Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sleeping, Part 13: Napping At The Bangkok Demonstrations, 2014

A minor encampment in front of the Sport Science Bureau, next to MBK

The ongoing demonstrations in Thailand, while occurring in different parts of the country at different times, are primarily based in the Big Mango - Bangkok. Now the hub of note is Lumpini Park - or at least a portion of it, with traffic still brought to a standstill when the group moves out to march one place or another.

On the sidewalk in front of the MBK McDonalds

Meanwhile, people still need a place to sleep. That, and, as George Carlin used to do a routine about, "keep a smaller version of 'their stuff'". In January that included camping tents. Thousands of them, spread around at the protest sites. The small number of them above were next to, and below, the National Stadium BTS station, adjacent to the enormous Mah Boon Krong [MBK] Shopping Mall. The area where the B-Boys (breakdancers) used to hold court by that station is now cordoned off, so the free shows are on hiatus. 

When I was there most of the speeches and rallying took place in the evenings, and when the "Nine to Five" folks got off work many of them would make their way to the stage sites to hear the speakers, clack their plastic hand noisemakers and raise a combined shriek with thousands of whistles when they heard something they liked coming from the concert-sized banks of amplifiers.

Napping at noontime next to the National Stadium BTS station

During the daytime, much of the area was quiet; cart vendors ruling the scene, and many of the others just in town for the protests (so to speak) were snoozing wherever they could. Come to think of it, it was much the same at nighttime for random napping, but I honestly don't understand how very many could sleep through the 100 decibel racket.  I'd say "sleep of the innocent", but from distant past experience I tend to doubt that was the case!

Evidently he wasn't as taken by the speech going on as some were...

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