Having taken the 10 hour train ride from Krabi (in the south) up to Bangkok, I was greeted with the news that the airport had been shutdown due to protests. My friend, Lindsey, who was to meet me there from the States was stranded in Hong Kong. Lindsey and I got in touch and decided that we would meet in Kuala Lumpur (and subsequently Singapore), a location she could fly to and that I could get to even if all the airports in Thailand were shutdown (train, bus, taxi, horse, swim, walk, whale-shark...you know, the usual). From my guesthouse 20 minutes from the airport, I went back to the train station. In Bangkok long enough to take a piss.
Having taken the 10 hour train ride from Bangkok down to Krabi (still in the south), I was greeted with the news that out next destination following Singapore had suffered an awful attack. India. For the benefit of everyone, I am no longer taking overnight train rides as they seem to bring only bad luck in the morning.
More seriously, I am safe and the protests are quite localized around the airports in Bangkok. While many tourists are starting to scramble and are a bit peeved about the airport delays, most people seem more discouraged about the unseasonal rain at the beaches. My overall opinion of the protestors is "good for them". The government is largely corrupt and it is fascinating to see a strong public voice at work. (A brief history: Prime Minister T was largely corrupt and fled to the UK out of which he was recently kicked out. Prime Minister S, a puppet of the former Prime Minister T, recently flew to the north of the country right as the protests started. He can't come back; the people in yellow shirts you see on TV protesting want new elections and a new government. The military is caught in the middle, wanting new elections, but the generals not wanting to lose their jobs. From what I can tell, things are likely to tighten up and escalate more now than in the past few months. The airport stuff is the real deal.)
Anyway, now that my plans are slightly up in the air, it's time for a little interactive blogosphere action. While I reserve the right of veto power (a does Lindsey, being as that she is my travel buddy for right now), I'll throw the decision out to you...where should I travel next? Any ideas? I have a few preferences myself, but I like you guys (most of you). Respond via comment or email email@example.com
(and for those of you readers in a particular collegiate demographic, "Nudie Bar" is not a country)
NOTE (added 3/12/08): After reflecting a bit on the above entry, it occurred to me that its light tone may have been perceived as ambivilant or even inconsiderate of both current events. That was never intended. Both situations were (and are) serious, with the events in India particularly grave. The sadness, surprise, and my high degree of unease and concern for the Thai people and victims of the attacks in India were not meant to be lost or covered up in the above entry. My apologies to anyone who was offended by any unintended tones, or lack thereof.