I am writing this 15 minutes before
the curfew starts on Wednesday 19 May 2010. This morning I awoke to gunfire. The
crack of an M16, and if you know that sound, then you understand this isn’t the
way to start your day. This is the fourth day I have gone to sleep with the
sound of gunfire in the background and woken up to the same sound.
It has been a long day. The phone
never stopped; neither did emails from readers around the world. For their
support and thoughts I am grateful. I appreciate your concern for my safety.
Around 2.00 p.m. I had call that
something was burning at Asoke and Sukhumvit Roads—this is a major intersection
in Bangkok—and I raced out, got on the back of a motorcycle taxi and arrived to
find tires ablaze on Asoke.
Bangkok Central World
Shopping Mall burning Early evening Wednesday 19 May 2010 Christopher G. Moore ©
Thirty meters ahead and at the
intersection, one BMA bus blocked one lane. Another bus, empty, arrived a few
minutes later and parked to block the other lanes. That part of the road was
By now, up the road and beside
Queen Sirikit Convention Centre, is the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and it
had been set on fire. I raced over to that location. A large mob had gathered on
the pavement, spilling into the street. Flames shot out of the front lobby of
the SET at three different sections. Within twenty minutes, three fire trucks
arrived but were chased away by the stone throwing mob. Behind the SET, the
Electricity Board of Thailand had a building that was also on fire.
More protesters were shot in
Bangkok during the day. It is difficult to no how this will end, and when it
ends, or what will come next. The events over the last month have left a wound
in the heart of many. It is five minutes to curfew. Then it is shoot on sight.
This is the difference between a crime novel and a war zone. In a crime zone,
the criminals operate inside their own community, trying to outsmart each other
and the cops.
In a war zone, the police no longer
functions and the whole community divides into bitter enemies, forgetting their
common humanity, and seeking revenge. Hatred and violence have become the
Siamese twins of destruction. These forces have been set free of the constraints
that normally contain them. I have seen their faces on the streets. Now it is
time go. It is 8.00 p.m. Curfew has started.
When you read this, it will be
another day for you. Stop for one second, look in the mirror and let yourself
know exactly lucky you are to be alive, away from the gunfire, burning buildings
and the constant fear. You are the lucky ones.
Christopher G. Moore’s latest
Vincent Calvino Crime Novel is The Corruptionist and can be ordered from
is website: www.cgmoore.com Also check out his blog for photos
and videos of the events in Bangkok.