Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rude Awakening, or So It Seems - Unrest in Bangkok

Serenity in the midst of unrest.

Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva

I got a rude wake-up alarm early in the morning as my phone blurted a couple of messages from Citibank informing me of the cancellation of my flight to Bangkok. I froze as I read my messages. My mother has been "breathing down my neck" since last night, begging me to cancel my trip. I was anxious, who wouldn't be, but this trip involves 6 booked flights and an arranged work schedule that would wreck havoc on me in the next few months. So - I went on line and checked on some discussion boards monitoring the situation in the Thai capital. An hour later, I went to check my phone. Another message from Citibank. They recanted their first message. Disregard the first message, they said. They sure know how to confuse their customers.

Now - I wasn't sure how to feel about this. Should I be ebullient that I am after all Bangkok bound? Or is it time to find out how the cookie crumbles. Last November, it was the terrifying Mumbai attacks and the cyclone in Chennai. Phooey!

I have been to Bangkok several times. It's like a second home already. And there is always some sort of demonstration every time I am there. This time though, the crowds are bigger and bears colors (red shirts). The government of young Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva is reeling from this political unrest. But the crowds seem to grow. I just hope that people would act with a little more sobriety and not let emotions overwhelm their cause. Thailand, after all, is a veteran of coup attacks - about 18 since the 1930's. The last one was former Prime Minister Thaksin's - who is now spearheading the call to dislodge PM Abhisit.

An hour after the last sms - I got a call from my airline - advising me about the flight schedule tonight. I said, ok. I will be there. I am of course keeping my fingers crossed that somehow, the riots won't escalate any further. Please, God... if you are listening!

I shall learn of my fate... tonight - at crunch time!

It will be an insightful, adventure-rich saga for the Eye in the Sky.

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