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"I'm ninenteen years old now and very soon I will get to vote for members of Thailand's cabinet and senate. I'm rather proud of that."
- Rasee Govindani

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Thailand

A market, the beach, and a hospital siege
by Rasee Govindani, 19, Bangkok, Thailand
Jan 30, 2000

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Rasee

When we got into Bangkok, Ni, Johanna and I went over to a small cafe where Johanna got herself a Singapore Sling (fruit juice and rum), Ni had a pineapple juice, and I had iced coffee, which I kept trying to imagine was something...well...alcoholic. We were all badly shaken up.

It's been a very eventful three weeks for me, from our adventures to a discussion about Thai youth that Ni and I were part of, in collaboration with Thailand's English newspaper "The Nation," to a ceremony we attended at the university to receive a certificate of thanks from the student affairs office for being first runner-ups at an inter-collegiate quiz show held at Chulalongkorn University. My grades of last term are being revealed and I'm happy to report that I have a lovely number of A's to balance the D I got for Statistics. C'est la vie. At least I passed the darn class.

I'm ninenteen years old now and very soon I will get to vote for members of Thailand's cabinet and senate. I'm rather proud of that.

On an unpleasant note, I've been stopped and questioned three times now by the metropolitan police for fear that I am an illegal immigrant. I obviously don't look Thai and they aren't taking any chances. I'm beginning to get rather annoyed with them because they can be so rude and most never even apologize after looking at my ID card.

The latest news from here is probably the siege at a hospital in the province of Ratchburi. The God's Army of Burma (the ones responsible for the hostage crisis at the embassy last year) have held 200 some people hostage in the hospital. Mines have been planted outside to keep Thai soldiers from getting in. I'm not really sure what their demands are, but I think it has to do with Myanmar and not Thailand. It is predicted that this situation will end soon. I hope so.

So this is life from my little niche on this huge planet. I've never felt so old and yet I've never had so much fun with my life. Bangkok is a wonderful place to call home.

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