While I am writing this the Thai king is celebrating his birthday or, rather, the Thai people are celebrating it. You could not possibly imagine what a fuzz they make about this.
For the first time his birthday will be celebrated in Hua Hin. The king has spent a long time in hospitals, is very fragile and has been in his summer palace in Hua Hin since his last release from hospital in August.
Today he is giving a “Grand Public Audience” near the palace and the road has been blocked since early this morning. Already days ago they decorated the road around the palace with lights and shrines and a lot of fabrics. Yesterday when I went to Hua Hin in the afternoon there were already loads and loads of people that had staked a piece of the side-walk where they camped till today to see the motorcade of the king pass by! You could not imagine the hype.
On my way home from Hua Hin there was such a traffic congestion on the road that it took me 1-1/2 hours for the 20km.
The king turned 86 today and he looks awful. But they cannot let him die. Not now. Without him Thailand would disintegrate. So, the wonders of modern medicine are used to keep him breathing and show him to the public from time to time. I wonder how long this can carry on…
There is no other country with one person that is loved and worshipped by so many people as Bhumbol in Thailand!