After awhile--you can only watch so much of a protracted cremation--I decided to take a break and enjoy a joyride on the Sky Train to see what was happening in town, for all public transportation is free today. Here is the Plaza Athenee' from Ploenchit Station:
To my cultural shock, everyone was in black, except me:
As I sat down, in shorts and short sleeve, I noticed that the train was at around 30F, warming a bit when the doors opened to waft in the hot air. I decided so much for a long train ride and freeze. I decided to return to the hotel to see that the road was closed:
There were police and soldiers all over the place, and only after a few gesticulations, did they allow me into my hotel:
I went in and was not allowed to use the elevators because there was royalty from six countries staying here, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and they were about to leave for the ceremonies.
After a half hour wait, I finally made it back to my room and took a bath with a glass of white wine. On TV, here is the Royal Family, with King Maha Vajiralongkorn to the right. He is in red, while the Buddhist priests are clad in saffron, about the only exceptions to black.
As this is around 5PM, I gather they will sit around for another five hours, moving on occasion to pay their respects. The fire will be lit in the Royal Crematorium at 10 PM.
In the meantime, thoughout the country, citizens are placing sandalwood blossoms at the 85 Royal Crematorium replicas
At 6PM I went to our Executive Lounge to see if there was sufficient sustenance for dinner.
Here you ordered drinks from a bar. I started with a gin martini on rocks with two olives and a Thai meal with Singha Beer:
My first Thai cuisine on this trip. I liked everything, and decided to have a second course of salad, dessert and a cappuccino:
I've now been watching the Royal Cremation for three hours, and haven't yet caught a glimpse of General Mattis. He was not in the front row, so that says something.