Some of you have written me asking why is it that the government doesn’t unleash the army to end the red shirted protestors occupation of Bangkok’s main shopping district and governmental buildings, after all Thailand has had a military coup every decade since the constitutional monarchy was established 80 or so years ago. The answer is ‘Watermelons’. As one army general put it,”the troops may have green fatigues on the outside but on the insides they are red, watermelons”.
Despite the political unrest, the Songkran festival goes on unabated. In the northern latitudes such as in Europe, the turning of the sun from its decline in midwinter was cause for celebrations such as Christmas and the like. In southern and south-eastern Asia, it is the coming of the monsoon bringing rain after the long drought that gives rise to the celebrations and sympathetic magic represented by drenching everyone with water. I have not ventured further that the cafe at the base of my condo since the festival has begun, thus avoiding any non-voluntary baptism by the revelers. I shudder when in the lobby of the condo, I see western (farang) tourists in their bathing suits, water machine guns slung over their backs like guerillas returning from a raid. Maybe I envy them also.
Since Songkran represents a turning to hopefully a more a more fruitful time, I would like to remind those of you depressed from the long dark days of winter, pain and illness or perceived lack of accomplishment of the immortal words of America’s two greatest philosophers, who I have mentioned here before, but should be recalled again:
Rosanna Rosanna Dana, who sagely exclaimed “It’s always somethin” and;
Scarlett O’Hara who, standing at the door of her fabled mansion ‘Tara’ watching the manly back of Rhett Butler recede through the burnt and blackened cotton fields that would never again resound to the voices of happy negroes singing spirituals in the green cotton fields, was heard to say, “Tomorrow is another day”.
Today’s photo is of my condo building.
EXCERPTS FROM DIARY PRIOR TO POST:
TUESDAY APRIL 13, 2010 2:30 PM
Songkran began yesterday and continues through the 20th of April so I have been told by the maid. At breakfast this morning I saw the pick-up trucks loaded with barrels and celebrants patrolling the beach road, but only saw one person drenched with water. Maybe this section of Jomtein beach is not at the center of festivities.
Yesterday Nikki called and put Hayden on the phone. He said he missed me and asked me why I do not come there for him. SW’AC called back demanding that I pay the maid for my time in CM and the electric bill. I said I would go up there and look into it in a few days. Wrote email to Nikki requesting his share. SW’AC said Hayden will be staying for a month or so is a city near Venice while she returns to Thailand.