Friday, May 23, 2014

20 Facebook Statuses That Reveal How Bangkokians Feel About Last Night's Coup

"Oh, I was studying in Japan at the time," I will one day have to answer when my kids ask about the 2014 coup after hearing about it in history class. 

It has been pretty surreal living outside of Thailand during what seems to be particularly crazy year in  Thai politics. Sure, I've always been "one of those" who doesn't like to step on other people's toes in the hazardous dance of political opinions, but it is really strange to for once not be able to rely on my senses to perceive what is going on in Thailand.  Since when I was in high school (when I would say the contemporary atmosphere of instability in Thai politics started) I had a thing for checking up on what international news had to say about local issues just to dismiss it all as default "Western" views of situations so rich with unique history and culture.  I mean, even having lived in Thailand for 20 years, I feel that I've only mastered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Thai political history; but at least, I was a present stakeholder in the turmoil.

So, not being on the ground in Thailand as last night's coup rolled out, in the past 24 hours I have given the most attention I have ever to Facebook statuses. This feels like intense research - collecting little bits from all these primary sources and trying to get the big picture out of it all. And well here is it. The big picture, according to my friends [taken as posted, unless translated from Thai to English]:

Other than that, there have been several quips about the military tunes playing in lieu of the television programs that have been taken off the air. Some jokingly asking what the name of the "catchy" song is or calling it General Prayuth's jam. A few - I would say an unremarkable number but my social circles may be very different from another Thai person's - have changed their profile picture to black or a picture of Kim Jong-un applauding with "Thailand" superimposed on the top. Some have also posted this monochromatic Thai flag in longer, essay-like posts:

In conclusion, the general sentiment is either hopelessness for Thailand in having a stable, democratic government or... "damn, I have to get real food now cuz convenient stores are closed!"

Peace - literally would be great this time. 

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