Monthly Archives: April 2010

Daily Travel Photo – Rome, Italy

Posted by on April 18, 2010

The Pantheon is one of the oldest intact structure standing in Rome. Originally built during the reign of Emperor August and rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. After almost 2,000 years it is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is currently a Roman Catholic Basilica dedicated St. Mary and the Martyrs.

The Pantheon, Rome, Italy

The Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Songkran: Celebrating the New Year with day-glo green and blaze orange super-soakers just like Buddha would have wanted

Posted by on April 18, 2010

No one is safe from getting wet during Songkran. No one.

No one is safe from getting wet during Songkran. No one.

On Tuesday I put my iPhone and wallet on the desk in my room and walked outside without them. I felt naked without them, but I didn’t feel it would be a good idea to carry them around that day. It was the first day of Songkran.

No sooner than I got 20m down the street from the entrance to my hotel a woman who was a total stranger grabbed the collar of my shirt, pulled it forward, dumped a bucket of water down my chest and smiled “Happy New Year”. Her friend slapped my cheeks a muddy goop from a dish made up of water and talcum powder. 60 seconds after hitting the street I was drenched head to toe and had a face full of wet talc.

It was quite the introduction to Songkran. (more…)

Daily Travel Photo – The Hague, Netherlands

Posted by on April 13, 2010

This photo requires a bit of explanation. The car in the photo is that of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The door behind the car is his office. He literally drives to work like anyone else, parks his car, and enter’s his office. There is no external security or barricades separating his office from the street. Can you imagine the President of the United States driving to work everyday and getting a parking spot just like everyone else?

Prime Minister's car and office, The Hague, Netherlands

Prime Minister's car and office, The Hague, Netherlands

Living Under A State of Emergency

Posted by on April 13, 2010

This is the side of the protests you probably wont see on the news

The protesters have stopped being shiny, happy people

I began writing this post last night but had to delete everything once the bullets starting flying around 6-8pm Bangkok time. After a month of redshirt protests in Bangkok, things have finally come to a head. The protests thus far had been peaceful and the government has seen no real need to negotiate seriously with the redshirts. The most recent reports I’ve heard are that 20 people have been killed. One Reuters photographer from Japan was killed and the rest being soldiers and protesters.

I am perfectly safe.

All of the activity is taking place over an area of one to two square miles of the downtown area. I’m about two miles from the closest redshirt roadblock and another mile or so from all the clashes. Walking around the neighborhood in my area, I would never know that anything was going on in the city. (more…)