I found out about Black Songkran’s showdown from Los Angeles Times website.
Here in LA, if Thailand makes the home page of LA Times it’s either a) slow news day, b) some fit really hit the shan, or both.
US news media is absolutely worthless in times like these. As I ran from the computer to turn on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX all we got was local political talking heads. CNN Headline News added insult by having Nancy Grace on yapping about something so sensationalized it shouldn’t even be news.
I ran back to the computer and fired up BBC News, Bangkok Pundit, and Twitter search for #thailand. I followed the chatters well into the night. I called it quit around 1 a.m.
I took my cellphone with me to bed just in case someone would call. I didn’t sleep much that night, and actually even had myself a nightmare.
Obviously, my nightmare was nothing compare to what people were living through on the streets of Bangkok that day/night.
But being so far away with news so few and far between because of the time difference, I’m sure many Thai expats like me in the US were worried sick. (For some reason, I’m sure CNN in Europe would pay more attention to the WORLD.)
The next morning, I repeated the drill with my internet lifelines. On my phone. At the office. I informed my boss of the situation and warned her of my expected absentmindedness for the day.
As day broke in the US, the chatters again died down. I didn’t worry any less.
My dad was okay. My brothers were out of harm’s way. Everyone I know so far were nowhere near the action.
So what am I worried about, you ask?
I fear for my country. I fear for the people.
I fear that Thailand I knew and loved would no longer exist when I woke up in the morning.
I cried for my country and my King. My heart broke as I watched my countrymen took to the streets with molotov cocktails and soldiers firing back.
Anger. Frustration. Hurt. Sadness. Anxiety.
I know these emotions well. They were cozying up to me when I knew my mom wasn’t going survive her fight against cancer.
They were the emotions of those who mourn.
Even though Thailand is still Thailand, in away She is no longer the Mother I knew.
My Motherland had died.
Perhaps She had been dead for a couple of years, but the loss wasn’t so profound until I saw the bus went up in flames and a video shot in the night of protesters throwing molotov cocktails at the soldiers and running them down with cars.
Supposedly, same blood flows through all of our veins. Supposedly, we are all of the same Father.
To be Thai, by definition of the word, is to be free.
How brothers and sisters turned against each other–not only Reds or Yellows, but also Buddhists and Muslims–we are enslaved to hatred, and in the political scene, greed.
We on the sideline only could watch from the far tower as our brothers and sisters figuratively–and literally, come to think of that–burn our country down.
Nothing much we can do but watch.