Thai election coverage update

well it looks like the world is finally paying attention to the Thai election with a good report in the Guardian (syndicated in the SMH among others), a good piece in the NYTimes on the impact of the social changes of the last twenty years on rural Thailand. I have a little anecdote to add to the NYT report – almost everywhere we went everyone had fairly zippy smartphones, even though there’s no 3G service worth a damn outside of Bangkok. In itself this is not unusual, in poor countries the mobile networks have often leapfrogged the wired infrastructure and are simply more pervasive – I’ve seen similar effects in Laos and Morocco.

Anyway, the anecdote. We were riding in a tuk tuk in Ao Nang when the driver muttered ‘sorry’ and pulled over to the side of the road, and pulled out a state of the art Blackberry, and checked his Twitter feed, grunted, tapped a reply and off we set again. Now it makes sense that a tuk tuk man would have a smart phone, even if it represents a considerable investment, as he doubtless gets jobs and bookings by email and text message – but twitter?

(For people deeply interested in the Thai election the Bangkok Post remains the most up to date with coverage with news of a possible offshore deal about Thaksin and another statement by the army saying that they won’t intervene.)


About dgm

IT professional, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical and medieval historian ...
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