With hindsight, I should have suspected something was amiss. None of my fellow compatriots spoke a word of Thai. I was more than a little puzzled at their t-shirts saying Bersih 4, since I didn’t know what that meant.
All I know is that I woke up on the 29th of August and drove to join the PAD (no, that’s not a transcription error for DAP – it actually means People’s Alliance for Democracy or พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย) – the yellow shirts.
I didn’t know how long I was driving but I got stuck at Kelana Jaya so I stopped my car and went with the sea of yellow to board the LRT.
I saw them getting off at Pasar Seni LRT and went with them, expecting to rally against Thaksin.
I thought it was great that there were so many foreigners with us, it seemed like the royalist movement is really gaining some serious momentum!
The crowd got stopped by a veritable wall of police at the barricades around Dataran Merdeka so we walked up the highway flyover.
There was a huge police presence with ballistic vests all loaded up in trucks. These personnel carriers are all full of our dutiful men in blue at the back, and even had drivers at their seats, ready to deploy.
Of course, I thought it was slightly perplexing that the emblems spelled “POLIS” instead of “POLICE” but I didn’t give it much thought at the time.
It was, after all, a beautiful day and I managed to go all the way to the front of the stage where the speakers were.
The speeches were a little confusing to me since there were bits I didn’t quite understand – keywords like “1MDB”, “Najib”, and “USD 700 million” were being bandied around. Baffling! I honestly don’t know what that had to do with Shinawatra.
I sat down in front and absorbed the bewildering and unfamiliar atmosphere, mulling and brooding over what was going on.
Suddenly, it dawned on me – this *wasn’t* about Yingluck…
It seems that in my haste, I had driven all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I was at the banned Bersih 4 protest in KL!
Words cannot describe how shocked and dismayed I was to have mistakenly participated in an illegal rally, since I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen.
Thoroughly disgusted with myself, I immediately left the prohibited gathering with my Thai Patriots Network shirt. It took me 34 hours to drive back to Bangkok, indignant at my inadvertent blunder.