Sunday, September 24, 2006

Violence in Thailand

From the New York Times:
Jesse Lee Daniel had just called for mustard for his chicken burger when the first bomb went off with a thud strong enough to shake the Swan Bar, where he was sitting in the southern city of Hat Yai.
After the second bomb last Saturday evening, 100 yards away at the Odeon department store, he hurried out with other foreign teachers who had been eating at the bar to take a look.
He was standing in front of the New Cherry Ancient Massage parlor, in a crowd of onlookers and masseuses, when the third bomb exploded on a motorbike parked at the curb beside them.
Mr. Daniel, a Canadian, died instantly, apparently the first Western victim of the almost daily violence that has taken more than 1,700 lives since the start of 2004 in Thailand’s largely Muslim south.
The next morning, when Boonmi Ngoeichai, 27, returned to the Swan Bar, where she works as a waitress, she discovered that the manager had saved Mr. Daniel’s chicken burger, still unsure why he had not returned to eat it.
When he learned that Mr. Daniel had been killed, the manager threw it away. But he immediately regretted what he had done, she said.
“Oh, I wish I hadn’t done that,” the manager said. “I wish I’d saved it, and I could have taken it out to feed his spirit.”

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