Watching for snipers down Ratchaprarop Road
Okay, I’ll admit it: curiosity got the better of common sense. I’d planned on staying in the quiet Banglamphoo district and avoiding the ongoing fighting between the army and protesters. And I successfully did so for a full two hours, then gave in and headed downtown.
I ended up at a corner of Ratchaprarop Road, about a quarter-mile away from the Ratchaprarop-DinDaeng intersection where heavy fighting had continued since the previous day. As I walked up the street, I noticed that a large number of Thais were gathered on a side street and peering carefully around the corner. As I joined them, a young woman said “sniper”, pointed down the street, and made a slitting gesture across her throat.
I looked down and saw a fresh bullet hole in the curb at my feet. Then I looked to my right and realized I was standing next to a young red shirt supporter who was wearing a black ski mask and taking photos. I quickly decided that this might not be the best spot to hang out and moved to the other side of the street, where I spent a few hours listening to distant gunfire and talking to people about what had occurred there in the last 24 hours.