Flooding in Thailand- Going to Our House

 

I'm heading to see our house- behind me near the water tank. I'm so excited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nice policeman gives us a ride-- half mile from the house

 

A view from our front balcony

 

 

 

Our neightbor, Pit, gave us a ride back to dry land in homemade boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our house

Our house- a view from, Pit's boat, We're going in to Bangkok

 

People living and parking anywhere the road is dry

A view of Don Muang Airport- Oldest airport for Bangkok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customs House, Don Muang Airport. Roofs of cars visible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another post about the devastating floods of Thailand from a personal point of view. My wife and I had to return to our house to get paperwork for a Visa. We have a one year Visa but we are required to check in with immigration every 90 days because—well I really don’t know why but that’s the way it is. We also wanted to check on the condition of our house.

We left our farm in Pak Chong at 6:00am and had to take a van into Bangkok. I didn’t drive my truck because we had no idea of the conditions. The van driver knew every back road to avoid the floods- almost. We skirted the floods but did have to travel through a foot or two of water from time to time. We had to take the van to Bangkok but found we were passing close to our house on Klong 5 so the driver let us out.

We took a city bus to within ½ a mile from Klong 5 road. We had to wait from some kind soul in a pickup or larger truck to offer us a ride and were soon standing at the entrance to our road. Water was everywhere but we were there and off we went into the water. It wasn’t as bad I as I thought but it wasn’t clean water. The water had gone down about 1.5 feet from its highest point. We waded through waist deep water to find the water level was below the entrance of our house.

We had earlier reports from ‘eyewitnesses’ and they told us the water was three feet deep in the house. What we found was it had only been about 7 inches deep inside. It was very dirty but the power was still on and we had county water still working. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the refrigerator door and the light came on. And the ice was still cubed.

All in all we lost very little, but have a big clean up coming. The only thing I lost was my motorcycle. The engine was full on water and oil. I have a big rebuild job coming.

[The worst part of this is the water is not moving. It went down about one inch while we were there. The city of Bangkok is doing all it can to keep water out—and they aren’t succeeding. What they are doing is letting the water backup and settle outside the city. There are people and houses that have been in the nasty water for more than 3 months. This can’t all be blamed of the government but for the first three months it was every community for itself trying to save their little piece of land at the expense of the farmers and others. Industry has taken priority over people but the factories are flooded now. Allowing factories and housing to be built in the greenways and flood channels is a real problem that must be solved in the future.]

None of our neighbors were there but two women, in a house on the road behind, never left. One’s name is Pit and she was so happy to see us. She had made a raft out of 4, 55 gallon drums and offered to take us to the dry road when we were ready. I say hello to everyone and try to speak to our neighbors and it paid off in kindness.

We stayed 2 days on the second floor of our house while we cleaned as much as we could. That smell will take a very long time to leave the house and my mind.

Pit showed up early in the morning with her raft and we gave her what bottle water we had, packs of dry noodles and a few cokes to help her and her sister. She would accept no money. She will remain as a shining star in the misery of the flood.

We again had to wait for someone to offer us a ride across the water and then make our way to Bangkok. We didn’t have to wait long. A very nice man took us all the way to the main road and we started bartering to get a ride into the city. A very old red government bus stopped and the drive announced that the bus was going to where we wanted to go—Victory Monument. And the ride was free- provided by the city.

It took two hours to go about five miles to the toll way because only a few lanes were open. People were forced to park their cars and trucks on every piece of dry road.  Once on the toll way—which was also free to everyone—we passed over the terrible flooding almost to the center of Bangkok. We passed Don Muang Airport—the old airport, which is still used for many flight in and out of Thailand. The name means High Ground, but the floods had swamped the airport with aircraft left there.

Cars and trucks were parked everywhere and people were living on the elevated roadway. Report of looters kept many people near their property. Many people are still living in their flooded homes for this reason and they are suffering in the fetid water.

We were able to finally take care of our Visa paperwork and head back to the farm. It took over five hours—normally a 2 hour trip—to reach Pak Chong. We passed the main airport for Bangkok and the water is headed that way.

I hope all of you who read this little post will think about all the suffering that is going on in Thailand and really around the world. There are many people facing natural disasters that we never hear about.

We are safe and we are lucky and this has not changed my mind about Thailand or the wonderful people that live here. The smiles are returning.

I would like to add. I don’t mean to sound bitter about the government actions. We have met Military and Policemen and women who have extended every kindness to us outside Bangkok. Many are helping bring food to the people, get the old and injured to hospitals, and give rides in and out of the flood waters. Thai people do care for one another and it is good to see.

Also these floods are only affected the central flood plains and most of Thailand is free from the flood waters. Come to Thailand for the time of your lives!

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8 responses to “Flooding in Thailand- Going to Our House

  1. Dannie, I’m so happy to hear you and Julee are safe. It does break my heart a bit reading your post, knowing that people continue to live in horribly flooded conditions, not getting clean water.

    Thailand is one of my favorite places on earth, and these floods would not deter me from returning. If anything, the resilience of the people through this time is what attracts me and makes me want to go back even more.

    Your writing and pictures are such vivid and emotional accounts of the conditions you’re in. I feel so fortunate you’re able to share it with us. Thanks so much for keeping us up to date on how you are, and stay safe, lovely man.

    eden
    xox

    • Thank you, Eden. Your words are always filled with encouragement and support.

      You are so right about the Thai people. They can live in almost any conditions and find a little joy in it and smile. I can’t wait to send pictures of life after the floods and write happy post.

  2. Like Eden,

    I’m delighted that you and your wife are safe and ready to return to your home. The devastation must have affected so many people, but as you said in your other message, the Thais are strong and good people, and they would deal with whatever the nature has done to test their strength and resilience.

    Like your photos, although to experience them is not so much fun.

    Thailand is on my list to visit, so I look forward to reading more about life there 🙂 Take care and be safe!

    • You will really enjoy Thailand when you come, Junying. Smiling will be a requirement for the visit.

      Even in the pictures I find a bit of joy. I took quite a few that I may look at only once in a while just to see the heart of the Thai poeple.

    • Hey, Buddy! I got up early in the morning after we arrived and looked down in the street with the morning sun shining down into the mirky water and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a school of big fish– 2-3 pounders– looking up at me. There must have been fifty of them. All my fishing gear was at the farm. If we had stayed longer I would have figured out something.

      It’s really great to hear from you, Lamar. I hope you and your family are all doing great! Thanks for making me laugh!

  3. Hey Papa,
    It is GREAT to hear you and mom are doing well. I am really happy that you can still get on your website and enlighten everyone on the situation and find a brighter way of expressing it! I give my sympathy and prayers to the people of Thailand, but I do know it will change soon and be back to the beautiful country it is known for. It is to bad your chopper is dead for a little while. You can send it to me and I will tune it up for you. LOL I might have a bunch of afghan parts on it but it will work. LOL
    Keep writing Dad. And it is really interesting and kind of cool that that an old man like yourself has his own web site! LOL Love you Papa

    • Hi Son. One of my kids has finally commented on my site. I’m thrilled. Writing is one of the few things us old people can do without straining something, lol. I do appreciate where you are and am very proud of what you are doing. I wouldn’t mind a few Afghan part on the bike– might make it go faster when the shooting starts. Mom an I are safe and almost ready to go back to the house. Our neighbor reports she can’t use her boat now which means the water is going down. Love you!

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