[the last video footage by the Japanese journalist who was killed right off of Khao San]
quick update, because its been awhile and im in the center of chaos right now.
Bangkok has been making a lot of news lately because of the red shirts, and although i havent been following religiously, it may be just as bad the media is reporting. (but then again, i just got here)
today also starts Buddhist New Year - which means constant water fights by hoses, buckets, and soaking your neighbor by any means necessary.
On Khao San, the main backpackers street in Bangkok, the stark contrast at the end of the road is incredible.
[there are a million poignant pictures to take here, but unfortunately my camera now belongs to a nameless Khmer child in Phnom Phen...]
On one side of Khao San there are hundreds of shirtless, soaking travelers and backpackers dancing, rap music blaring, dousing eachother with icy cold water to bring in the new year...
and the thai people, the red shirts, on the other end of the street, are not only dry, but sucked of the joyous party atmosphere that exists only feet away. broken glass and rocks cover the road, all the storefronts and restaurants are closed for blocks to due broken windows and general fear. The center of the street is roped off by waving thai flags where there is a memorial for two people killed by the government military earlier yesterday. talking with some red shirts on the street, between 10 and 20 protesters have been killed. thai people walk by somberly, offering gifts of thai flags, water bottles, flowers, coins and red bull.
the contrast in the two atmospheres, in pure sight and emotion, is overwhelming.
this protest has lasted over a month for the red shirts, and now its turning violent at the time of New year - a time that's supposed to bring hopeful rebirth and new beginnings. it seems that that won't be happening any time soon here in Bangkok...