Friday, May 21, 2010

In times of turmoil…


This picture was taken yesterday, Bangkok was (and still is) under curfew from eight pm to six am, some of the most well known department stores are still smouldering from the arson attack, some have partially actually collapsed due to the fire, some bandits were still running around with guns, molotov cocktails, and explosives, shooting and trying to set fire to things that will cause the most damage/inconvenience to the people of Bangkok…

With all of the mayhem going on, and one sad news after another, we had decided to return to the place which was so emotionally different than the events that were happening only a few kilometres away.

Seeing you laugh and smile while playing with your mother have made this troubled time somewhat easier to live with :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Thai Government still can not find the ‘fat lady’.

I am just the one drop in the ocean of opinions, comments and analysis that is bombarding the media and to own up to my naivety, I have never expected it to turn out this bad. Yesterday after the Army had moved in to disband the red shirts, overcoming some resistance along the way with some fatalities, they had managed to forced the ‘Red Shirts’ leaders to surrender and gave themselves in to the police.


To me that was checkmate! So the leaders had been captured, the protesters were packing and leaving the Ratchaprasong area where they have been occupying for the past seven weeks, I was immediately thinking on office work because my office was right in the centre of it all and we have been told to stay away for the past three days, there were a lot to catch up.


How premature that was, since the news of the leaders giving themselves up, I had totally switched off from the news, only to discovered a few hours later that some of the Bangkok’s prominent landmarks were being burnt to the ground!

 Zen burning Bangkok burning  


Central World burning

Bangkok night burning


We were in fact walking in one of the Central Department Store (Pinklao), which is quite a way from the red zone, while we were just strolling the announcement came over the PA system telling everyone that the department store will close at three thirty, basically in thirty minutes and that the government had declared ‘Curfew’ from eight in the evening to six in the morning.
There wasn’t a panic, only a sense of urgency, anyway, most of the people ended up sitting in their car waiting to leave the car park, it took us almost an hour before our wheels were once again on the road.


This morning we’ve found out that the government have also declared curfew for this evening as well as for the next three days, what amazes me is that new buildings are still being burnt down right now. I kept asking myself how?, the leaders are in custody, the army are on the ground, the police are out in force and yet new buildings are still being set on fire by small groups of bandits? How on earth is that possible, I’d though the hardest part was over!


Like they say, ‘it isn’t over until the fat lady sings’, obviously the Government is still looking for that ‘fat lady’, she is certainly very nimble for her size, because they have been looking for her for the past two frigin months!

What was I thinking wearing a white shirt?

Paonp and I playing with sandWith all of the social unrests going on in Thailand at the moment, people are being shot, wounded and killed almost daily. The morning news has nothing but burning tyres, sounds of firing bullets, now and then I would get a glimpse of my office building surrounded by soldiers and barricades,  the area is no longer recognisable, and this is where I spend all weekdays walking up and down, dashing here and there mostly trying to get to the meeting on time :)


It got really bad since this past Monday, and since then we have been told to stay at home, we have tried our best to keep you entertained and challenged so that you won’t get bored.


Yesterday, we decided to stay home in the afternoon, so it was only logical for you to have another dig at your new sand pit :) with hind sight I wished I did not wear that brand new white shirt that was given to me as a present from a colleague. Oh yes, it looks nice and pristine right now, but gives it another 5 minutes, just right after you had decided to pour wet sand on yourself and thought that daddy should be the same colour as me!


At first the sand was dry and looking very harmless, but soon you found it uninteresting to just dig around, being a fantastic dad that I am :), I had decided to give you a couple of ‘tiny’ buckets of water (see pic., note blue and orange bucket)… Well talking about letting the cat out of the bag, I had originally thought, ‘all he needed was 2 small buckets of water, just to get the sand damp enough to make it sculpt-able’, but of course I had forgotten that you are hopelessly addicted to water, 2 buckets became uncountable buckets of water… and let the sand shower begins :)


That shirt is no longer white, and I now have a bona fide case of eremikophobia, thanks :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

730 days ago on 05.05.2010…

The one person I have to congratulate on your second birthday is really your mother, talking about dedication and patience, I have been there all the way too, but more like a ‘First Lieutenant’, taking charge of the deck when the ‘real thing wasn’t there :)
Anyway, many congratulations on your 730th day, undoubtedly you’d have noticed there were 3 candles on your cake, apparently it’s a ‘thing’ in Thailand to stick in an additional candle for the future :) Your mother and I have cherished every second, laughed at every single one of your new quirk and trait, got angry a couple of times, have been absolutely exhausted most of the 730 days we’ve been together. But no matter how tired or frustrated we were, all emotions would melt away at eight am sharp, as you start to sing our national anthem along with the telly, singing in your own tongue appallingly trying to match the rhythms, and climaxing with a high wave of your right hand on the last few notes of the anthem, a classic :)
Soon you’ll be off to pre-nursery, another adventure for your little feet, you’ll be fine it’s your mother and my parents that I am worried about :) I could easily imagine your mother and my mother camping outside the school and taking turn to hide behind a shrub within the school grounds just to make sure you are ok :)
Playing hide and seek is the favourite of the moment, not that you are particular good at it, hiding under a thin blanket with ninety nine percent of your body still outside was a bit of a give away :) not only that, the way you would uncontrollably giggle as soon as I got near just destroyed the whole point of game :)
IMG_1482 Over the past few weeks your mother have been wanting to get you a sandpit (I am not sure if that sounds right or not), anyway, so, I think we got the basin almost 3 weeks ago but was having some difficulties finding the right kind of sand. After asking around at all the gardening sites, the sand that would be best was actually ‘fine’ construction sand. Only had the opportunity to go and get the sand this past weekend (much to your mother’s joy), and after setting everything up (just wanted to let you know, sand are heavy!), all you wanted to do was to empty out the sand! :)
Right now your mother and I are looking for a new place closer to the city centre, purely and simply because we don’t want you to have to be up before sunrise just to get to school on time, it is proving to be quite an expensive decision but what can one do? :) There are a couple of options at the moment, finger cross, lets hope something turns up for us all :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hodgepodge 30.04.2010

Making me smile

You are now beginning to understand basic instructions in both Thai and English; every time I put you on the back seat I would politely scream :) ‘Baby, please take off your shoes’, and of course you normally would just ignore my civil request and hurriedly scuttle to the front with your shoes very much fastened to your tiny feet (to push and turn every buttons you could get your hands on, that is so annoying ;) ).


So it was a real surprise when instead of you scurrying to the front, you turned, looked at me, then with a slight pause you stuck out your foot, I could only assumed you wanted me to remove your right shoe. I was slightly taken back and also paused for a couple of seconds, you must have been in a hurry because rather than waiting for me to take off your shoes, you began to take them off yourself, although unsuccessfully :)


This isn’t the first time you have shown your comprehension of our communication, but it makes me smile every time you do it, just like when you try to do things for yourself, I just find it so funny. Only this morning while we were driving to my mother’s place, you decided to put on a pair of bright yellow socks… and totally getting no where fast, so you turned and kind of asked for help. You were ever so proud of your yellow feet, waving them in every direction you could :) (very adorable)



Sushi Pak (Pak = Vegetable)

IMG_1415 Your mother found this organic eatery a walking distant from her office, and for weeks she has wanted me to try out this new place, so one night after all options were ruled out, I wholeheartedly :) agreed to give it a go. Sushi Pak was more scrumptious than expected, I think this is one of your mother’s hint for me to eat more healthily, but surely no veg can taste better than ‘Moo Sam Chan’… haa haa haa.








Multi-Coloured Shirts

IMG_1427 Previously I have explained about the ‘Yellow Shirts’ and then the ‘Red Shirts’, now there is a new group, ‘Multi-Coloured Shirts’, their underpinning value is quite simple and similar to the ‘Pink Shirts’, to support the Royal institution, the government, not to dissolve the parliament and to disband the red shirts.


So far they have been meeting up every lunch time on Silom road (no more than one hundred metres away from the Red’s barricade) to sing a few patriotic songs and generally just to show camaraderie and solidarity, the meeting only lasts for an hour or so.


I have visited all camps, Yellows when they came to Siam Paragon, Reds when they came to Silom, Pinks when they came to Suan Lum and now the Muli-Coloured shirts at Silom once more. All have their own wants and agendas, and after listening to all of them there is no way on earth this will end soon, what one group wants will not be given by another… talking about a gridlock situation.



I had forgotten how much fun this could be

IMG_1437 With all the various coloured shirts running around, Bangkok’s traffic is becoming darn near impossible, so instead of your mother coming to pick me up, I would take a motorcycle taxi up to see her on Narathiwart road, but for some strange reason all the motorcycle had simply disappeared.


Just by chance a tuk-tuk came screeching from afar, so I did some thing I have not done in a very long time, stuck my hand out and called the tuk-tuk. Normal people would haggle with the tuk-tuk, but even after ten years back in BKK I am still somewhat shi# at haggling, so most of the time I just don’t bother. This time it was going to cost forty baths to your mother, actually cheaper than the motorcycle taxi.


I had forgotten how fun it was to take a ride on one of these, especially then the roads are empty :)

Sorry baby

Yesterday was a typical Thursday (07.05.10), we actually left the house quite early but the traffic was absolutely terrible being the first working day from a extra long weekend, apart from that it was quite uneventful, as usual your mother would firstly drop me off at the MRT, then she would drop you off at my parents before driving all the way across town to her office, as it turned out, it was quite uneventful all day.

As usual your mother and I picked you up around eight thirty, you were bright eyed and bushy tailed, which was a bad sign for us :) getting you into the car seat was now a simple matter of giving you an iPhone, but getting the iPhone back so that you would fall a sleep was damn near impossible.

Eventually you felt a sleep (we had to take a detour yet again), another autopilot mode, after parking you would be left sleeping in the car while we unload all the stuff, then I would dash upstairs to turn on the air conditioning and the air purifier at the same time your mother would unseat and take you upstairs :)

Usually one of us would be with you while you sleep, but on this day both of us were in the kitchen eating and chatting :) Eventually I went up stairs carrying your mothers’ flask of warm water and your bottled water, half way up the stairs I heard you sobbing, automatically I shifted down a gear and started running.

You were on your knees with your face on the pillow still sobbing, I picked you up to discovered that your pyjamas was wet, then there was this very familiar rancid smell. You must have been crying quite a while, in fact you must have cried so hard you vomited all over the bed.

You have no idea how bad both of us felt, while your mother was cleaning you, it was my job to clean your cot, I had to stripped down all the beddings including your duvet, absolutely everything. After you were all nice and clean once more, and all the sick covered beddings and etc. was out of the room the difficult task of luring you back to sleep began.

You were continuously sobbing, I saw that your mother had everything under control so I decided to leave the room to start on washing your stuff, as soon as I stepped out of the room, your sobbing became a full blown cry, you were reaching out for me… pulling me to stay… and of course I did :)

All three of us laid on the main bed, your mother was singing your favourite song (the ABC song), by this time it must have gone past eleven, slowly you began to settled down, so I asked your mother to go and take her shower whilst I stayed with you. Of course, me singing to you was never an option, humming and chanting was more my tune :) By the time your mother came back you were fast a sleep.

I was thinking on leaving your dirty stuff soaked in water and wash it the following day, but decided against it, it was better just to get everything over with, after washing it all once by hand, I put everything through the washing machine (with an extra rinse) just to make sure to get all the smell out.

The last time I glanced at the clock it was was screaming one forty five :) On the following morning it was like someone had pushed your reset button, once again you were bright eyed and bushy tailed while you mother and I looked like death warmed up.