Friday, March 12, 2010

Hmmmm Who Reads My Blog?

Hmmmm who reads my blog? Apparently only my cousin Megan as she is the ONLY one to have picked up on an interesting little fact that was slipped into my last posting on the activity in Bangkok. Did anyone else pick up on the fact of which I mentioned going to an ultrasound and having genetic screening for the baby this week? I told Megan either she is the only one reading my blog or the rest of you are clueless and it flew right over your heads! Haha. So yes, we saw the doctor this week and had an ultrasound and the first genetic screening test that is required for "elderly mothers" as they call them here (aka Advanced Maternal Age in the US). Our results came back great though they never tell you that you are 100% safe from downs but our numbers were really really good. And so the science experiment continues and baby bpuu continues to grow. He/She apparently has pop pops genes as the doc told us the baby was really long for it's age and they moved my due date by 6 days as a result! I go back in four weeks for another genetic screening test and ultrasound.

Other news - Joe and I are looking into going to Tokyo for a week in April. We have a good friend that lives there and he departs this summer to return to the US. We want to visit him before we lose our free place to stay! We had a great plan for our R&R trip in June to Europe with lots of stops but we are going to rethink all our running around now and maybe not make as many stops - gotta work on that this weekend and get it all scheduled.

Apparently the protestors arrive today - some 10,000 trucks piling into the city with them all. This will be interesting. Joe called from the train on the way into work and said there are at least 50 officers posted at an intersection near the park as that is one of the demonstration sites and they seem to be setting up there. A friend mentioned that there were officers posted at her train stop near where she lives. Joe says all else seems peaceful and calm outside and is just like any other day in Bangkok. Perhaps this won't be as bad as everyone is expecting?
Time will tell but I am still hunkered down at home staying away from all the activity!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lots of Activity in Bangkok

Ever since going home in January there has been lots of activity. January was such a busy time for me with being home and all. Then I return to Bangkok to red shirt protests. For those of you who have not been following this activity here is a quick synopsis. Thaksin Shiniwatra is the former Prime Minister of Thailand - there was a coup in 2006 and he was overthrown as he was corrupt and was apparently stealing money from the Government. The red shirt protestors want him back in power. You may remember last year this time there were major protests in Thailand by the red shirts resulting in the airport shutting down and there was bloodshed too. Several weeks ago the red shirt protestors started targeting Bangkok Bank - primarily their headquarters which happens to be the building next to our apartment building. They had a big protest there one Friday that created some hassles in me getting to Thai class. I got there okay but did not necessarily care to be that close to it. It was a peaceful demonstration though. One week later on a Friday they detonated explosive devices in 5 different Bangkok Bank branches throughout the city. I never heard the explosive device going off - though I probably never would know - there are loud booms ALL the time here as we are close to the river where there are lots of hotels/resorts and they set off fireworks every few days in the evenings - and their fireworks shows here - well let's just say they are probably better than the DC fireworks on the 4th of July - they are BIG fireworks displays. So unless the building starts to crumble we wouldn't even flinch at hearing a big boom.

About a week or so ago the supreme court here announced a verdict on what to do with Thaksin's assets - the verdict was they would seize about 60% of them - this leaves him with like 1.4 billion dollars - which apparently is not enough to live off of - thus pissing off his followers - which means more activity in Bangkok. The newspapers are reporting that the red shirts are trucking in people starting tomorrow to the tune of 10,000 some vehicles. I think they are expecting people in the millions here. The traffic here is already horrendous as it is - by far worse than any city in the US. We can only imagine what the addition of 10,000 vehicles and a million or so people is going to do to the traffic in the city. The newspaper reported the other day that some weapons went missing from Southern Thailand which makes one wonder if they are headed to Bangkok. The embassy is telling everyone to prepare for worst case scenario and to stock up on food, water and cash in case things are shut down as a result. The big protest day is supposedly this Friday. The newspaper reported that Thailand was considering declaring it a Thai Holiday. We are all waiting anxiously to hear if the embassy will close as it does recognize some Thai Holidays and there are rumors floating around that they may close for the day. Friday is my normal day off but I hope for the others that they do - I cannot even imagine trying to get anywhere on Friday in the city. Since they have already detonated 5 explosive devices the potential for violence is a possibility that day. Of course it could all turn out to be nothing too. But better to be prepared. If communications do go down here we may be out of touch for a while. If you are interested in daily updates then check or - the embassy says both links post updates daily and that is where family and friends should go if communications fail. All this activity has caused us a little hassle ourselves as our ultrasound and genetic screening for the baby were originally scheduled for Friday which is the day of the protests so we rescheduled them for today. See, I told you there has been a lot of activity since January :-)