It has been sixteen years since I was in Bangkok. In 2000, the Thai were celebrating the King's 60 years on the throne, but this time they are crying. King Bhumibol Adulyadey died on October 13th and the county has been plunged into a year of mourning.
Everyone is wearing somber colours, black and shades of grey. Everyone. It is awkward for us since in my family we never wear black, and we also avoid dark colours. Out of respect, we did buy black lapel ribbons that many people are also wearing. Clothes vendors in the streets and boutiques only display monochrome clothes.
'Joyful' entertainment - including cinemas, concerts, dancing, clubs etc. - has all been cancelled for the immediate 30 days following the death. Television channnels have cancelled normal programming and are running black and white interviews and archival footage of the King.
This is a very special time in Thailand.