Author Archives: jirayudh sinthuphan

The Thai Coup and Eight Hard-boiled Eggs

When I first heard of the coup in Thailand, I was discussing President Aroyo with a Filipino lady in a provincial city, somewhere in the UK, where its respectable citizens were outraged by the Christmas light that the city council has put out far too early before the actual celebration.

The news of the coup did not surprise me, since I have been informed that the outed PM had transported some of his belongings to the UK three weeks earlier. On the other hand, I was confused. It didn’t make sense to me. How suddenly could the grey British sky seem so bright? How could a pro-democracy person with a righteous mind that is myself feel such a relief? How could I feel so optimistic and that there is hope?

I walked back home passing the railways station. A girl from Isaan who is working there came out and asked me whether I had heard the news. She said that she also felt relief that her elderly parents wouldn’t have to be dragged out from their village to greet the PM again. “There is such a thing called karma, you know?” She added at the end.

Yes. she was right. This is probably why, for me as well as for other Thais, the world seems so much brighter. It is not just about bad guys get what they deserve, but it is also the restoration of the Dharma. Everything about Taksin and his policy is against the Buddhist belief. He and his family members are so driven by greed and lust for power so that it is hard for them to understand the word ‘enough’.

Later that evening, I came back to my home and turned the TV on for the first time in months. As expected, it was the major story in the news programmes. Nevertheless, they did not seem to understand the situation, and were too lazy to try to understand it. They called him a democratically elected PM. They probably turned their heads away when the PM threw our constitution out the window, or when he ran the country without consulting the parliament and acted as if he was above the law. They also claimed that Taksin was the first PM to bring the money to poor in the rural area. Yes, right, but at what cost and in which manner? The British reporter probably cannot make a distinction between a ‘cheap’ loan and an ‘easy’ loan. Hence, the story of the land being snapped up by the PM’s associates when the people in the rural areas failed to pay back the loan has been left unreported.

I remember that one reporter also made an assumption that the coup, somehow, has been influenced by the king. I am not sure if this assumption is true or not, but it made me wonder, if it is so, “WHY”? The monarchy has a lot to lose. If the coup went wrong, this would mean the end of it. Even though it went well, their roles in the reformed politics will certainly be reduced. Moreover, they will have to encounter with much criticism from the international governments and media for being ‘un-democratic’.

On the Saturday morning after the coup a copy of the Guardian, and sat down in a cafe. On the front page, there was a story about Prince Charles and how he likes a hard-boiled egg for breakfast. To ensure that the egg will be up to his liking, his servant always puts eight boiled eggs on the table. In the Review section, there was an interview with Mr. Jeremy Paxman a political commentator and a republican, who has been dubbed ‘the BCC’s Rottweiller’. At one point, the interviewer asked him what would he think if the queen of England would organize a coup like the king of Thailand. Mr. Paxman simply replied “Off with their heads”.

Suddenly, tears ran down from my eyes – not with sorrow, but with joy. I never was a big fan of the monarchy, and I did not quite understand the frenzy around the celebration in Thailand several months ago. However, I understand now why we love them, especially the king. If it is as the western media claim, it shows that the king thinks not of himself, but his people as well as how to restore peace, harmony and the Dharma to the land. I am not sure if I or anyone were in his position, we would be brave enough to do the same thing.

Looking at a hard-boiled egg in front of me…..I just wonder if anyone else in the cafe would share my thought about the consititution-less land I am living in, its equally corrupted government and the lost of lives in the unjust war somewhere in the Middle East. On the second thought, it is far more important to get the hard-boiled egg right, and look at the Christmas lights! This is outrageous!


Selamat Pati and Sawasdee Everyone!

I have been a member of Thai-blogs for a while, but due to my laziness, this is my first blog ever! I have been living in the UK for the past few years, and just escaped the wet winter for my project in sunny Southeast Asia.

I am a puppeteer, and “Dalang” is a Java-Malay name for what I do. A Dalang live his life by telling story from the past, the present as well as the future in order to connect people wih their roots, with one another and with their humanity. This is what I could contribute to this Thai-blogs.

When people speak of Siamese/Thai culture, they often left out its connection with the Java-Malay culture. In fact, the Java-Malay influences have embedded in Siamese/Thai culture (food, costumes, music, theatre). Dalang is also the name of the 17th century Ayudhaya literature based on the story told to two Ayudhaya princesses by a lady-in-waiting from the kingdom of Patani. For centuries the love story of Raten (Prince) Inao and Ratu (Princess) Busaba has inspired many Siamese writers, musicians as well as painters. Many Java-Malay words still exist in modern Siamese/Thai such as Bu-nga (flower), Bulan (moon), Bu-nga Rampei (potpourri) or Likey. The name of places (especially BKK and surrounding area) are also of Java-Malay origin.

The modern Thais are related to the Javanese and the Malay as much as they are to the Laotian and the Tai/Dai. Even the royalties are of no exemption. One of the wives of Rama II was a grand daughter of Sultan Sulaiman of Singora (Songkla). Sulaiman himself was a Javanese of Persian origin who fled the 16th century Javanese-Dutch war. He founded the sultanate of Singora and probably married the local Malay from Patani kingdom. His great grand daughter was Chao Chom Manda (princess mother) Riem, whose legendary Massaman Curry inspired Rama II to compose a poem for the royal barge procession. Chao Chom Manda Riem was the mother of Rama III. Her cousin, Pranang Rampei (Queen Thepsirindra) was also Rama IV’s wife and King Chulalongkorn’s mother.

This is a short introduction of myself and the story connected to my blogger name.