be increased unrest and violence? I can't say. What I can say is that here in Thailand, just like in Mexico when we were there, the bars will be closed on election day. And these elections are going to last for TWO days!  Can you believe it?  This Saturday and Sunday, no happy hour for us! I haven't heard if alcohol sales in stores are also suspended. Good times, reminiscing about our last minute dash into the convenience store Oxxo in Queretaro to buy a 12-pack before the 6 p.m. cut-off; they had already draped coverings over the beer coolers and everything!  But we convinced them that it was only 5:58p.m.  It was a close call, though.

Definitely have to plan ahead for our beer drinking for this weekend here in Thailand!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How interesting that many peoples don't want democracy, they want a strong government with a powerful (dictator) leader. They consider the USA system to be unacceptable, too confusing and uncertain, unable to get things done, and not taking care of its people. What an experiment our founding fathers wrought, and how interesting what other cultures think of it. For me, I'll keep our system.