Friday, February 10, 2006

Thailand (1)

The idea of having to update this publication is still relatively new to me. But, I agree that blogs need new material every few days, because that's the only way to attract you, my dear reader.

Since leaving Manila last Sunday for Thailand, I have been extremely busy. So busy that I did not even find the time to read the newspapers, not to think of posting on the blog. Stressful days, first in Bangkok, where I facilitated a strategic planning session on political communications, and then in Pattaya, where I went for a meeting of my Foundation, have come to an end.

I am now in Chiangmai in the North and looking forward to relaxation and some inspiring moments in what seems to be an enchanting environment. There is so much I could say about my Thai impressions, but I'll leave it with two or three short observations for today.

While I have never come across a larger red-light-district than in Pattaya (and I should mention that I spent my college years in Hamburg living just two blocks away from the notorious Reeperbahn of St. Pauli), I have yet to see so many bookstores in one area as here in Chiangmai.

This would not be My Liberal Times if I wouldn't make at least one political comment. Alone a glimpse at today's headline of Thailand's major English-language newspaper THE NATION make the political turmoil back in the Philippines almost look peaceful: "Real War has just Begun", is how that papers' editors word in a catch-phrase the political situation in Thailand.

I hope to share some comparative thoughts from a Philippine perspective on this tomorrow. Meanwhile, I will run off for dinner to "Zorbas", the Greek Restaurant in Chiangmai. This city, so I have gathered, is not only cultivated; it is also pleasantly cosmopolitan.

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