marcel barang

Besieged

In English on 26/10/2011 at 12:24 pm

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This is ridiculous. Most of Thailand, and now most of Bangkok, is under water and clear blue skies and there I was, having to water my plants after four days and nights as dry as could be – fortunately, last night’s quick storm took care of that for me.

Forays out of my den of mice show that the bunker mentality is spreading fast: low walls are being built, sandbags piled up, heads hung. The accepted wisdom as of today is that, over the coming weekend, the river will overflow and we’re in for it. About time, too, I say!

Yes, it’s official: ‘Bangkok can’t be saved.’ At least that’s what TV5 says Her Master’s Clone is saying. Drolly enough, The Nation Online calls this drowning the PM’s ‘baptism of fire’.

The jackasses in charge, by discriminating between provinces and capital, and then between urban districts, have delayed the massive floods from the North to coincide with the highest tide of the year. Perfect timing, and maximum damage everywhere.

Except that this has given time to privileged urbanites to wall themselves in and stock up on essentials. As I have done. Three days ago, I raided three 7-Elevens and bought enough cigarettes to last me a month, as will the stocks of pastis and coffee. Vices first.

Meanwhile, the liquid noose is tightening around here.

Going yesterday morning to the dentist’s, three miles away, I managed to see my first evidence of flooding: a modicum of water cleaning cars’ wheels over a couple of hundred yards on one side of the road past a filled-up canal.
By last night, my daughter couldn’t drive through the same road. She just made it here this morning through a circuitous voyage involving several boat and motorcycle rides. She somehow remains hopeful of making it later today to Thammasat, across town, which is closed anyway, on an urgent errand.

Meanwhile, the neighbourhood department stores, plundered and soaking, have all called it quits. A quick walk through the Phrannok market yesterday showed that vegetables have become rare and expensive; eggs go for double the normal price. Vegetable and fruit sellers gave up their rounds of our streets two days ago. The monks have vacated Wat Karoake, Lent is over, but the chatty abbot apparently doesn’t know that yet.

No delivery of the Bangkok Post this morning, I wonder why: mail just came through as usual.

For all that, I’m doubly worried: the resident ghost is showering more often than ever, as the pump feeding the house with water from the front yard tank keeps working without any tap being turned on; more seriously, the tap by the water meter outside is leaking: I must have the BMA fellows fix this for me forthwith.

  1. No Bangkok Post today?

    Then you probably missed a good one… Entitled ‘Creating a cohesive community; A five-step management model for better flood relief efforts and support for flood victims in evacuation centres’.

    ‘Inspiring’, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire.

  2. …have delayed the massive floods from the North to coincide with the highest tide of the year. Perfect timing, and maximum damage everywhere.

    This is alternately known as the ‘Yellowshirt Conspiracy’ version of events, a theory which my wife (who’s neither yellow nor red) is prepared to give more credence to than I.

    Our place in Klong Sam Wa might well be under water this weekend too.

    Best of luck.

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