In Bangkok, there is a T-shirt that’s popular with tourists.
On the front it reads: SAME SAME, on the back it reads: BUT DIFFERENT.
I found that XXL saying true this weekend following another shooting in Uptown.
Now after living in China, I know what firecrackers sound like.
And living in Uptown, I know what bullets sound like.
And just like the popular tourist T-shirt, there is a difference.
I was on the phone with my sister when the rapid fire sounds came thru the window.
Fast and quick, but not as fast as a string of Black Cats.
A few of the bangs were louder than others, some a slightly different pitch.
They were followed by screams and swearing.
That’s definitely not part of an early 4th celebration.
I hung up.
Outside was a zoo. Along with a shedding of feathers and trash from the pride parade,
there were tons of people on Wilson, too many for me to feel comfortable.
The shooting started near Everyone’s Coffee the spread to the McDonald’s at the Sheridan Wilson intersection. But I wasn’t lovin’ it.
Figuring that a drunken crowd wearing feathers and carrying firearms could never be a good thing, I headed back to Jesus Jail and watched the circus from my window.
I went out a bit later, when things settled down.
The parade watchers were gone.
The yellow crime scene tape was replaced by red, which usually means the shooting was a fatality.
Another tidbit I sadly now know.
Now while I go on with my life, somewhere, a mom got a phone call. Her life is forever changed. A trip to the morgue. A funeral with a closed casket and a few sprays of carnations.
And lots of tears.
And when her tears hit the ground, they will make the same sound as the tears shed in China by a billionaire who loses her son while vacationing in France.
Some things are the same.
A friend made a comment that this Ronald McDonald looked like he was praying.
“No,” I replied, “he’s from a McDonald’s in Bangkok. His hands are in the “wai” position,” I explained, “a Thai greeting, that looks a lot like he’s saying a prayer.”
“Just maybe, if he was at the McDonald’s at Wilson and Sheridan, things would be different,” she replied.
Ya never know.