My trip to Thailand coincided not only with the red shirt revolution, but with the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. Not a big deal, really, unless you were in Iceland. Or—thanks to the large sheet of ash filling the skies—Europe, in general. Or anywhere in the world that Europeans may travel, including countries whose internal issues were causing Western embassies to send out warnings such as, “Do not go to [Thailand],” or “If you are in [Thailand], leave [Thailand].” One of these countries? Thailand.
This is a long way of saying that Bangkok’s hotels were full of Europeans who were, simply put, stuck. Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok’s airport) had people living on its floors, all exhausted, all wanting to go home. I learned this from a new English friend of mine, who had been stranded in Bangkok for several days. Truth be told, I don’t remember his name. Another confession (or two): I befriended him because he spoke English and had a working laptop. (Although my hotel was proficient at taking me to a pharmacy in the middle of the night, their public computers were less than helpful.)