My day started out with this:Usually a day starting out with this stunning a sunrise kind of just glows, but somehow it ended up not so- climaxing with my showering the smell of squid off my hands throwing (and breaking) my disposable razor after cutting myself shaving (again). I started off with a spat and a nice stare in the face with some of my own faults and the effect they have on others. Probably good in the long run; not fun. Then a needless trip to the distribution center-- already closed for Thai New Year and NOT selling garments even if I beg and throw out my pout.
Then a stop-by to an old investigator friend whose life, quite honestly, just depresses me. She's not doing the church thing anymore really, and when listening to her reasons why, I really didn't feel like they were excuses. Her life is just HARD and when your daily routing consists of buying vegetables, gutting squid (surprisingly disgusting booger guts come out of those things) and hoping that you sell enough to make your rent (since her four ungrateful children aren't helping her out any) what do you do? I bore my testimony that if she lets God in her life, He'll make her stronger, less tired, and more capable, but MAN. Her snotty selling buddy isn't helping out much. Two other semi-inactive women I taught screened my calls - here's when I feel so strange straddling that line between missionary and friend. I wanted to contact these women because of a sort of sisterhood and friendship; they see me as the come back to church police, which I guess I am too, but not like they think. I don't know, it's just awful to see people who you know KNEW the gospel is true. Not just got commandeered into baptism or riled up into a fashionable western religion. All three of these women were ones who I thought GOT IT. And maybe they still do. But what am I supposed to do about that? Blech, it feels just awful.
These guys aren't helping my mood. The Red Shirts. I understand what's making them so angry- the current Prime Minister pretty much put himself in power by shutting down the airport a year or more ago and the Red Shirts mostly just want a chance to vote for someone they choose. Abhisit, the guy currently in charge, doesn't seem to be doing very well; unless you're already wealthy, in which case, he's helping out loads. Most of the protesters are poor, unemployed and from the country- using their voice in the only way they know how. It worked for the last group (the Yellow Shirts, who put Abhisit in office) and seems to be working now. It's really not at all as dangerous as US news must be making it sound- mostly just random parade honk fests and street parties that make already atrocious traffic worse.
But the economy is taking a hit for it. Plus, the crowd seems to be losing interest in a tailgate party style protest. They stormed Parliament; malls and other public locations close from time to time; and for the first time today, the SkyTrain was closed in preparation for the 'mob' (that is the word in Thai for a Red Shirt gathering). It will likely get worse before it gets better. Abhisit just pulled out the gloves by basically forbidding groups of five or more to congregate. Good luck, sir. Your nation is not going to take to that very well. Even Thai New Year and its infamous water festival are being tainted by a widespread unsettled feeling. Here's some of my photos and a little video explaining... Good luck Red Shirts! But please stop keeping me in traffic for 2 hours.