Friday, July 8, 2005


Its now 2:30 am and a loud series of noises has woken me from my light sleep. I see light flashes out the window and various series of "pop-pop, bang-bang-bang" noises assaults me ears. I start by assuming it is some sort of strange storm or perhaps a transformer has blown (since electric service here is not that great anyway). Its coming from in front of the hotel. I take a quick look and there are two cars, one on its side, in the road across from the hotel with people hiding behind them. I see sparks come off of roof of the car. Dressing quickly, I leave my room for a window in the hallway that affords a better view.

There is a black van with POLICE on it and several officers using it for cover. They are holding up some type of rifle or pistol and aiming at the other two cars. This is a shootout!

I get back to the room and call the front desk but get no answer. I grab a few things and put on shoes, ready to evacuate if necessary. Earlier in the week, there was a "terrorist" attack on a government facility in another Indian city that resulted in several deaths. I wasn't sure if they were related but I wasn't going to wait. Not after London.

I tried the front desk one more time and someone answered. They explained that the police were dealing with some people who robbed a bank up the street and I should stay in my room away from the windows. Well, that's batter than terrorists anyway. I occasionally glanced out the window and eventually saw one of the people by the cars (robbers?) fall and the others bolted for the park. Within several minutes it was all over and now, less than an hour later, you wouldn't even have known it happened.

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