The gloomier prognostications regarding the prevailing civil disorder in Bangkok have missed the mark, it seems. Though things do still look a tad bleak.
How bleak? That depends on who you talk to. It seems the US Embassy is offering to help repatriate families of expat residents. Not the Fall of Saigon, just yet, but it bespeaks unease in some quarters.
An old friend and long-term Bangkok resident just told me how he’s been thinking about Phnom Penh, and how Cambodia wouldn’t be a bad place to live. More and more people have been mentioning “Plan B”s, and these plans usually refer to bolt-holes in other countries. Cambodia has also been featuring prominently in this sort of conversation. At a dinner party a couple of nights ago a couple of people with a regional magazine they publish here in Bangkok said they were exploring the possibility of moving both business and domicile to Cambodia. Others have remarked on the reasonable cost of living, the ease of getting official documents to stay, and the generally peaceful feel to the place. We’re liable to find quite an expat community parked there, a relatively well-fed refugee camp, if you like.
But I reckon I’m here in Thailand to stay. Skedaddling strikes me as an over-reaction to current events, no matter how threatening they’ve sometimes appeared. Hey. Premature skedaddling can be as bad for your macho image as the other thing.