Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Sunday, April 04, 2010

In the midst of red shirt protesters

I did have some friends question me before I left Sydney whether the timing of my trip back home had anything to do with joining the protests! As coincidences would have it - without intending to, I somehow ended up right in the midst of the red shirt protesters this afternoon. (and yes it really was unplanned, and yes I realise there have been a couple of coincidences in my life lately.....)

Anyhow....seeing as I got to near Phetburi road, corner of Rajdamri road, just around the same time as the red shirts were arriving from Phetburi Road, and my taxi driver dumped me right in the middle and took a quick U-turn....I didnt have much of a choice but to walk, and no other direction to go except where the crowd was moving to. I got to the car park exit of Central World, asked the guards if I could walk at the pavement in front of the Mall, but there was a polite no. (at this point, the crowd at my end wasnt too big, but there was already a bigger crowd occupying the other half of Rajdamri street, and also Rama I Road).

So back to the main street it was, with the crowds fast becoming bigger. I ended up walking on the road, hoping to be able to walk at a faster pace and get out of there quickly. Not the smartest move clearly, as I somehow ended up right in the midst of the crowd. Not that they were scary - the spirit was very relaxed and friendly, people talking, some had music on, some danced, others took photos, a bit of food was being distributed - they even went out of their way to make sure I got one of those nice sticky rice in bamboo stick. I took a few photos, and one of the red shirts then walked ahead of me, turned round and took a pic of me! What could I do except give him a big smile.....

Took another big effort of maneuvering before I could get to the Rajprasong junction (corner Rajdamri and Rama I) - there were motorbikes parked and the people standing close to the bikes somehow seemed reluctant to give way. Eventually reached the corner, where I could get back on to the footpath, turned right on to Rama I where there were numerous pick up trucks parked blocking the entire road, with more crowds. Saw a couple of farangs with prams head in the direction I had just come from. I tried to explain them its not such a great idea to head that way - nothing to do with violence or lack thereof, but taking prams into such a crowded area??

All this in the midst of screeching hot Bangkok 39 or 40 degrees heat!!

By the time I made it to my destination of Siam Paragon, everyone had been asked to vacate the Mall! Somehow I managed to go inside for a couple of minutes, spoke to P Sun on the phone, and figured out she was waiting across the road on the Siam Square side. Only took me another 5 minutes to walk across the BTS bridge, and only a couple more minutes to choose one of the restaurants still open in Siam Square for my lunch :)

(I did say I love my food! Now you all can not doubt the things I would do for food :P )

Pics to follow in next post......


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