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Just a quick (and THE LAST, I promise) reflection on the comment on my last blog (TIME TO GO).
I’ve been told to shut up on the ground I am falang and I can not simply accept it, isn’t it a form of racism?.
Who ever has the right to tell me,or someone, else to shut up just because I am expressing an opinion which is, by the way, shared by an increasing number of people in this country (recently also Law Society of Thailand and the Press Council of Thailand)?

I would like to add that in my village’s school where I am helping with the teaching I often have discussions with my fellow teacher about politics. Many of them are strong Takshin’s supporters. After school time we often discuss about the situation, we never agree, we speak and we drink few beers together, some whisky and when we leave nobody surely will ever change his opinion but never, ever, anyone told me to shut up, never!
And surely not because I am a falang!
They told me clearly that they think I am “tin ton nitnoi” but they respect what I say, the same way I do with them and they even like the way I care about their country even though I have opposite view than theirs.
This, as far as I am concerned, is a very good example of democracy!
So why shall a falang tell me to shut up?
I do not get it, if you do not like to read my posting… skip them… but tolerance, respect and education shall always prevail.

I feel that we are all living in the same world, boundaries shall be no limit, what it is happening in Africa, Nepal or Iraq is surely affecting me. I care about the fate of billions of people who live in the same earth we share, whether I have the same the passport or not… I do not care.
Does this mean that I have no right to profoundly admire and love His Majesty the King of Thailand? Or that I can not “nearly worship” Mahatma Gandhi as I am not an Indian?

No, I will not shut up, because I think I have the right to express my opinions unless I am hurting anyone and I strongly feel the state of our world shall be anyone’s concern.
No I will not shut up unless the admin of this blog will tell me to do it, in this case I will surely bend to their orders.

I am wrong? Am I right? I do not know, but just tell me just one more thing.
If nothing is wrong here, may you tell me why so many of you are afraid this blog may be “blacklisted”?
Isn’t “blacklisting” having something to do with dictatorship?
If Thailand is still and really a democracy why are you so afraid of being “Blacklisted”?

Peace and Love to Thailand and the whole world.

PS: I am thinking about giving 500 bahts to everyone who posts a positive comment about my blogs… ring a bell?

SURIN, March 19th, 2549

Time to go

Yesterday while driving from Korat to Surin, I could not help but notice the big TRT boards saying to vote for party Nr. 2, the only one anyway people could vote if these mock elections will ever take place.
I just felt bad for all Thais, they have such a shameless PM.
He is supposed to be a leader of the country, so how can he divide the country in such a way?
Is he not able to see what is happening? Students, intellectuals, Monks vs. farmers, Urban people vs. farmers, South vs. North, West vs. Northeast?
A good and honest leader will realize it is time to go, for the sake of the country.
But he is not!
I admire Thai people for how much peaceful they are, I admire the way the protest have been held but the more it goes on the more dangerous the situation may become.
Is this what Takshin is waiting for? So that he can declare the State of emergency? So he can have THE DEFINITIVE ABSOLUTE POWER?

What about the situation in the South? It is all forgotten now?
What did he do to solve the problems over there, another State of Emergency but did something change?
Maybe Southern people could not easily be bought with 500 or 1.000 bahts notes like my fellow “Prachachon Issarn”?
Why didn’t he do his “unbelievable” reality show in Yala or Pattani instead of Roi Et?

Why is he not going and allow the country to move forward?

I know I am a falang so maybe I shall shut up since I am a guest of this land and I have no Thai passport but I love this country more than my own for sure, I wish I could vote here instead doing by correspondence to my own land.
My daily life is here, my friends are here and I care for them, that’s why I can not watch in silence.
When you see a friend in trouble, whatever the color of his passport is, don’t you worry for him? Won’t you try to help him? Won’t you hope he can overcome the bad times?
This will be possible here, only when Takshin will pack his bags and go somewhere to enjoy all the wealth he has amassed during the latest years as PM.
Now he has the chance to relax and enjoy life, why can’t he just do that?

It is not a matter of party color, not about being right wing or left wing is just about a man who with his stubbornness is bringing the country on the brink of disaster. He shall go not TRT be banned, then let’s have the elections.

Of course if one day this will happen, there would be the “not so little matter” who will be the one to replace him, are we sure this person will be better than him?
No, but I doubt he can be worse.

Love and Peace

BAN NAUDOM, March 16th, 2549



I am sitting inside “Tawan Daeng” a Bar/Restaurant where soon Pongsit Kumphee will be playing live.
I like this place a lot, its walls are all painted in red, its lights are red and there are huge paintings of Che Guevara, Karl Marx and many other communists leaders. I feel home, is good to know that some corner of the world are still… red!

At ten o’clock sharp the notes of “Kid Tueng” start to fill the air, Pongsit really seems to be in good shape and so his group. Few acoustic tunes and then the sound of the electric guitars are literally calling the fans to dance close to the stage.
Not much talking, some jokes, sometimes Poo takes the time to sign some autographs (he did even sign my “Takshin get out” cap), to shake some hands and after that he would leave his music do the talking again.

He sings some of his classics, I really like “Sood jai” and “Yoo khon deaw”, wonderful music which reaches the climax with a thundering version of “Yod Chai”, rock music at his best.
Sadly after two hours of great songs an acoustic, nearly a-cappella rendition of “Tah laud way lah”, sung by the whole public marks the end of the show.
I wish for more, many of my favorites such as “Tueng Puen”, “Wung”, “Kuern Pliew” or “Luh Issarn” were missing from the set but I really did enjoy every minute of this show.

A concert played by a man who surely loves his music, a man who surely loves his fans, not an overpaid superstar but a regular and honest guy who clearly enjoyed to be among us.
No merchandising, nothing else than music and real, good “Sanook”, the joy to be together and to share the same passion and a wonderful night.
I was the only “falang” in the attendance but I really felt part of it, no differences, all people where there for this man and his music, no divisions of passport or color.

During the show I often did look around me and I could only see happy people around me, people peacefully enjoying themselves and this made me feel happy inside, I like so much the sight of happy people around me, and this was one of those magic moments where you can forget for an hour or two all struggles and enjoy yourself with your fellow human beings.

Thanks Pongsit and thanks “Tawan Daeng” for making it possible.
Please come back to Surin, soon.

BAN NAUDOM, March 12th 2549

© – Copyright CLAUDIO ROMANO


Not so long ago I did read that soon Laos will have free elections, there will be just a very, very small peculiarity: only one party will be allowed to contest, obviously the one in power, no opposition allowed. Fair elections, indeed.
I then thought: ”it is Laos, look at the bright side, it may be the first step towards democracy”.
I could never imagine that same thing would be happening here in Thailand. Our beloved PM called new elections in a hurry, leaving the opposition unprepared and, in this way, making sure of his win.
Then the opposition rightly did decide to boycott the vote, maybe hoping that some dignity will somewhere surface and the whole farcical elections would be called off.
Nope, the greed of power is too strong and on April 2nd, Thailand will witness the most farcical election ever seen (pity it is not April 1st, that would have made more sense).

I always thought of politicians as the big business and financial power’s puppets. The real power is never in their, tied, hands but in those who “remote control” them (see Bush/Cheney/Halliburton). In Thailand we went a step further, the business grasped power, the financial power came out of the shadow and took over, not needing a puppet anymore, now its POWER is total, either financial and political.

Call it democracy?
Someone may object that nearly all Issarn (for example) did vote TRT. True, but with all respect due, I do live among these people. They are truly nice and good hearted people but with absolute no awareness about politics. They are ready to take a 500 baht note from anyone, a box of Mekhong wiskhey and cast the vote for the “benefactor”.
Why? Maybe they have been neglected, subdued for so long that, with their typical “Mai pen Rai attitude”, they know that whoever they may vote nothing will change and nothing will improve for them, so better take some immediate profit.
Maybe they are wiser than myself who I still believe in justice, I still get angry when I am witness of abuse of power, of the exploitation of the poor and when I see absolute no concerns for Human Rights.

Call it democracy? What is the alternative?
Absolute Monarchy? Maybe in Thailand it would be working, I sincerely think His Majesty the King would be a great leader for this country, people really love him and He is really genuinely concerned about them.
Impossible I fear. I wish, at least, that someone like Him will come up from the political ranks.
But then I look a bit further north, in the Kingdom of Nepal whose crown is still red with blood, where the present King had no hesitation to kill his own brother (the previous King) and his family to get power, thus igniting a cruel civil war in the country.

Dictatorship? Left or right? No difference, it scare me just to look across the Cambodian border and think what did happened not so long ago, with the world watching .. but of course there was no oil in Cambodia.

Anarchy? A dream, but clearly an utopia. A world where men would not need any government where human being could live in peace and harmony with self-governance, where there would be no rich and no poor… but better I stop dreaming, without awareness this will never happen.
And who shall give awareness to the masses? The ones in power who, in any case, only are attempting to become more powerful and the shortcut to achieve that is:
keep down the masses, never give awareness to the them. So?

Back at the starting point and I begin to wonder if those poor unaware Issarn farmers have understood things much better and faster than me… nothing will ever change… so take some money and enjoy some “Sanook”… and “Mai pen rai”.
I don’t know if I ever will be able to do that but it may really be the only option left.

Sad isn’t it?

© – Copyright


It is now more than 15 years since I started traveling around Asia because of the custom made “job” that has become my life.
I do not like to call it a “work”, but it is always much better than any other pompous and, perhaps, cheap terms I have been hearing in this span of time. Contrary to someone’s behavior we are absolutely not world savers guys, just people lucky enough to work with and for others and to have the chance to enrich ourselves with so many wonderful experiences and emotions.
During this period of time I have seen so many tears, so many tragedies, a lot of suffering, desperation and resignation: last among many the Tsunami.

I daily read in the newspapers stories of wars, tortures, oppressions of hundreds of innocent people, killers in the name of God, millions of starving children while a few “chosen ones” they become wealthy on their skin and skulls and I wonder… in what kind of world are we living.

But one fine day I am asked to help to re-establish a contact between two people that for a very long time, a lot of time were lost in the different waves of life.

In fact, I had the privilege to help a child (I will call her Melody, as her friends do) to get back in contact with her mother again. The lady, when she was 17 years old, left the baby shortly after her birth in an institute for adoptions, she has been left by the father and this was her only chance left.
Surely nothing special in these parts of the world, in fact the girl that lives next to me in Ban Naudom endured the same fate, the only difference is that her grandmother is now taking care of the baby and saving her from giving him up to some institution.

But it is not this story that struck my heart but the words of the letter that Melody wrote her mother, every single word dipped in the ink of love for a woman that she never met but once few months ago.
Reading the words of this 13 years old really opened my heart and made me look at the power of love, a power that enable us to overcome every trauma and every obstacle in our life.

I don’t personally know Melody but it doesn’t matter, I think of her as an extraordinary young woman I hope only that the world and life will not take away from her the immense gift she has: the power of unconditional love.
I don’t even know her adoptive parents, but no doubt they are wonderful people because they have tried everything to enable their daughter to find her biological mother.
I know that in many of such cases there is lot of jealousy, the fear of losing the child’s affection and love but it did not happened in this case.
For this I admire them a lot, I totally admire this family that has allowed me to acknowledge that love is still among people even though in a world pervaded with hatred.

Melody’s words have been for me like rays of sunshine piercing the black clouds that overhang our planet and our own existence.

Love is still there!

PS> for those who may wonder what the hell such story has to do with a Thai “cultural” blog, please know that both mother and, obviously, daughter are Thai.
Their story is emblematic of the many problems that exists in this country and, moreover, the attitude of this young girl reflects, in my humble opinion, that of many Thai people I know: naturally joyful, loving, accepting, blessing and grateful people.

Ban Naudom, March 6th 2549


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