sometimes you are the city, sometimes you are the pickaxe

He looked at me keenly. ‘There is always a city. There is always a civilisation. There is always a barbarian with a pickaxe. Sometimes you are the city, sometimes you are the civilisation, but to become that city, that civilisation, you once took a pickaxe and destroyed what you hated, and what you hated was what you did not understand.”

-The Powerbook, Jeanette Winterson

Bangkok is pretty fucked up right now. Going to buy vegetables at the local market, I saw 5-6 trucks of fresh-faced soldiers. Rumour is that the experienced soldiers don’t want to fight the red shirts anymore, so they are sending fresh recruits, not telling them where they are going.

I gave them a smile, because in movies soldiers always like smiles from pretty girls. “Morituri te salutant“, I thought.

As I write this the red shirts are parading down Pahonyothin Avenue, honking their horns. Sometimes a truck goes by with loudspeakers, The yelling is in Thai, but the tone is something we’ve heard before, in the West, in another time, and doesn’t sound like anything you want to hear again. It goes on forever.

Here is a story of Black Saturday (as it is now called) from a recruit’s perspective.

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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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