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!

A Writer in Thailand- the beginning

My first trip to Thailand became the journey that set me to return again and again. I was working and living in the Marshall Islands—two thousand miles west of Hawaii far from any other land.

I had been in a war in Viet Nam and I fell in love with Asia. Even in the middle of a conflict I found the people exotic and interesting.

I arrived in Thailand with friends and like most young men I was there to relax and enjoy the beautiful women. We were on holiday between contracts. I walked into a clothing shop where handmade tailored apparel was quickly produced. My first sight as I stepped through the door was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. All my dreams of an Asian beauty were culminated in her. She looked up from her work and our eyes locked. Being a stumbled-tongued young man I could only stare as my brain shouted, “Talk to her!”

Her English was poor but better than my Thai—since I spoke none. Her first words were, “Do you need a tour guide?” “Yes,” leaped from my lips and we arranged to meet that night. I had no idea what to expect but I knew I would agree to anything she had in mind. She admitted later she had never done anything like that before- but could see my heart was good.

We spent a month touring all of the beautiful places in and around Bangkok and the nearby sea. My friends were off to the nightclubs for fun while I visited temples, street markets, and places of Thai history. She began to teach me Thai and I was determined to learn so I could express myself to this beauty.

Later I often wondered how we got along so well. Neither of us could do more than speak in broken language, using our hands and smiles.

She took me to the sleepy little village of Pattaya—which is now a major resort area. At the time there were a few hotels and one nightclub that I remember. We spent our days walking and exploring and even hired a fishing boat to take us to the outlying islands. It was magical and I was completely in love with the country and this exotic beauty.

Thailand then and even now is a bit like going back in time to a slower pace of life. The heat requires one to slow down as it seeps into one’s bones and relaxes.

I had to return to the Marshalls and all I could think was how much I would miss Thailand and this rare flower that had captured my heart. I spoke the words I had never said to anyone before. Fear of those words was somehow ingrained in me not to say aloud. I told her I loved her and tears came to her and I thought I would be lost in her eyes. She spoke in Thai and then in English, words I never thought I would hear. She loved me! We made pledges and exchanged addresses—no email in those days—and I prepared to leave.

I returned to the beautiful Pacific but my heart stayed in Thailand to be nurtured and held close. We wrote often and I had never put so much energy into writing words of love in a language that was so foreign to me. I had an English-Thai dictionary and two book on learning the Thai language. She had similar but also had a number of letters translated to English. Later we would laugh at my attempts but it was the effort she loved.

Julee, my exotic beauty, became my wife and I brought her to my world with hope that we would one day return. We visited a few times and she went with our young children several other times while I had to stay home and work. Our children endeared me to her family.

We have been married thirty-five years and have lived in Thailand for the past seven. My writer’s life would have not been possible if not for my exotic beauty!

My books:

In
Search of a Soul
– A Sea Adventure

http://www.amazon.com/Search-Soul-Dannie-C-Hill/dp/0982692420/
(Paperback)

http://www.amazon.com/Search-Soul-ebook/dp/B0048ELAJY/
(Kindle)

Tyler
Hill’s Decision
– A Young Adult Adventure in the
Appalachian Mountains

http://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Hills-Decision-Dannie-Hill/dp/0982692404/
(paperback)

http://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Hills-Decision-ebook/dp/B003UNLJYU/
(Kindle)

Outer
World Prairie,
A Fantasy adventure coming later this year.
For a look at this upcoming book go to my website.

http://smallmountainpub.com/comingsoon.htm