May 23, 2009

Mark, here with shrimp,
is coming to Texas June Second

Mark paid rent in advance on his small condo in Jomtien Beach, arranged for cleaning and bug spraying and is preparing to come home for awhile to get tests at the VA hospital in Houston. Pray that he will still be in remission.
Report on Recent Chaos In Thailand which reached Pattaya Jomtien Beach I've promised you a report and finally here it is. The Financial Times headline on page one April 14 said "Thailand gripped by chaos".... "Anti-government protesters and the military fought dramatic battles on the streets of Bangkok that left at least two dead and almost 100 injured." The red shirted anti-government protesters want an ousted exiled prime minister Thaksin back in power and called for the resignation of current prime minister Abbisit Vellajiva. How did this affect Mark and his sister, Stephanie, and her friend Rossina who were visiting him? Prime Minister Abbisit had arranged an Asian summit to take place at the hotel where Mark's Rotary Club meets on Wednesdays. Mark planned to take his sister to dinner at the Rotary Club. Prior to the Rotary meeting, the red-shirted protesters pushed past the gate guards and stormed the hotel complex. Dignitaries were moved safely by the government in helicopters and by boat, but PM Abbisit's car windshield was damaged. All this activity forced the closure of the Asian Conference and a change of meeting place for the Rotary Club. There were street closures and two way streets were changed to one way streets. Lots of excitement in Pattaya-Jomtien Beach. Mark and his sister and Rossina were actually able to buzz right on past the roadblocks to get to the hotel, in a hired baht bus, only to find out the meeting had been cancelled. They ended up at a nice restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms. Yes, Condoms! They all also had a harder time getting around due to traffic changes. Nonetheless it was a big adventure.
Addendum May 31st Cabbages and Condoms (C&C)Restaurants - The C & C restaurants were established in several cities in Thailand with all proceeds going to support the activities of PDA which stands for Population and Community Development Association. The Cabbage and Condoms Restaurants offer excellent food and promote health and safety aspects of condom use. Diners can get free condoms and the glass table tops reveal an interesting collection of condom packages. Handicrafts produced by rural villages are on sale with profits funding PDA's development and social welfare activities. There is a C&C at 12th and Sukhumvit in Bangkok. This is about half-way between where we lived in Bangkok (near the corner of Asoke or Soi 19 and Sumhumvit) and Bumrumgrad hospital (just off Soi 1 and Sumhumvit). Another C&C is in Pattaya and this is where Mark and Rossina and Stephanie ate when the redshirt anti-government group stormed the hotel complex where Rotary meets.