Tuesday, June 10, 2014

March of the Siamese Children

Obsessed with catching up with the news every morning, we never do think of those who don't even bother to read the daily headlines.

Tat : And these days, there's even a coup d'etat in Thailand!!
Friend : Oh, I didn't know. I know they opened one in Singapore after Bali. So now in Bangkok?
Tat : Coup d'etat as in overthrow of the government. Not Kudeta as in the bar. 

For all the militant trouble they are supposedly having there, there might as well be a fabulous new nightspot opening its glittering doors in cosmopolitan Bangkok. Especially since all the shirtless Instagram boys with their impossibly sculpted abs - seemingly as common as the ubiquitous tuk tuks - are still dancing the night away in the clubs Gay Songkran style. Few would actually believe there are actually throngs of well-equipped army trucks surrounding the designated party area with an enforced midnight curfew.

All the same a trivial coup d'etat doesn't seem to bother my mother who insisted on returning to Bangkok to visit her nieces and nephews. What we call the annual march of the Siamese Children. Never mind about the increasingly violent riots, said she oh-so-nonchalantly, after all they only occur on that part of town! So reluctant though I was, I had not much choice but to squire her around.

Turns out mother is right as usual. Though the exacting curfew hadn't been lifted at that point, it had been reduced somewhat to only a handful of hours leaving most of the daily urban activities running as usual.

This time the adventure wasn't so much avoiding street protests and armed squads but catching up with my itinerant cousins who seem to have stumbled into all sorts of peculiar predicaments. Life truly can be unpredictable. Even my youngest cousin - Sunny Saffron, a cheery girl who I recall having dandled on my knee as a wee child, had muddled her way into some seriously shady company.

Saffron : Yes yes, I find new work. Good work. 
Paul : Oh, what are you doing now? 
Saffron : Working with a debt collection agency. 
Paul : What?
Saffron : Yes. 
Paul : And how do you go about collecting the debt? Aren't you a bit...
Saffron : Small? Yes, but I have big workers who have guns and pistols. 
Paul : What the...
Saffron : Yes, they bring the debtors to the jungle in black vans and threaten them with guns. 
Paul : What the...

Speeding black vans that shanghai their hapless victims? Here I thought that only happened in the movies.

Of course if the hoodlums looked liked this, I might reconsider my position. 

So there you go, I now have a beribboned kawaii Hello-Kitty-headband-wearing cousin working with tattooed loan sharks. From the blasé way she referred to her work, I had a feeling she wasn't being particularly facetious. Kind as ever, Saffron even offered a significant family discount if I ever needed help recovering debts.


Rae P said...

Had a friend who visited recently too for a holiday trip.

He took some pics with the army boys guarding the city and it must be said that some of them are fit and utterly too beautiful to just be soldiers.

Should be runway models instead 😅

savante said...

Definitely worth a visit, rae! Go take a look!