A sudden effect or event that makes a dramatic impact, especially an unexpected burst of energy or sound, generally followed by palpable silence.
Also known as Thai Criminal Code Section 112; after the coup, charges for defaming royalty increased significantly, especially against opponents of the military regime.
Banged open so that diaries, clipped articles, hard drives, ungraded papers, filing cabinets could be stolen; often, the professors themselves also went missing, either to attitude adjustment centers, or over borders into Burma and Cambodia; one professor was in the bathroom when soldiers came for him, but a sympathetic colleague texted him to hide, then flee.
Broadcast to every small and distant town on the evening national radio, listing who was to report to the Bangkok detention center at 8:00 a.m. the next day.
But there were so many days of hushed fears about civil war before that.
Ends with signing a paper that you will no longer speak, post, or gather against the junta.
Etymologists disagree if the word means “free man,” or simply “people” or “human being.”
For sale at the Sunday Walking Street night market. I made the dumb move of busting into a conversation between a mother and salesman discussing what size would fit her son. “Isn’t that the man who killed millions of people?” I said in Thai, with the requisite smile of politeness. After the coup, I would have kept my objection to myself.
Formerly for hipsters, this thoroughfare now saw tanks and soldiers parked in wait at all hours.
Had long hair, loved to read, wore plain white T-shirts, until suddenly there it was, his name on the radio, and he was not there.
Results in no more texting, calling, googling, e-mailing, gathering, sharing, whispering, sleeping.
How you must behave when you are in someone else’s country.
I threw away my alphabet a few months in, graduating to syllables, grammar. I thought understanding a place meant accumulating vocabulary.
My tires skid around it and I nearly spill out. I’m minutes late on motorbike for the military’s 10:00 p.m. curfew.
Once read in public by silent groups of students in the weeks after the coup, this book is now banned.
Perhaps you saw it coming: intense, irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.
Polite particle, female, at the end of any phrase; can be used to express acknowledgment, agreement, compliance.
Demographic whose personal agency becomes unsettling now that their required scout uniform and public school militaristic morning drills don’t seem so innocent.
The Spanish say golpe de estado. The Thai term stretches a syllable longer than the original French, transliterated here for readers as rát-tà-bprà-hăan.
Thai consonants are linked with familiar forms beginning with that letter: the “G” sound with a chicken, or the “M” sound, a horse. This letter type, though: just the unnamed sound itself.
Surprised to hear there was a coup at all since everyone they met was still smiling.
Transliteration of someday or one of these days. In Thai, the “W” letter, associated with the word for ring, is the thirty-seventh letter in the alphabet.
What my Thai friends called me. I miss that name. I miss being called.
We congregated there after conversations had to move offline. The owner was lesbian and once loaned my partner and me a huge rainbow umbrella when closing time came in the middle of a downpour. We returned the umbrella, dry, the next day.
When preceded by “military,” it signifies a dictatorship; also defined as a political group that rules a country after taking power by force.