Post-Apec Bangkok has awakened from self-imposed sedation to reality and normality: traffic congestion, street hawkers, air and noise pollution, the reappearance of fake CDs, the city’s disappearance from the international political map, and so on. It is likely to remain so until it is venue to another major international or transnational conference.

To a certain extent—however miniscule—the Thai premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, has also been shaken from his narcissistic slumber-or so he has led us to believe. This is primarily due to the birthday speech of HM the King. In the speech the Thai monarch warns the premier on arrogance. The king insisted that HRH the Princess Mother has acted as his conscience or kalyanamitta when she was alive: “When I was 40-50 years old, my mother told me sometimes that I was great but she always added that I must not forget myself. She said I must not float and that my name ‘Bhumibol’ means that I had to keep my feet on the ground. She said when I did something good, it’s alright to know what I did but I should not be too proud.

Vol.20-No.1-Jan.-Apr.-2547-2004_compressed