I'm not one to get very political; I've found it takes entirely too much effort, and it seems that no matter who is elected or in charge, stupid things are done. My take on the matter is simple: if you're crazy enough to want to preside over a bunch of people who are just going to be mad at you for one reason or another for years on end, you've got to be a little unbalanced to start with. What do people expect out of politicians anyway?
Furthermore, in the event that there are one or two politicians who do have a few ounces of sanity left, we "the people" aren't going to hear about most good deeds or jobs well done. I was a journalism major, and I know: good news doesn't sell. It's not that news people want to report only bad news, it's just that it seems to be the best way to grab an audience's attention.
These are just my humble opinions.
In any event, I keep having various family members emailing and Skyping me to see if there's any truth to the "riots" they keep seeing on CNN and other news channels. From a personal standpoint, I can honestly say that the biggest shocker I've seen is Siam Center and Paragon shopping malls closed this past Sunday. Now, there's something you don't see every day.
Yes, I have certainly heard the news of the pro-and-anti-government clashes over the last few weeks. I've also heard about some of the tragedies amounting from a few of these incidents. Because I was not here during the fiascos of 2010, I can't say whether or not the protests thus far are approaching "out of control," but just based on the atmosphere I've encountered around the city in the past weeks, I'm honestly not personally concerned.
The BBC has reported that the political instability of the moment has caused 35 countries to issue travel advisories against visiting the Kingdom, and that the economy (especially tourism) has started to see a slight decline in recent weeks. I've also noticed a good number of the older students at my school absent over the last few days related to the protests, at least according to other students I've asked. However, that being said, it appears that the active protesting zones are limited to a few locations in Bangkok, and have yet to majorly affect me or any of the foreign teachers I know.
I just hope it stays that way. Hopefully, political views aside, the tensions can be resolved without much more conflict, and Thailand can stay the peaceful paradise I've come to love.