Bangkok of the future

Bangkok Travel Blog

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I'm the one in the red shirt

I have arrived back in Thailand, and the year is 2549!

It is true... but not because I have somehow time-warped 543 years into the future. The Thai calendar is based on the death of Buddha, whereas we base our calendar on the death of Jesus Christ. Please, don't get me started on the whole subject of imposing religious values on the rest of the world by referring to our calendar as "AD: After Death of Jesus" instead of using something non-religious like "CE: Common Era").

My "buddy," the criminal

Anyway, there is trouble in my former home country of Thailand.

Protest against my former boss (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
I guess most of you know that I lived in Thailand for two years, back in 1989-1990. During that time, I was friends (business acquaintances, really) with a powerful businessman named Thaksin Shinawatra. He gave me a room in his building, and signed a contract for me to work in his TV station as the first Caucasian TV host in Thailand.

Well, guess what? Thaksin became the Prime Minister of Thailand.

But this is NOT something that I can brag about here in Thailand. Thaksin is widely-hated by the Thai people. He is in deep trouble over charges of corruption and election-rigging, and - worst of all - showing disrespect for the King. (Thailand's much-loved King is the longest-reigning monarch in the world.)

Just a few months ago, the Thai people took to the streets in protest and demanded his resignation. The protests turned violent, and the King had to intervene. Recent (likely-rigged) elections were invalidated, and the country's current political situation is in crisis. This is especially troubling, given that Thailand has a history of violent uprisings and military coups.

Regardless, I certainly will not be telling ANYONE about my former beer-drinking and karaoke-singing pal from years ago - who is now the "#1 criminal" in Thailand.

 NOTE: (After my trip, there was a military coup, and Thaksin was forcibly removed from office. Several bombings in Bangkok later killed several people, as well.)

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Im the one in the red shirt
I'm the one in the red shirt
Protest against my former boss (Ph…
Protest against my former boss (P…
photo by: Deats