THAILAND: The Golden Lining

In Thailand every cloud, even one so dark as the ill-omened Year of the Goat, has a silver—and sometimes a gold—lining. Just as the astronomers had predicted, the Year of the Goat was bad. Day after day it plunged Thailand into gloom with the revelation of one misfortune after another: two solar eclipses in one year, a holiday bus crash in which 22 people died, the deaths of a number of prominent Thais. Only last week, on the very eve of the goat's departure, a live bomb accidentally fell from...