IN THE CRYING CITY

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. 

One of the many commemorative images of the King at entry to buildings.  Black and white ribbons are everywhere in the City.

One of the many commemorative images of the King at entry to buildings.  Black and white ribbons are everywhere in the City.

Television presenters are in all black, against a black background. 

Television presenters are in all black, against a black background. 

Another enormous billboard. This screen would also show film clips of the King. 

Another enormous billboard. This screen would also show film clips of the King. 

Stores are full of black and white merchandise.

Stores are full of black and white merchandise.

Lili wearing her lapel ribbon. 

Lili wearing her lapel ribbon. 

Would you like a black shirt or a black shirt? 

Would you like a black shirt or a black shirt? 

This was inside a fancy mall.  

This was inside a fancy mall.