Hailing from the state of Tennessee, this phrase always meant something different to me. However, in maneuvering my way around Bangkok I could not help by notice that every few steps I am struck with an image of their King Rama IX, the Great (since 1946). It seems the “dictatorship” in the phrase democratic dictatorship is still alive and well in this country.  Nat told me a story of a German writer living in Thailand who reran a story in the local paper that was not a favorable portrayal of the king and he now faces 20 years imprisonment. So much for freedom of speech.  Consequently, this story was posted on Facebook and a Thai student “liked” it and he was immediately imprisoned. The moral of the story and one of my

Mom’s favorite pieces of advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Anyhow, Bangkok continues to remain as crazy as I remember upon arrival. No amount of acclamation to Southeast Asia has weakened the shock of the traffic, trash and tourists in this city.

Note from the author: I am waiting to post this until I am out of the country to insure my safe return. :)

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