marcel barang

Notes in a time of ebb and flow – 9

In English on 12/11/2011 at 12:18 pm

– Ebb and flow indeed. This midday, water creeping in back and front and sideways – another six centimetres and it’ll enter the living room yet again, and the kitchen, and the bathroom. The high tides getting higher and higher and the low tides lower and lower every day until the 27th, playing Russian roulette seems to be less nerve-wracking.
To add insult to injury, I read online that last night the deputy governor of Bangkok proclaimed that the flood had receded in eleven districts, Bang Phlat here included.

– Astonishingly, I find three issues of TLS (two only slightly soggy) and two of LRB in my mailbox. Kudos to Thai Post.

– 3pm: Hello again. Short time no see. All sides, and even unnoticed holes in the parquet, leaking at once, enough to turn most of the living space downstairs into a shadow lake. To hell with cleaning walls and cupboards, I’m bone tired as it is.
My valiant daughter, now with lovely boots, arrives with a backpack, and a black garbage bag in a large black plastic pail she pulls with a string: backpack and garbage bag (the US-made model, reusable, zippable, the works) hold basic victuals for her stranded dad for the week to come. Before nightfall, there is a distribution of food and water. ‘It’s a bit spicy, OK?’ Seeing my face, they favour me with an extra ration of rice and sundried chicken bits. When my daughter is back to her still dry home, I learn from her that on her way out she met an army lorry unloading those rations at the entrance to my street – and accepted with thanks one foam container of rice and spicy stuff…

– The governor today promises ‘dry roads in Bangkok as a New Year present’. Don’t get him wrong: he means Bangkok, the eastern side of the river, not Thon Buri. The PM says ‘it’s too early’ to say whether we are in for a second round of flooding. One particularly reassuring expert on the government channel tonight purrs that the situation will definitely improve by the 20th, ‘when the tides begin to go down’ – he should consult and memorise the tide chart. What pisses me off most is that all Thai channels have been bleating for days that, ‘things are improving: Ayutthaya and Nakhon Sawan are getting dry’. They forget to say that those two provinces north of Bangkok have been under water for two to three months. It’s about time they got dry – and a good indicator of how long ‘their’ waters will be drowning us in turn.


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