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But now, the Thai capital looks, smells, and sounds like war. Rifle fire crackles throughout the day. On back alleys, protesters vowing to end the "rule of elites" concoct molotov cocktails from spent bottles of Red Bull. As I write this, pyres demarcating nighttime conflict zones light up glass skyscrapers with a hellish glow. And for the second consecutive night, explosions rumble outside my balcony's sliding glass door.