APEC--The Inside Story...

by Tara Russell, Apr 29, 2004 | Destinations: Thailand / Bangkok

APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Convention) is in the air in BKK.....and on the news and in the paper and splattered across the billboards and looking underneath your car when you pull into a building and hovering around the streets disguised in police uniforms and on every Bangkok resident's mind as they sit, sit, sit in traffic for even LONGER than usual. Waiting for a political entourage or a "disguised" world leader (George W.) or global official's daughter's boyfriend's cousin's car to pass by or waiting for a practice round for one of these very important people to pass by.

Thailand's government seemingly received a memo with the wrong acronym descriptions for APEC. Prime Minister Taksin and his team apparently interpreted APEC as A Perfect Eastern Country, which of course would be referring to Thailand. We have no problems here. Perfect Thailand.

The front page of the newspapers has been full of articles of the "nearing perfection" evidence. The stray dogs in town have been "rounded up" for the beautification and protection of our world leaders. Of course, the dogs have only been "rounded up" from very specific areas of town (funny that these seem to be the same places that the APEC meetings and events will be taking place!). In addition to the dogs, the homeless people have been removed from certain areas of town. In fact, they've flown many (600) of the homeless people (again, from a very specific location of town) back to Cambodia. Another interesting tidbit can be found on the internet, or should I say, could have been found on the internet about a month ago....on the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority website....but now it's gone. Previously, you could have researched all the community information about Bangkok (i.e. the number of slum communities in town and the number of people in Bangkok living in slum communities). Gone. Also, gone from the local libraries. Gone. All of the government offices and schools will be closed during the APEC meetings in Bangkok. In fact, many of the other businesses in town will close as well. We surely wouldn't want to give important world leaders the impression that Bangkok has traffic!

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