Bangkok Noir: Wednesday morning
Around 7.30 a.m. this morning I was on Silom and Rama IV waiting for the light to change. A military vehicle pulled to the curb and a half dozen combat ready soldiers climbed out with M-16 rifles. With rifles slung over their shoulders they walked passed the nervous pedestrians waiting at the light. Some averted their eyes; others couldn’t help but stare, shuffle their feet. It seemed like forever until the light changed.
I thought of other places with names starting with the letter “B” like Bosnia, Baghdad, and Beirut. Places with soldiers on the street in the early morning. And in the underground later in the morning, I saw more soldiers, more automatic weapons.
Wherever you are this morning: Germany, Canada, France, the USA, when you step out the door be grateful you won’t be awash with soldiers on patrol, looking for the next, horrible, nasty thing to happen.
Some can shrug this kind of thing off and get on with their business. There is much to be said for wearing blinkers. If you are a horse. But you are an ordinary mortal it is difficult not to be affect by the current wave of tension. Call it for what it is: fear. Intangible but real enough to make one think when city streets are patrolled by the military the narrative line looks more like war than the usual crime story.
Writers troll the blogsphere trying to learn how to get published, what to write, the importance of a hook, and on and on. In the streets of Bangkok, at the moment, none of that much matters. There is no “hook” or through story line; only a range of possibilities that are looking increasingly unpleasant.