Mom, Dad, I'm okay.
I don't know if any of you watch CNN, but I'm sure you've heard about the protests in Bangkok. There's yellow shirts (for the King) and red shirts (well, they're red) at places like the Democracy Monument in downtown Bangkok. Apparently the energy of another revolution is brewing. So they implemented martial law on Tuesday. My friend messaged me saying that I should leave the country which freaked me out so I headed over to the Canadian embassy to check-in. Vendors were selling their food on the street, the subway was running as planned, and all the white collared shirts were sitting outside of the fancy embassy building on their lunch break. Everything seemed normal.
I'm in Chiang Rai now, as north as you can get in Thailand and as close to Burma as one can get without actually going there. I'm far away from Bangkok. I even went to a Burmese Buddhist temple this morning after a visit to the market with Jim, a young Thai woman whose father runs the orphanage where I'm staying. She loves Justin Bieber and told me she is a true "Belieber" yesterday, in her broken English and Thai accent.
They called a national curfew for the next few days. I think the partying on Khao San road is probably a little slow this week, but it has little effect on me and this village life I'm living, where peoples timelines are more centered around things of the organic nature, like roosters crowing and the sun setting. TV and radio stations are shut down for the moment. And today they closed all schools in the country, evidently (but the teachers still had to go in, to keep their chairs warm, I'm guessing) because the 16 children who live here didn't get dropped off at school today.
It was like a political snow day.
We played frisbee and catch at the little basketball court next to the village church, they taught me Chinese jump rope which I brought them from the Dollarama back home, and greeted some drunken workers who came to pave the front lawn/playground area of the orphanage in case of a landslide, which will probably happen sometime during this rainy season.
All is normal in the hills of Chiang Rai.
Or at least from a bright-eyed farang's (foreigners) perspective, it is. But dancing around with the children tonight after their shower time, doing the hokey pokey and singing the ABCs, I suspected they had as little invested in these protests as me. The sun set, and life continued to flow.
And that's what it's all about.
Labels: bangkok, chiangrai, coupe, teachingenglish, thailand, thaimilitary