We live in frightening times…Bombings in Phuket…

Not our photo. Police and investigators searched for clues after victims were taken to area hospitals.  See this link for details.

Having relocated to the bedroom to stay cool, as shown in a post of a few days ago, we hadn’t turned on the news in the days with the TV located in the living room. We had no idea about the 11 bomb blasts in Thailand, including several in Patong, Phuket about 30 minutes from us.

Yesterday morning, hours after the blasts, I was busy preparing the post while Tom was researching on his laptop.  Neither of us had checked the online news. By 11:00 am, we were out the door on our way to a sightseeing venue, details of which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.

After taking over 100 photos, we headed back down the highway toward the Makro store where we’ve been grocery shopping these past several weeks.  Being out like this for several hours is hard for me at this point, especially when riding so low in the seat  and on bumpy roads in the less-than-stellar rental car. But I don’t complain, especially when Tom is always at my side to help in any way he can.

With the grocery list on the app on my phone within 45 minutes we were on our way out the door, loaded with enough groceries to last at least for the next week. 

Based on our departure in 19 days, most likely we’ll only shop two more times if we carefully plan upcoming meals, as we always do, to avoid running back to the store for forgotten ingredients. 

Once we returned “home” Tom carried everything indoors while I put away all the items that didn’t require bending while he put away the remainder. In no time at all, we were settled in for the evening, content with our sightseeing outing and shopping.

As we both sat down to begin some research for future travel, almost simultaneously, we discovered the news regarding 11 bombing incidents in Thailand, many in Phuket, some not too far from us. 

Within moments, we each spotted numerous email messages (and a few comments on our site) from friends and family inquiring as to our safety. Appreciative of all the thoughtful inquiries, we quickly responded to let everyone know we were OK, we searched multiple news sources to fill us in on the details.

Thailand has been entrenched in political unrest for many years as described here from this site where the story continues:

HAVING launched more than a dozen coups in the past 80 years, Thailand’s generals were not friends of democracy. So it has been jarring to watch the country’s ruling junta praise Thais for approving an army-backed constitution in a heavily-controlled “referendum”, which took place on August 7th. Prayuth Chan-Ocha, an irascible former army chief who became prime minister after a military takeover in 2014, insists the new charter will end a decade of political instability and allow for fresh elections next year. In fact, it will not heal Thailand’s deep divisions, but make them worse. 

The constitution, Thailand’s twentieth, will keep soldiers in charge for years to come. New election rules will produce weak coalition governments that can be bossed around by bodies stacked with the junta’s friends. The generals will hand pick a 250-member senate, tasked with ensuring governments do not deviate from a 20-year program of “reforms”. They will need to convince only a quarter of the legislators in the lower house to back their choice of prime minister, who need not be an MP. Barriers to amending the constitution are prohibitive.”

The 11 bombings are described in this news story. At this point, officials aren’t certain as to the motivation of the terror attacks other than the fact that tourists were targeted. We’ll continue to watch the news for updates.

Not our photo.  Hospitals were filled with bombing victims in Thailand. See this link for details.

In the interim, we’ve decided, we won’t be heading out to any popular tourist attractions in our remaining time in Phuket. Often nightclubs and disco type bars are targeted in terror attacks, which, of course, we old-timers tend to avoid. 

But, that doesn’t negate the possibility of danger in other areas tourists may visit. Certainly now, the US Department of State will issue a travel warning to citizens considering travel to Thailand, at least for the time being. Then again, other countries have issued travel warnings to their citizens planning to visit the US.

Are we frightened? Probably no more than in any other country we’ve visited in our world travels.  In 2013, there was a terror attack at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya while we were living in Diani Beach. 

Many of our families, friends and readers contacted us regarding our safety.  We were quite a distance from Nairobi at the time, although we had a layover at the airport a short time later. Of course, we thought about the potential risk of being at the airport, especially when airports are often targeted. Click here for our comments regarding this terror attack here at this link.

After leaving Kenya, a favorite restaurant at a local resort where we dined on many occasions was bombed a month after we’d left for South Africa. Oh, the list could go on and on with attacks in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and many other countries we’ve visited.

And now, only months away from returning to the US for a family visit, we sadly think of the loss of lives in many US states as a result of terrorist attacks, political unrest and racially motivated attacks. The list goes on and on.

Yes, traveling the world increases these risks. But, no place on this earth is free from tragedy, natural disasters and attacks motivated for a variety of reasons. We can choose to live our lives to the fullest or we can hold back with fear and apprehension.

Based on the current attacks here in Thailand, we choose to be cautious and avoid public venues as much as we can.  In only 19 days, we’ll be on our way back to Bali for another 60 days, where many terror attacks have occurred over these past years. 

We can’t live our lives in constant fear, none of us can. We sadly mourn the loss of lives and pray for the well being of tourists and citizens who’ve fallen prey in the hands of radicals. And, we continue on with hope and prayers for the safety of those we love, for ourselves and the people of the lands we visit in our worldwide journey.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who inquired as to our safety. Your concern means the world to us both.

Stay safe.

Photo from one year ago today,  August 12, 2015:

This parasitic plant appears to be a face looking up to the sky with leaves in its mouth and throat. For more photos, please click here.