political awareness in thailand, anti-globalization
i was reading the bangkok post this morning and it has some really interesting articles. thai people from rural provinces are fighting the spread of the tesco/lotus supermarket chain. they are petitioning to tony blair to help. they say in the article that they are worried about the destructive effects on local communities because people in villages/small towns go to shops for social contact and conversation. having large chains would make the local shops go out of business and destroy their sense of community as well as their livelihoods. i am glad they are fighting it.
also after i arrived in bangkok on the second day i was taking a tuk tuk somewhere and rode past a demonstration of many women dressed in overalls with chains of bras strung together like banners. it was an anti-victoria secrets protest. hurrah!
since i've been here, apart from the ubquitous 7-11's, boots, starbucks, kfc and macdonalds there are very few chains. also these chain stores seem to be mostly restricted to bangkok - i have seen very few outside and they are certainly not on every street like in the UK or US.