The floods have now receded enough for my family to return to our home here in Minburi. Last night we slept in our own beds and it was such a nice feeling. We lost a few belongings but nothing that can’t be replaced. There is still quite a bit of water outside out door, but the inside of our home is now almost completely dry. My wife took charge of the cleanup operation yesterday; she enlisted the help of one of our neighbors. I was given the easier task of babysitting our son from the comfort of a hotel (it felt a bit strange to be saying in a hotel so near to our home). The house is now fit for human occupation again. The only lingering problem is the unpleasant smell from the stagnant water outside. We also have no electricty downstairs until we get an electrician to check everything; at one stage our plugs were underwater.
Good to Be Back Home
I found our extended stay in hotels to be a bit stressful near the end. I love going away on holidays, but it just isn’t the same when you’ve no control over when the holiday ends. I found working on the computer all day to be extremely difficult in a hotel room. My back is sore from spending hours sitting in the wrong type of chair. It is such a relief to be back using a stand up desk in my own home office.
For the last few weeks I have been living out of bags. I never bothered unpacking because there never seemed to be much point. I kept on telling myself (and my wife) that things would be better tomorrow and we could return home. I never expected things to go on for as long as they did. Yesterday I finally got to unpack everything without even the slightest hint of post-holiday blues. I don’t mind if I never get to stay in another hotel – at least that is how I feel at the moment anyway.
The Journey Back to Bangkok
The drive back from Phitsanulok to Bangkok turned out to be the most depressing journey of my life. I’ve made this trip many times before, and I can normally do it in just over five hours; this time it took twice as long. The floods have done a lot of damage to the roads. We started running into problems about 20km north of Nakhon Sawan; the highway is just full of potholes. For the rest of the trip there were signs of flood damage everywhere. Coming into Bangkok was like entering a disaster movie; people living on the sides of the road alongside flood destroyed vehicles. The traffic jams meant that it took us four hours to drive from one side of the city to the other. The inner city looks fine, but there it will probably take many months before the outskirts is back to normal.
Counting the Cost of the Thailand Floods
The expense of staying in a hotel has been a financial drain, but there are so many people in Thailand who have lost everything. My family has been lucky and as far as I can tell this disaster has ended for us. I never appreciated how important it is for me to have a home; it is a lesson I plan never to forget. For years I suffered from itchy feet, but it now appears that this malady has been cured. I just hope that all the other people who have been impacted by these floods get to go back to their homes and their lives soon.