Wednesday 19th of October 2011 and the choice of way to Chonburi was obvious, the elevated highway from Bang Na to Chonburi. We entered the highway in Klong Toy.
The driver told me that he would stop to fill up the tank with LPG before we continued. So we stopped in Bang Na and the driver told me that it would take 5 minutes.
- No problem!
Well, when we came to the gas stop there were plenty cars waiting for gas.
The driver was surprised, there were cars in queue that reached the highway.
- Slightly more than 5 minutes? I asked
- Yes, what is this? Must be due to the flooding, the driver suggested.
I had expected a lot of cars feeling Bangkok, but the traffic was light and we reached Pattaya in 1 and a half to 2 hours after leaving my condo. I checked in at my hotel and I checked internet for the latest news from Bangkok first thing.
Can't say that I regretted my escape to Pattaya when I read the news. And then you shall know that I really don't like Pattaya. But if I have to choose between Hua Hin, Phuket and Pattaya I choose Pattaya. So that say's pretty much about Hua Hin and Phuket.
I called my friend and they were on the way back from today's diving. He had changed his plan and he would stay for a few days longer in Pattaya. It is not the best of times to return to Bangkok.
I have my room until Saturday but I suspect that I will have to stay until at least Monday.
And if Bangkok city centre will be flooded by 2 meters of water it will take a very long time to get back to normal life in Bangkok. Imagine 2 meters of water in Bangkok, the shops, restaurant, yes, everything will have to be sanitised.
A flooded city and factories and we can just imagine all the stuff coming from the flooded factories, not to talk about the sewers. Well, the water coming from the sewer is disgusting, but the chemicals and stuff coming from the factories can be deadly. So it is not like it is just to go for a swim in this water. No it is NOT water that will flood Bangkok, it is SHIT! And it will take a long time to clean up the Supermarkets and shops before they can open up for business.
Imagine all the people that have lost everything, no insurance and mortgage on destroyed houses and cars. Poor poor people!! And in Thailand it always the, well, it is pretty much the same in the most counties in the world. It is the “Have not's” that ends up in the shit.
And I have had people asking me if my condo is insured. And this was many years before the flooding and I was mostly thinking about fire.
- Yes, of course! What about your house?
- No, we don't have any insurance
- What about if your house burns down to the ground?
- We still have the land
- What will it cost to build a new house?
- Hmm, maybe I have to think about insurance
- A good idea!
I spoke with one of the guys at Bangkok Fight Club Monday night and he told me that Thai people don't like insurance.
And of course, at times like this the government talks about flooding relief to the affected people and my guess is that they will end up with a boiled egg and a bowl of steamed cold rice.
Well, anyway, I was going to meet my friends at the NEWS in Jomtien at 8 o'clock and I went to look for a taxi. Darn! Soi 8 is really empty, not many tourists around and the few I saw was speaking Russian. I asked a taxi meter how much he would take for a ride to Jomtien.
- 300 Baht
- Good luck twat!
I really hope that this guy will never find a passenger again, for the rest of his life.
I walked through The Festival and at the Beach Road there were a group of taxi drivers screaming for customers. Yes, no tourists around. So they were screaming TAXI TAXI desperately looking for customers.
- How much to Jomtien?
- 300 Baht
- Good luck twat!
I stopped a Song Taew and he took me to Jomtien for 100 Baht and I arrived 30 minutes before 8 o'clock and that gave me 30 minutes for some smoked salmon before my friends would arrive.
My plan was to finish and pay my smoked salmon before my friends would arrive and it would pretty much be the same as it never happened. The Waitress asked for how many people and I asked them to put two tables together. She looked puzzled.
- You're not alone?
- No, my friends will come at 8.
I got a table and she put a table next to me. I ordered tea and smoked salmon and as it took some time to get the food I never managed to finish my salmon in time.
Suddenly my friends stood in front of me. And they asked why I didn't wait for them. Well, what to say? The Waitress brought us the menu and I ordered Swedish Meatballs and more tea.
The Waitress brought a Toast Skagen to our table and she asked who had ordered the Toast Skagen. No one seems to have ordered the Toast Skagen and I was looking around. No, no one seemed to make a move for the Toast Skagen so I said that I had ordered the darn toast.
My friend didn't remember if he had ordered the Toast Skagen, I had for sure not ordered the toast so I handed him the plate and I ordered a Toast Skagen.
My friends were drinking beer and I had a jug of tea with my desserts, a meringue with icecream and whipped cream. And on top of that I had an apple pie with vanilla sauce. Yes, I will stay in my room eating tuna and drinking tea for the rest of my escape from Bangkok.
For sure, I cannot continue like this or I will look like a balloon when I'm back in Bangkok.
We finish the day with some of todays pictures from Bangkok Post
Flooding has reached Rangsit and the Future Park shopping mall has announced that it will close on Oct 19 and Oct 20.
Photos by Thiti Wannamontha.
Thursday 20th of October 2011 and I woke up at 9 o'clock, but I felt a sleep again and I woke up at 10 o'clock when my phone rang. It was a friend from Bangkok and all the girls working at her office was very worried about the flooding. No one knew anything and they didn't know what to do. Well, I told her that I was in Pattaya and she wanted to join me but they still have to work in the office. She was worried about her car and house and I asked her if she didn't have any insurance.
Of course, she didn't have any insurance and I asked why.
- I told you to get insurance 2 years ago!
- It is too late, they don't want to sell me in insurance
- What the ?? Very strange, 50 000 000 000 cubic metres of water outside Bangkok and they refuse to sell you a flooding insurance!!!!
She told me that the Supermarket at the ground floor in the house where she works is empty. Well, I told her that she had to come to Pattaya on Friday when she finished her job. 20 minutes later my friend living in Jomtien called. We decided to go eat Japanese food for breakfast.
- I call you when we're in the taxi and I see you at FESTIVAL
- OK, I said.
FESTIVAL is just next to my hotel so it will take me 3 minutes to walk over there. They called me when they were on their way and I left for the 4th floor on FESTIVAL shopping centre. My friend told me that FUJI was located on the 4th floor. I had never been there before so I had no clue on what floor the restaurant was located on. But my guess is that it would not be too hard to find FUJI.
I was on the first floor in the department store when Pattaya's cutest couple arrived. They didn't see me and I had a few “SPY CAM” pictures. I went after them and I discovered that FUJI wasn't on the 4th floor, but on the 5th floor. They were waiting for me outside FUJI when I arrived.
We got a table and I ordered avocado salad, Teriyaki and 2 plates of salmon maki. I got my avocado salad in the nick of time. My friends order filled up the table slowly. Every time the Waitress arrived with a plate I expected it to be a plate for me. But it was plate after plate for my friends. WHERE THE DUCK IS MY FOOD?
My friends wanted to go next door, to Swaneys I think to eat brownies. They were at the place just the other day and they were out of Brownies and we decided to try today. But they didn't have any Brownies and the girl told us that it was due to the flooding outside Bangkok. OK, no Brownies, good for my diet.
We passed a coffee shop on the same floor when we were leaving the FESTIVAL shopping mall and they had Brownies.
- Can we get warm Brownies? My friend asked.
- I think you can get them pretty much as you want them, I said.
We stepped inside and my friends wanted to sit on the terrace. I would have preferred to sit in the AC and there was a few beautiful girls sitting inside.
Well, outside it was and we got our menus and I ordered 2 cups of tea as they didn't had any pots. My friends ordered some shakes or something and a cubic ton of cake and Brownie on top of that. My diet is really suffering and I must buy canned tuna as soon as possible and I will never set foot on a restaurant again.
But that is life in Pattaya, here is nothing to do but eat at restaurants. Well, of course, unless you want to be dead drunk crawling on the streets. I hope that the whole flooding situation in Bangkok will be back to normal soon. But I doubt it very very much.
I was surprised, my friend ordered cake and Brownies like there was no tomorrow. He is on a strange carb diet and he refuse to eat rice. Well, good for me, I had his rice to my avocado salad at the Japanese restaurant. And for sure, the avocado salad became much more exciting with the added rice.
Same a few weeks ago in Bangkok. He didn't eat rice at KlingKlao but M&M candy was OK. Well, I don't know what he is up to. But I know that he went on and on about me not helping him to finish the cake.
- OK, give me the darn Brownie!!
I had a Brownie with my tea and I made a mental note, NO MORE BROWNIE!!! But my friend had been talking about this brownie for several days so I guess I should have seen it coming. Well, these last few days have been very very no good for my diet.
Well, actually, my diet has been nothing short of a disaster ever since I left for Singapore 1st of October. DARN!
Can we please solve the flooding situation in a jiff so I can get back to Bangkok Fight Club and Chakrit Muay Thai School.
When we finished the cake we walked down the Beach Road towards the Walking Street and the Beer Garden on the pier. We were walking down Beach Road when I heard a car with loudspeakers and someone was screaming about the Muay Thai boxing tomorrow night.
I didn't hear what they were saying but my friend asked if this was the stadium where my friend was going to fight tomorrow. DARN! It might be and the pick-up had passed us so I switched from an enjoyable pace to a POWER WALK pace in order to reach the pick-up truck to see the posters.
I didn't want to make a fool out of myself running down Beach Read with a flapping belly, but I managed to reach the pick up just by walking and I took a picture of the posters with my telephoto lens. And I could check out the poster on the screen on my camera. I could not see the American girl on the poster.
Well, when I'm back at my hotel I will check her e-mail to see if it is the same stadium that she will have her fight. But latest news is that she will have her fight on Friday night the 21st and this after several changes. But there can't be that many Muay Thai stadiums around Pattaya that have a fight at 8 o'clock Friday night. Well, I will find out about this as soon as I'm back at my hotel later on.
My friends had beer at the beer garden and I had 3 soda waters and we spent 2 hours or something at the beer garden. There was a friend to my friend coming down to join us for a beer.
- Yo! Aladdin!
- Who the are you?
- I have met you a couple of times
- Are you sure?
- Yes, I'm sure!
He explained that we had been drinking beer a few years back. I didn't believe him.
- You had your bag with CDs and you were playing your music in all the bars.
- OK, it must have been me!
I ran in to the pick up outside my hotel when I came back and I took a picture of the pick-up truck to get the name of the stadium. FAIRTEX THEPPRASIT MUAY THAI STADIUM and I checked my e-mail. It was her stadium and I sent her the pictures asking why she wasn't on the poster.
Well, as I mentioned her fight date has been changed several times and she was put on the 21st at the last minute so they didn't had time to put her on the poster.
I spent a few hours in my room before I went for a walk. I went to check out the cinema if there was any movie I wanted to see. There was not really any movie that I wanted to see and I walked up and down the Sois until I passed the Fish & Chips restaurant where they have my favorite rhubarb pie. Goose's Fish & Chips between Soi 7 and 8, a visit at Goose's Fish & Chips is a must when in Pattaya.
I started with fish fingers and mashed potatoes and a pot of tea and I finished my dinner at Goose's Fish & Chips with a new pot of tea and a rhubarb pie. I walked back to Central FESTIVAL and Tops Supermarket to buy some canned tuna. I just had to make a last visit to Goose's Fish & Chips before I'm stopping eating at restaurants. Now I have canned tuna and I can eat in my room from now on and I will soon start to lose weight again.
- YIIPEEE!! NO MORE RESTAURANTS FOR ME!!!
Friday 21st of October 2011 and the first thing I did when I woke up 20 minutes before 12 was to turn on the news. Then I turned on my computer to check out Bangkok Post online. It doesn't look good.
It seems like they are going to open the gates to Bangkok and I'm no expert on flooding, but it seems to me like a good idea. Bangkok is situated between the sea and the water coming from the North. As I understand it they have neglected the rising levels in the dams up North. Maybe because they wanted to save water for the yearly drought. Too much rain this year and the dams are opened too late and now this water is going out to the sea.
And as everyone know that had played with water in a creek, building a wall trying to make waterfalls and stuff, the water will rise until the wall is breaking sweeping everything with it.
And it starts with a small crack and the water will gradually tear down the wall until the wall is too weak and then the whole wall will collapse generating a flood wall. And I don't think the situation in Bangkok is improving with rising water around the city.
And as the headline says in Bangkok Post: Brace for it!
And in the Nation I read that there is a disaster warning issued for Bangkok. Yes, it doesn't look good and I'm out of here to buy water. I heard that the bottle factory is under water so they can't make any more bottles to deliver to the places that make the water.
My plan was to go to Central Festival but they had water at the Mini Mart next to the hotel and I bought 24 liters. The girls were surprised when I took the bags in my hands and left. The never thought that I would be able to carry the water. I returned to my room and I left the water before I went to Central Festival to buy tuna and some Diet MAX.
The tourists were sitting outside Central Festival getting massages when I approached Tops Market on the ground floor. Hard to realize that there is a national disaster of biblical proportions taking place not far away from here. The shelves looked full at Tops but I discovered that on many of the shelves it was empty behind the first row of for example long life milk. Long life milk, I had obviously not been the only one coming up with the idea of buying long life milk. I saw people filling up their shopping carts with long life milk. I found tuna in green curry and I bought 10 cans and I bought 3 pack of Delba sunflower seed bread.
I went up to top level at Central department store and I found a tea mug so now I'm set to have my meals in my hotel room. Hopefully no more restaurants. I stopped at the Mini Mart on my way back to the hotel and I bought 12 liters of water. Now I have 36 liters of water and I will hopefully have enough of water.
I had a shower before I took off towards FAIRTEX THEPPRASIT BOXING STADIUM. I took a song taew from Second Road and it took me 30 minutes to get to FAIRTEX THEPPRASIT BOXING STADIUM due to heavy traffic.
I bought my ticket, 1500 Baht for the VIP section. What a rip off! I went to a convenient store to buy a Minute Maid and when I came back it was time for the first fight to start.
And this is the very first time for me to see Thai boxing and I wasn't looking forward to it. The first fight was between two kids.
My friend said that she would be in fight number 3 but I think her match was number 5 or 6. And waiting for her fight was not very exciting. The music they are playing during the matches makes me want to commit suicide. A drum and a whistle and something that looks like 2 bells. Believe me, the sound drives you up the wall.
The third fight was between a foreigner and a Thai boxer so now I had a Thai guy screaming “THAILAND” behind me on top of the music. The foreigner kicked arse and the blood ran over the Thai guy's face. But the Thai boxer won the match by points.
As I said to my friend, if you want to win here you have to go for knock out. With all Thai referees you will never win on points.
They wanted to see foreign blood
They wanted to see foreign blood
It was very noisy and I was surprised when the Thai boxer won the match. Next match was between 2 Thai guys and it was very boring. The only used their knees and they clinched all the time. So this was a real sleeping pill.
The American girl was up next and it was not easy to take any pictures. The ring was very high and the ropes covered most of the fighters. I tried to stand up but then the second rope from the top was in head height. So I had to sit down again to take the pictures.
When her fight was over it was her trainer that was up for a match. She had asked me if I could take some pictures of him. OK, I did my best, but the rope in the ring destroys the photos and I would not have mind being a few meters above the floor.
They started like they had popped a Rohypnol. I thought that they were about to fall asleep. Suddenly the American girl's trainer jumped up in the air and kicked the other guy in the head. Or he tried, he felt on the floor. Well, that's how it goes when you try to show off. But he was a quick kicker and he kicked his opponent a few times, but it was all for nothing. He was soon on the floor decked against the ropes.
When he was on the floor it was 22 thirty and I was hungry. I was lucky, no not because there was a taxi outside the stadium, but because Goose's Fish & Chips would most likely be closed so I returned to my hotel where I made a cup of tea and i had 2 cans of tuna.
I really want to get back home now so I checked Bangkok Post online edition for the latest news while I was waiting for my tea water to boil.
And there was no good news and I can't say that I had expected any. But I hope I can get back to Bangkok on Sunday or Monday. I just wait for the result from their try to drain some water through Bangkok.
But I prefer to sit in Pattaya if there is no electricity in my condo. I'm a little pissed off because I forgot to fill my bath tub with water before I left Bangkok. Good to have some water and I can at least wash my face in the morning.
But I have the swimming pool and I can have a morning swim instead of a shower. The latest report in Bangkok Post is that the tap water is yellowish and God know what makes the water yellowish, but I have my guesses and it is not nice.
We finish the day with some of todays pictures from Bangkok Post
Photos Of The Week
Interesting images from around the (increasingly flooded) Kingdom, captured by Post photographers.
Splash From the Past
This year's deluge is not the first time Bangkok has experienced major floods. As these file photos from 1983 and 1995 show, the city has faced flooding in the past... and survived it. Photos by Post Photographers.
Flood Reaches Northern Bangkok
The deluge of floodwater from the north has infiltrated the Bangkok metropolitan area, with residents of Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi and Don Muang in Bangkok forced to evacuate their homes. Photos by Apichit Jinakul and Chanat Katanyu.
Saturday 22nd of October 2011 and I woke up at 9 thirty when my phone rang. I switched on the telly and according to the news one third of Thailand is underwater. Yes, ONE THIRD!!
My friend called again one hour later and now he wanted to go have breakfast at FUJI
- But my diet....
It had been information nonstop on the Thai TV on how to block your toilet and what to do with your electric sockets. The part with the electric sockets looked very dangerous to me. They say that all the electrical sockets should be raised by 1 meter. I'm pretty sure 1 meter is not enough. And what does it help if you're in a house with the wires in the walls, the only thing that would help is to isolate the electrical outlets that are under water. But that requires an expert.
They also show instructions on how to building bamboo/ empty plastic bottles rafts on TV. A brisk and cheerful guy was building a bamboo raft while explaining what he did. It was like one of those cooking shows where they show the recipe with all the ingredients used during the TV show.
• 2 rolls of heavy duty tape
• A bunch of bamboo sticks
• Steel wire
• A million of empty plastic bottles
Yeah, your under 2 meters of water and as you can see on the pictures from Bangkok Post the garbage is floating everywhere so if you by chance would have had a million of empty plastic bottles at home they would have been gone by now.
And isn't it too late to start showing this on the TV now, one third of the country is under water and now it is too late to move electric outlets and plugging the toilets and sewer.
I left for Central Festival 15 minutes after my friend called to say that they were in the taxi. I had to wait for quite some time before they arrived. The traffic from Jomtien to Pattaya had been at full stop. When they arrived I told them that we had to go to another restaurant because FUJI was full. No table available when I tried to enter.
But now we there were 3 of us and we got a table. I ordered avocado salad and Teriyaki, same as yesterday. But I skipped the salmon maki. I should not be at the restaurant at all, but I need to be social while taking refuge from the flooding in Pattaya.
The food is excellent and I could not help myself, I ordered a second avocado salad. But we skipped the Brownie and we walked straight to the cinema to check out if there was any movie we wanted to see. There was nothing that made us jump up and down in excitement at Central Festival's cinema on the top floor.
Well, maybe the Smurf, but that would have been embarrassing to go see that movie. At least without any children so we were considering kidnapping a child but we gave up the idea and we left the cinema at Central Festival.
We decided to walk to another shopping centre to see if there were any better movies. My friend's girlfriend grew tired of us and she left us for some shopping. My friend wanted to take a taxi to the shopping mall but I told him that we could walk.
- It's only 5 minutes to Royal Garden Plaza
- Do they have cinemas?
My friend thought that we were going to New Avenue on Second Road. We walked to Royal Garden Plaza and we had a stop at 7 Eleven for a Minute Maid. We walked along Beach road to Royal Garden Plaza.
And I must have spotted at least hundred tourists eating ice cream during the 5 minutes' walk to Royal Garden Plaza.
My friend didn't had a clue that there was a cinema at Royal Garden Plaza so he asked on what floor the cinema was.
- On the third floor.
When we came to the third floor the cinema was gone.
- You have not been here for a very long time?
- Obviously not.
We left Royal Garden Plaza and we walked to New Avenue on the Second Road. They had a movie that we would like to see, something about a virus that spreads over the world.
My friend called his girls friend and she wanted to join us and we bought the tickets. The girls selling us the tickets wanted me to take their picture when they saw my camera and I could not say no to them. And you can see the result here.
And the movie started at 3 o'clock and that gave us 30 minutes to kill. My friend went for a cup of coffee while I walked up Second Road looking for a Massage place/ Barber shop.
I got a haircut and I asked how much the massage was. 150 Baht per hour and I asked for 2 hours of “scratching”
- No problem!
- .... at the cinema.
Massage at the cinema was 250 Baht per hour and this was OK. A movie about a virus spreading around the world and I had have the “sleeping pill” alarm going since we bought the tickets.
So why not, if I have my massage at the cinema while watching the movie it might, will most likely make the movie more exciting.
We left the barber shop and Pattaya's cutest couple was sitting at a coffee shop at New Avenue shopping mall. I and the Massage girl had a strawberry milk shake before we left for the movie. My friend had been at Villa Market and he had bought candy. Yet again, refusing to eat rice, but candy and brownies is OK.
Now the only thing missing is to catch him eating ice cream. Well, anyway, strange diet and I wish it had worked for me. But it doesn't so I have to stick to a more conventional diet in combination with Muay Thai exercise at Bangkok Fight Club and Chakrit Muay Thai School.
And I think it is the first time watching a movie without stopping to buy any snacks. But they told me that I could not get into the cinema with my camera. I pretended not to understand. Why can't I bring my camera? Are they afraid that I will take a video of the movie and start to make DVDs? Maybe, but who wants to watch a movie filmed at a cinema?
Well, anyway, the movie? I was about to fall asleep several times and I would most likely have felt a sleep if it wasn't for the massage girl.
The movie finished at 5 and I returned to my hotel to get the latest news from Bangkok. I turned on the TV while waiting for my computer to get ready. This morning they were building bamboo rafts and they were using a screw driver in the electrical outlets. Now they showed how to save a person from the water. It was a wee bit different from what I have learnt. Pull them out of the water, put them down on the side and drain the person rescued from the water by slapping his back. But this can be due to that the saver was a male and it was a girl coming up from the water. Or the kiss of life would have been more appropriate. But the kiss of life or mouth to mouth is nothing you learn from a few seconds long video in the TV.
I found this picture of Thailand on the internet.
It is from the 19th of October and as you can see there is a lot of water on the way towards Bangkok
I followed the breaking news in Bangkok Post. BMA issues flood warning and “BMA have already placed orders for more pumps from overseas to be urgently delivered” This should have been done long ago.
I don't know, but I don't think it has been any secret how much water they have had in the dams up North.
I decided to go to the IT mall at South Pattaya road and I walked down to South Pattaya Road in the evening. But the mall was closed when I came there just after 9 o'clock. I thought that they would be open until 10 o'clock. Never mind, I will walk back here tomorrow.
I walked back down the South Pattaya Road to Beach Road until I reached the Walking Street. I turned in on Walking Street and I walked up and down Walking Street. Plenty Russians and groups with Chinese tourists together with the expected sleaziness along the Walking Street.
East European/ Russian prostitutes and Lady boys. And I don't understand why people would like to come to a place like this for holiday. And I really want to go back home to Bangkok. It might be my imagination, but I think there was a lot more Thai couples than usually walking up and down Walking Street. And I think it is due to the flooding. And of course, Monday is Holiday so it is a long weekend.
And the streets are full of cars from Bangkok. I walked along the Beach Road towards my hotel on Soi 8. It was 10 thirty and I didn't expected Central Festival to be open. But it looked open when I passed so I went inside to buy some supplies at Tops Market.
Central Festival is not closing until 11 o'clock and there were quite a lot of people at Tops. Most of them looked to be from Bangkok buying supplies. I spoke with a couple that lived near the airport in Bangkok. They were buying food and I asked if they were going to buy water.
- We already bought water.
They expected the worst but I don't know how much information they have. Or if they understand how serious the situation are. They bought a few cans of food, enough for 2 or 3 days. Well, and as it is me doing the estimation it might have been for a week.
But 1 week isn't enough. We're in for the long haul and it feels better to have food for 2 months. I have 0, 5 liters per day for 2 months and that is minimum for survival. I will have to stop putting alt on my food or I will need extra water. The more salt you are using the more water you need to drink in order to survive.
I bought more canned tuna and the tuna shelf is really starting to look empty at Tops. Might be because it is weekend, but I doubt it very much.
I don't think they have enough to refill the shelves. But I will check again on Monday. I bought two more packs of long life milk, the long life milk shelves starts to look empty as well. There is still Soya milk, but I only saw 6 packs of the New Zealand long life milk.
I walked back to my hotel and I realized that I could run in to trouble when I will do my VISA extension mid November. I made a mental note to go to the Immigration office in Jomtien on Monday to see if I could arrange my VISA extension.
Back in my room and I turned on the TV first thing and I watched the news while waiting for my computer to start up. And this morning it was RUN FOR THE HILLS and the latest breaking news: Little affect in inner Bangkok and as you can see below the readers isn't very impressed by the reporting.
Believe me, it is frustrating with the information about the flooding. It is changing from RUN FOR THE HILL and THE FLOODING WON'T AFFECT INNER BANGKOK. I think that Bangkok will have a shit load of trouble and I prepare for the worst. I can fly from here to Phuket and from there I can fly to Singapore and the world.
We finish the day with some of today's pictures from Bangkok Post
A Bird's Eye On The Floods
Ariel shots of the flooding situation in Pathum Thani and Northern Bangkok on Saturday October 22.
Photos by Thiti Wannamontha.
Sunday 23rd of October 2011 and I woke up at 11. I turned on the TV first thing and I checked out Bangkok Post online edition while I enjoyed a glass of Diet MAX Little affect to Flee to the rooftops! over night. Well, I expect the worst and that include having to stay in Pattaya for yet another month. I'm still pissed because I forgot to fill up my bath tub with water before I left.
I will have to buy some because we can expect a plague of mosquitoes in Bangkok with all this water. So some Mosquito coils can come in handy when I'm back in Bangkok.
I had my good morning tea and tuna in my room before I took the walk to the IT mall on South Pattaya road. Darn, it was hot and that's even after I changed to the opposite side of the road to walk in the shadow. I looked for canvas bags on my way, can come in handy when it is time to bring all my water back home to Bangkok.
Walking back home on Second road and I heard some banging and I saw a house shaking with every bang. When I passed I saw three guys with sledge hammers tearing down walls and ripping out windows in a building. I hope that they are not tearing down the house starting from the bottom. I would have started from the top.
But even if they are just knocking out walls I would not have liked to stay at the bottom floor while these guys were hammering away. The whole house looked like it was about to fell apart.
I bought two big canvas bags for my water and I stopped at Tops on my way to the hotel. I bought some milk and bread. Lo and behold, I found pumpernickel and I bought everything.
The shelves were looked a lot less filled today than yesterday evening. Noodles, canned food and SOFT DRINKS! Obviously the soft drinks comes from Bangkok and they cannot deliver due to the flooding. No Diet MAX at Tops so I stopped at a 7 Eleven to buy Diet MAX on my way to the hotel. They had 2 cans and 1 bottle and I bought everything.
Everything, it sounds like I bought a truck load. I asked if they had any more.
- No we cannot get any because of the flooding.
Back at my room and I popped open a Diet MAX before I took off my shoes and I fired up my computer to check out the latest news at Bangkok Post web page. Nothing much had happened when I had been away. So I read a COMMENTARY by Voranai Vanijaka: Why we lose. I really like to read Voranai Vanijaka's COMMENTARY. Critical and sometimes quite fun. But the best is all the foreigner's comments. Voranai Vanijaka is writing critical about the Thai system and what needs to be changed in the society. Yes, pretty much as they do in newspapers all over the world, or at least the free world.
All the foreigners writing in support every time something bad about Thailand is coming up, and especially when it is a Thai writing. They stand up in their chairs cheering.
- YOU MUST WRITE THIS IN THAI FOR A THAI LANGUAGE NEWS PAPER!!
Voranai Vanijaka is hailed as a beacon of enlightenment and education in an otherwise dark Thailand. It is good commentaries he writes, no doubt about it. But it is not like he is the only Thai that is aware of what's going on. I meet a lot of Thais critical to Thailand and the system, just as people are all over the world. It is not like the Thai people are a bunch of stupid people walking around unaware of what's going on in their own country.
We have a different way of thinking and the Thai education left a lot to wish for. But it is not like they are blindfolded. Then of course, it is another story with Thais respect for the people higher up in the hierarchy, but this will change with education. Same as it did in Europe 60 or 70years ago.
Yes, back when our grandparents were on the street protesting and fighting for education and passably working conditions. So without their fight back in the days we would have lived like peasants or cheap labour in Europe. And this is easy for us to forget when we think that we're better than everyone else, but this will soon change when cheap Chinese labour and child labour, together with no expensive regulations against pollution and working environment have driven European and North American labours out of work. We already see what is happening in Europe and cities going bankrupt in USA. And it is not getting any better by the year.
And seriously, politicians are much the same all over the world, get elected and don't give a shit about the people electing them until the next election. In between it is all about taking care of their own power and well being, when there is a TV camera around they can hug children.
I returned to the IT mall in the late afternoon and I took a Song Taew from Beach Road. I got off at Second Road and I walked to the IT mall. When I was ready at the IT mall I walked back down on South Pattaya Road and I stopped at 7 Eleven, they had 5 bottles of Diet MAX left in the fridge and I bought all of them.
Yes, one thing is for sure, the end of the month October in the year of our Lord 2011 will be a interesting one. But what am I complaining about? All these hundred thousands of people that have lost everything they had. House, job and pretty much everything they could not carry when the water arrived.
I don't know, but was this disaster impossible to foresee? I understand it as the flooding has been going on for a month or more in the North of Thailand. Why start with instructions how to block your toilets and how to build bamboo raft when everything is under 1 to 2 meters of water? Wasn't there time to build evacuation centers well clear of the disaster areas? Of course, to evacuate millions of people would not have been easy. But it is easy to come under the impression that the people didn't had a clue what was coming when I see the pictures of people swimming around with the belongings.
Wasn't there anyone that could foresee this? And if they knew and didn't say anything, isn't that a criminal act? At least I have a hard time to believe that everything is a guess work. They know how much water it is so some “Expert” should have been able to do the calculations.
Well, anyway, I took my 5 bottles of Diet MAX and I walked the rest of the way to Second Road where I took a Song Taew back to Soi 8 and my hotel. I bought 18 litres of water at the Mini Mart next to my hotel and I went to my room for some tea.
I have decided to go back to Bangkok tomorrow, I'm going crazy sitting here doing nothing in Pattaya. But of course, I will monitor the situation in Bangkok closely, as good as I can on the TV and internet. But the information isn't exactly very good.
As I mentioned, it changes between Little affect to Run for the hills!Luckily enough I have Thaivisa, a forum about Thailand and they have a thread Where is it flooding and I can stay pretty updated. I really hope I can make it to Sukhumvit Soi 23 tomorrow and worst case scenario, I will have to return to Pattaya. But I really need to get to Bangkok Fight Club and get going with the losing my weight business again.
I will bring back 50 liters of water, 40 cans of tuna and 12 packs of Pumpernickel. So I will have 60 to 70 liters of water at home and hundred ++ cans of tuna. Will last me for a while, but I'm sure that there will be someone showing up that doesn't have any food so I'm better off with a little extra. I had a friend and she wanted to borrow my parking space and I told her that it was underground so it won't be for any good if we got 1 meter or so of water. Then it will go down in the garage.
- But if I'm home your welcome to eat tuna! I have plenty!
So I will hopefully be back home tomorrow and I had made several mental notes about buying rubber boots or hip waders next time in Europe or USA. I have been looking around Pattaya for rubber boots but the sizes...
I don't want to walk around the flooding without protection and you see the people swimming around in the flooding. They are told by the government that it is clean water, well, I think it is pure toxic and I will avoid the flooding water.
Monday 24th of October 2011 and my alarm went off at 8 o'clock and I had my morning tea and tuna before I started to take down my bags to the reception. I booked a taxi to Bangkok and they will pick me up at 12:30. I bought 18 more litres of water at the Mini Mart. I really don't know what the Thai people know about the flooding.
- You are very thirsty!
Of course, it can be because I'm a foreigner and they don't know that I live in Bangkok. So of course, after that I have bought almost 100 litres of water they are right in thinking that I'm very thirsty.
I stored my stuff in the reception and when I came down to check out the reception was full of water, pumpernickel, long life milk, mosquito coils and tuna. I went to by 18 more litres of water while they prepared my bill.
When I came back with my last water half of the hotel staff was busy carrying my water. But they could not move the big bags and I told them let the “Farang Somchai” take care of the heavy stuff. The girl in the reception just gaped at me when I lifted the big bag with one hand and I walked out of the reception with the bag.
I also brought 2 bottles of Diet MAX with me to Bangkok, if they are out of Diet MAX in Pattaya I don't think the situation is any better in Bangkok.
When we were ready with my luggage there wasn't much space left in the taxi for the driver and me. I also brought a empty 6 litres bottle of water that I will fill up first thing when I'm back home. If my water cleaner in my kitchen is working.
I said buy to the staff
- I hope I never see you again, at least not in Pattaya.
- You don't like Pattaya?
- Terrible place! But who knows? I might be back tonight depending on the situation in Bangkok.