Mondays aren't normally the kindest of days, as the weekend's relaxing rhythms give way to the metallic thump of the working week. One of my favourite pop tunes from childhood was the melodramatic I Don't Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats. It struck a chord with me and my classmates as we trudged to school on rainy Monday mornings. Bangkok, however, wakes up on Mondays to a splash of colour that seems to put a smile on most faces. The hue is canary yellow, and it's the 'birthday colour' of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was born on Monday, December 5, 1927, and in Thailand that means yellow; each day of the week has its own colour. In June, Thailand celebrated the king's 60th year on the throne with a national outpouring of love and respect. Thais lined up for hours to buy shirts with royal insignia, and the streets were filled with millions of people clad in yellow. Most stuck with the official polo shirt or T-shirt; others grabbed yellow items out of their wardrobes and joined in. Since then, some royalists have stuck to wearing their yellow shirts every day - particularly at government workplaces, where it's an accepted alternative to the standard dress code. Bangkok business forums are often all-yellow affairs. The standard day for yellow is Monday. Climb on a bus or train on Monday morning and you may find that almost everyone is wearing yellow - even foreign residents. If you didn't know better, you might think that the Norwich City football club was in town with its canary shirts. Around August 12, there was a brief switch to sky blue, which is the birthday colour of Queen Sirikit, but since then yellow seems back to stay. One observer compared the yellow-shirt phenomenon to Americans draping themselves in their national flag, particularly after the September 11 attacks. Certainly there's a strong sense of unity among the Thais who choose to honour their monarch in this way. The country may not be under attack, but Thais are feeling the strain of a political split over the fate of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Emotions are running high, and sporadic clashes between rival camps have stoked fears of violence. So everyone can rally around the yellow royalist spirit. Just as in the US, though, Thai politicians have scrambled to drape themselves in the same colours - to put a yellow gloss on their latest power plays, as it were. It's becoming harder to tell the pro- and anti-Thaksin camps apart, since everyone is clad in yellow. The only other problem, apart from the political posturing, is that yellow isn't always a flattering colour. My ethnic Chinese wife tells me that her mother used to warn her that Asians don't look good in yellow. But that's not a sentiment that carries far on a Monday morning in Bangkok.