Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Flight TG996

Touching down at Melbourne International Airport last night, after two weeks on the road exploring the southeast corner of Australia, I had my mind all set on my overdue academic duties. Little did I know that my girlfriend, whose aircraft I had taken a photo of as it was taxing in front of my own in Sydney an hour earlier, would land at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport just as the political turmoil was about to break out, leaving her unable to continue to Copenhagen.

After a long confused day in front of the international news media and countless sms back and forth, my girlfriend has now managed to leave the seized airport and take a cab to a downtown hotel. And though I briefly looked into the possibility of flying up to Thailand to join her, it now seems as if every alternative route is being clogged by rerouted passengers. Thus, for the time being, it all comes down to waiting.

The prime minister Somchai Wongsawat has now landed in the northern city of Chiang Mai and, like the PAD protesters occupying the airport, he seems unwilling to accept calls for a new election, as urged by Thai army leaders. Reading up on the Thaksin legacy, it is clear that the underlying (class) conflict defies simple verdicts and most standard frames of analysis.

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