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27 กันยายน 2550
 
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Yesterday - what a day

I wrote this on Wed. night... but it was late.. I forgot to publish it...


My mum and dad arrived this morning. It was great to see them. I went to meet them at Suwannabumi and ran past the security woman - and gave my dad a massive hug - as soon as I saw them walk through customs.

They haven't changed much. My dad's the same as ever. His tattoos are a bit greener than usual, and his hair's receeded a bit, but otherwise he's the same old northern bloke he always was. My mum's got a few new wrinkles, and seems to be a bit smaller and thinner than I remember.

Just seeing them, in person was like 10 christmasses and brthdays rolled into 1. It turned me back into a smiley, giddy, giggley kid, for the first time in ages, and made me realise how much I love and miss them.

I found a taxi. We chatted as it made its way along the tollroad and into Bangkok. I found out what my little sis is up to. She's just moved house. She was offered, and initially accepted a new job, then decided that she was probably going to keep her old one. My dad also told me about her new bf. He sounds OK. He works with computers, has a daughter, stays over at my sister's a lot. Then there were stories about old schoolfriends, and relatives I'd almost forgotten existed. It was great to chat to them both, the world they were talking about sounding both strange and familiar. Lists of peple who'd got married or had kids, people who'd seen my parents in the pub or on the street, wondered what I was up to and wanted to pass on their hello's. It was wierd hearing my northern accent coming back, after a year and a bit of speaking a strange, toned down, 'not quite the queen's english' version.

We arrived at the their hotel and, once we'd checked in, took the lift up to their room. I looked at the riverside view. It was awesome. I could stare at the Chao Phraya river all day. It never gets boring. There's always something to look at. The black and white rustbuckets that cross from side to side, the tiny but speedy longtail boats, the ferry's making their way up to Non and back, and the giant black barges, slowly trudging along.

I especially like the barges. Whether they're full or empty, they're always slow. There's time to take in their size, and shape and to spot the shack that's normally been built at one end. To look for the laundry that's normally pegged up, hanging out to dry. To look for women squatting down cooking food or washing pots. It amazes me that the boats - that always hang out in groups of 3 - are pulled along by such a tiny boat.

I stared at the river whilst my parents sorted out their cases. My sister, Nan and Aunt gave me belated birthday presents. I now have a couple of English CD's (apparently really cool music that somehow or other I've missed out on), five bars of dairy milk, a couple of boxes of chocolates to give to my friends and a ton of English books and DVD's. The best pressie came from my grandad. He's spent the last year and a bit saving up all the free DVD's and CD's that come with the Sunday papers (almost every Sunday newspaper back home has some kind of free DVD nowadays.) I now have a big collection of old English comedies. Programs I loved when I was a kid, that I've not seen or thought about for years. 'Steptoe and Son', 'Porridge', 'Up Pompei', 'Open all hours', 'Only Fools and Horses', plus a couple of movies and documentaries. I was well impressed when I saw them.

I showed my parents where I live. I'm taking my dad's comment 'It's not as bad as I thought it would be' as a northerner's approval. I love my room but, its tiny and very messy. My building's full of students. Most are in their late teens / early 20's and have just started uni. It's not the kind of place they would expect their 30 something daughter to be living in. They also met a couple of people on the street - the guy who normally sells me my morning 'plah ton go' (greasy deep fried dough that sounds disgusting but takes fantastic) and the guys who sell coffee in my building.

I had to go to school today so I arranged to meet my parents in Siam later in the evening. We wandered around the malls for a bit and then headed towards Khao San. My dad really likes Khao San. It's always buzzing. I have to admit to liking the Khao San freakshow too. Once in a while its a great place to go. We got food and I ordered a jug of beer for my mum and dad.

I got them a cab home, went home and just started using the net when P, one of the exchange students came in. 'Have you seen the news? They're shooting the monks in Burma.' We loaded up the BBC web page and started reading. I've not seen any news today. The only story I'd heard was that we beat Morecambe 5-0. My dad had borrowed a friend's net connection to see who scored.

The more I read of the news, the more shocked I became. Monks are usually a symbol of peace. They're supposed to be spiritual beings. They don't normally get involved in politcs. Their protests reflect the country's discontent - at rising fuel prices and the lack of democracy. That they are being shot at is scarey. 3 are dead so far. Maybe more. No one really knows. It's gone midnight here now. From what I've heard and read so far the Burmese government has imposed a curfew and is is trying to cut all communications with the outside world. The real news will take a while to appear. It was almost certainly be censored.

Whats even more shocking for P is that she was there at the weekend. She saw the monk's protest. To know that the same people that she saw calmly and quietly marching past are now being being tear gassed, beaten up with rifle buts, arrested and shot at must be awful.

It sounds like it could be Tianamen Square all over again.


Create Date : 27 กันยายน 2550
Last Update : 28 กันยายน 2550 8:17:50 น. 0 comments
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kerrie
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