Friday, 11 November 2011

Thai floods: I don't have a right to moan but here goes anyway

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything here on a regular basis.

That isn't likely to change any time soon although right now we're back in semi-ruralness in Saraburi which gives me the urge to update this blog because I've always far more to say here than in Bangkok...both positive and negative.

The reason for this entry here is a little rant about the Thai floods but I'm going to be honest when I say that I don't really have much reason to moan about, as I've been largely unaffected by it. 

We've been with my in-laws for a month now after initially popping back for the weekend, which we do every other weekend so my wife's parents can see the kids and we get to a break from urban life. However, a weekend turned into a week...then a a month as we wait to see exactly what will happen in Bangkok (fact: I was without a razor for at least 10 days).

Flooding has massively affected the outskirts of the city -- take a look at Paul Garrigan's troubles and anxiety, for example -- although central Bangkok, where our flat is, has been largely unaffected. However, given that we live some way down the soi (road) with a major canal a two minute walk behind the property, we took the safe option of sitting things out to see what will happen. The possibility of being marooned in our flat with the car submerged in the car park didn't really appeal, even if it may be an unlikely scenario.

So we waited...and waited...and waited and, from what we hear, there is still no water flooding near our property - gah! The boy's school, which was closed for half-term during the first week, is set to reopen after three weeks without classes, because a small but vocal minority of foreign parents appear to have got sick of having their kids at home despite the fact that many do not work and have armies of maids...hmmm.

My return to writing full time (as of last month) gives us the freedom to stay here, or perhaps even go elsewhere, and we fully intend to wait until the flooding is over before we go back - even if the boy misses more school. I'm really not impressed by the school who are clearly trying to avoid giving parents credit for missed classes, I feel sorry for the many Japanese, Korean and other Asian expats most of whom were shipped back home weeks ago - how insensitive of the school and the other parents in Bangkok to plough on. I especially can't believe the gall of the moaning parents in Bangkok who asked the temporarily repatriated Japanese/Korean parents to sign a letter consent allow the school to open, in spite of the fact that their kids would not be able to go.

Without wishing to rant any longer about the school, the wife and I feel like we're ready we've been ready to go back to Bangkok for a few weeks now. For me personally, being stared at has stopped being novel and I'm remembering how we're treated like a new species at the zoo when dare try and go somewhere public with the kids.

There are positives to be here of course. I do enjoy spending time with my wife's parents, I get plied with food and alcohol and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere here too. I've also had the chance to catch up with friends in Saraburi which is great.

As my parents and countless others have rightly said, there is no point going back now when we could find ourselves in a sticky position if things turn nasty with the floods in central Bangkok. So we'll hang on for a little longer, at least until the drive back to Bangkok goes back to being the usual 90 minute route rather than a 4 hour journey of chance through a series of back roads while much of the motorway is closed.

Like I say, I realise I've little right no bleat about the flooding as things could be a lot worse.

Saraburi has already had most of its flooding, although water levels remain higher than usual and some people are still affected by this. We've been out looking and helping a few given that my in-law's house has been entirely untroubled being in a good place despite a river reasonably close-by.

A few weeks ago the wife snapped some pics from the local neighbourhood when the flooding was at its worst. The first two come via a pal who snapped a pic of water under a bridge rising until it almost meets the road.


Snap said...

Jon, I hope things return to normal for you and your family soon...this disaster is a slow moving one. In the mean time PLEASE stay out of the water. I refer to Cat@WLT's last post about the floods, boats and her rotting feet.

Stay safe!

Ivan said...

Hi Jonny,

gret post! Hate to complain, but wish you would write more as I enjoy what and how you say it.

Take care, and keep dry