I’ve Got a Red in the Bed
The title refers to Wonderful Wi and is a reference to her growing obsession with the Thai anti-government group the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or red shirts as they are more commonly known (the image on the right is for reference purpose only).
Last Saturday night the red shirts held a rally at the small town near Wilai’s village and the young one donned her 100 baht red shirt and went along for the evening. I just hoped she didn’t decide to wear a yellow hat with matching handbag and banana coloured shoes like the man in the photo. A girl has to look right on the night, rally or not.
Sang Khom was the venue for the UDD’s latest sally into brainwashing the Isaan public into helping rid them of the Abhisit Vejjajiva led government and to reinstall the master puppeteer Thaksin Shinawatra into office as the leader of the country.
This was a growing army who were equipped with the knowledge that their main weapon was far more lethal than those of their rivals. Red tomatoes are a lot more messy than yellow bananas and far more easier to aim.
After hours of extensive research into Thailand’s political history dating back to its first Prime Minister Phraya Manopakorn Nititada to the present incumbent Abhisit Vejjajiva, I was ready for my interview with Beyond The Mango Juice’s on the spot political reporter Khun Wilai. I wiped the sweat from my brow, grabbed my mobile and rang Wilai at this massive red shirt event.
” Hello Wilai, what is happening at the red shirt rally. It’s very loud, can you hear me.”
” Hus…band, now have sing a song come. Sing a song I like.”
” Wilai have they given any indication toward their next political move.”
” Hus…band. Now have lady sing a song, she have nom yai (big breasts). She have big milk”
” Wilai are there any signs of counter protesters, is security high.”
” Hus…band lady sing a song very beautiful. I think brudder (brother) would like look she. Lady big milk go up down, up down, up down, dting dtong Thailand.”
“Big breasts, Wilai did you bring your camera. Get me a close up of the singer.”
I’ll admit it wasn’t an interview which will be inscribed in the worlds political annals forever, but in my defense it was my first attempt. I put down my phone and gently consoled myself with a few Winston Churchill like words.
” Bollocks…. that didn’t go as well as I was hoping it would.”
The UDD rally in Sang Khom on Saturday night was attended by approximately 2,000 locals from the surrounding villages and town. The event had many UDD members giving speeches but the big attendance was solely due to the appearance of Khattiya Sawasdipol, better known as Seh Daeng. Army specialist Major General Khattiya whipped the gathered throng into a frenzy with a speech lasting over one hour before leaving the small town just after midnight. Seh Daeng really had painted the town red.
The pro Thaksin UDD supporters now have their own TV stations to satisfy their thirst and wash away the bitter taste the present government has left them with. People Channel TV (above photo) is constantly tuned in at our village house as Wilai and her mama lap up the political speeches, propaganda and red shirt leaders singing look thung (country) songs.
Power cuts are a part of life in the Isaan villages and if one blacks out the TV then you can always get your red fix from a magazine such as the one pictured on the right. Through TV, magazines and concerts, the red message appears to be getting through. The opinion polls seem to be starting to suggest that too.
The Trojan city of Troy fell to a giant wooden horse with an army inside, could Bangkok’s elite fall to a karaoke machine, red shirt protesters and some of the best country singers in Isaan marching their way down the yellow brick road of Government House.
If they do turn the water cannons on the Isaan mob, let’s hope the big breasted singer is right at the front.
After an internal investigation into the Sang Khom telephone interview, Beyond The Mango Juice has decided to withhold the fee payable to our political reporter Miss Wilai. At great expense Beyond The Mango Juice has now sent the young reporter to the Karaoke Rehabilitation Centre in Udon Thani.
Photograph Red shirt rally by Peter Switzerland/Thailand
Martyn, Loved it…great read. I do hope we will soon be seeing pictures of the singer soon.
There was a rally near Pookie’s village too but she didn’t attend. I have a feeling things will be getting heated up real soon as the government moves to take Thaksin’s fortune.
.-= Talen´s last blog ..The #1 Reason to Move to Thailand =-.
HD Nom yai…..the majority of our Thai ladies would struggle to find a Triumph bra small enough in the UK.
For MTF its the reverse to this rule as she finds it difficult to get a larger sized bra here!
Talking about Nom reminds me that I have now discovered the Thai word for what happens when gravity and older age take effect on female breasts.
Very useful when she’s having a go at me for one reason or another!
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Amphawan Floating Market Samut Songkhram Photo/Image =-.
Great post Martyn 🙂
There are a lot of rumours going around about the Red Shirts in Bangkok.
But as usual, it’s all quiet out here.
My condo is sort of butted up against the army base. No movement.
And the only tank I see is the stationary one along Paholyothin. The one cemented into the grass…
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..Successful Thai Language Learners: Stickman =-.
Martyn, thats a good one and funny too , but ohhhh soooo true , .
The one thing I have learned , in my stay here in the LOS is to never ask , wonder,and never- ever try to discuss politics with a Thai person , for one thing they know nothing about the subject (except what they see on the soaps or hear from the neighbors ) who know nothing at all either , The reason they had 2,000 folks there is there was like you found out, there was singing and dancing , and if you want to be sure to get a big crowd be sure to throw in some snacks they will bring them out of the woodworks . . As far as I am concerned it’s all one big joke and when and if the Reds do come into power the folks can be sure of one thing , they are next to be taken advantage of and they will throw away them red shirts and run to the nearest store to get a yellow one , they change side and friends here in the LOS as often as I change underwear , “AND THATS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT”
.-= malcolm´s last blog ..Things to Do in Thailand-What do you Recommend?#comments =-.
Talen – I think Seh Daeng is doing the rounds in Isaan to whip up support to get as many people to Bangkok this month. The reason being is as you mention, Thaksin’s seized fortune is to be decided shortly and the reds want to exert as much pressure as they can. I think it’s a lost cause as far as Thaksin and his money goes.
Mike – Wilai is very well stacked as one might say in the UK and does also struggle to find well fitting bras and when she does they are normally quite pricey. I tend to avoid finding out such words like the gravity one you mention, I have a habit of using these kind of things at the wrong time or to the wrong person. The British and Thai sense of humour are at times poles apart.
Catherine I read all about the tank movements in the Bangkok Post. There does seem to be constant talk of another coup and denial after denial….surely it can’t happen again.
Malcolm it does seem to me like the Isaan people get taken in by all the propaganda and then throw in a good old sing song, some food and hey you’ve got a devoted following. They do still appear to be totally devoted to Thaksin Shinawatra thanks to the present government turning him into a bit of a mega cult figure with what has been at times blatant over the top attacks on the man. I think there’s big trouble ahead in the coming months because the Isaan people and many others from outside of Bangkok feel cheated about the way Thaksin and with him their ‘hopes’ were disposed of. Then again what the hell do I know. Thanks for a ‘ straight from the heart ‘ comment.
Classic stuff, once went to a Red shirt convention myself, out of interest (plus mother in law is a big fan, talking Red shirt TV channel every night).
Was crammed full of stalls selling all things red and Thaksin, there was a short speech before the singing broke out.
On the one hand, it is good to see people taking an interest in Politics though on the other side you just question the communication of these rallies. All very one sided and propaganda designed to mobilise masses, as you said.
In case you are interested here’s what I wrote http://jonnytheforeigner.blogspot.com/2009/09/evening-with-red-shirts.html
.-= Jon´s last blog ..Teaching in Thailand =-.
Martyn, I have to admire Talen who got to the point quickly in his comment above, namely where is the picture of Khun Nom Yai? If none is forthcoming, I am, and I’m sure Talen is, agreeable to a suitable substitute. 😉
What are all these photos of guys in red shirts? What’s that all about? (Insert picture of wide-eyed Homer with empty dialogue bubble.)
(Speaking of dialogues, I love your occasional Martyn-Wilai “discussions.”)
.-= Siam.Rick´s last blog ..Musings on friendship bridges and rush to build them =-.
Rick, if I were a man of proper morals and convictions I might take offence at your comment…but, luckily I am not and I think you are correct that Martyn now owes a a picture maybe even two.
.-= Talen´s last blog ..The #1 Reason to Move to Thailand =-.
Rick I thought you were still in Thailand, I didn’t realize you had headed back to the cold weather and even colder stares. I’m glad you like my Martyn-Wilai “discussions,” they are the gist of our conversations but not quite word for word. Unfortunately there is no picture of Khun Nom Yai.
Jon I read your post on the red shirts and your account is exactly how I would imagine it to be, food, cheap goods and songs. Maybe next time you should put on a Gunners shirt. I would actually like to attend one of these concert type events myself ( I’ll have to dig an old Crewe shirt out) and missed out on one during my September trip last year. I think ‘propaganda’ is the most explanatory word in your comment. Thanks Jon.
The karaoke crew set to invade Bkk, love it. Yet that’s exactly how it felt even at rallies in Chiang Mai. Great story Martin, brought back some memories. Remember a little old lady with her red-shirted fluffy Pekinese under one arm … Kids high on sang som ‘bigging it up’, brandishing wooden swords… tuk-tuk minders playing it tough, wanting to know why a farang was there brandishing his giant telephoto lens, huge smiles breaking out when I revealed my blood-red “I love Thaksin” t-shirt under my jumper (it was a cold December evening). As if I would wear anything yellow in Chiang Mai. Somehow I just couldn’t take it seriously – they don’t look menacing enough. But who knows…
.-= frogblogger´s last blog ..Girls wanted … =-.
Hello Pete nice to see you back on the juice and with a great story as always. I remember your series of posts from Chiang Mai in which you had a female interpreter for one of them….. ‘ Kids high on sang som ‘bigging it up’, brandishing wooden swords ‘… in Wilai’s village nowadays they brandish the kind of things Sheffield is famous for and I’m not talking the Full Monty.
Did you post your comment on a laptop with one foot in the Channel because my Statcounter registered your comment as coming from the UK and I know that’s the last place you’d ever be. Cheers and best wishes to the three of you.
You guessed right, I’m only in the UK by ‘proxy’, haven’t set up a tv since I got back, and although Blighty might be a “broken society” according to a Feb 4th article in the Economist and the follow-up comments, at least it still has some great tv (Silent Witness etc). Via a proxy is the only way I can watch it on broadband from France…
My spies in Chiang Mai tell me it’s as dead as ever, and the mood of doom and gloom is spreading, not a very Thai attitude. If that’s so, perhaps you’re right and there is a very real threat of conflict. It’s just that we’ve been hearing about it for so long, it feels like ‘cry wolf’ syndrome after a while.
.-= frogblogger´s last blog ..Girls wanted … =-.
Pete the key moment in the Red Storm Rising will be this month with the outcome of Thaksin’s seized assets court case. Knowing Thailand there will be no outcome this month and the case will drag on. It’s a difficult one but the elite can hardly give him his money back to fund a fight against themselves.
Chiang Mai dead….Many are predicting a good tourist year for Thailand but with the strength of the Thai baht those educated enough may decide to trip somewhere cheaper. It’s very possible I may hit Chiang Mai myself sometime this year, Wilai is talking about us going and so I can only guess it will be when the flowers are at the height of bloom or should that be blooming heights.
Silent Witness, classic British TV….The Economist article, I’m sure many will bolt their front door halfway through reading it. Look forward to your next post.
I admire your political stance in this one Hoo Don, much like my own thesedays 🙂 Lets hope they can all have a sing song and get along eh….
.-= Ben Shingleton´s last blog ..Hard at Work in Thailand =-.
Ben the big day is closing in and I’ve just read Talen’s blog on which he argues that Thaksin will be given some of his wealth back, I tend to agree with that. Let’s hope so or otherwise Thailand just might spin out of control.