March 2011 Red Shirt & Yellow Shirt Protest Update: No Update, Bangkok is Safe

I have grown weary of the protests in Bangkok, no motivation to be near the protest sites or write about them. The protests seem to dominate the news, but not the lives of Thai people or my life. That seems to be the protest goal: make news, but not a difference.

Bangkok is safe; the protests are inconvenient for motorists and local businesses. The protests are easy to avoid, there are not any major groups of permanent protestors. Thailand has been divided for years and continues to be divided, this round of protests are not about solving issues, but just making a bit of noise.

I have lived in Bangkok for over a year and traveled here for the past 3 years. I have never been mugged, never had anything stolen and have rarely even been driven “the long route” by a taxi driver. I feel safer wandering around Bangkok than I do in the majority of cities in North America and Europe.

The protests won’t end; there are all kinds of motivations and agendas to keep the protests going. At this time, the protests are not permanent obstructions or inconveniences and do not pose a threat to individual safety. I, and many, hope the protests remain safe.

I will always support the right for peaceful protest and have been in awe of the recent world events. For Thailand’s sake, I hope all will understand that goalless protests only hurt the image of the country and this “protest cycle” will be broken at some point.

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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