Coming Home after the Bangkok Floods

Our Flooded Kitchen

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.

That is Not Shit on the Toilet Wall
Our Post-Flood Toilet

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.

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9 thoughts on “Coming Home after the Bangkok Floods

  1. Good to hear, that you and your family are safe and home again. Has been quite some time away from your place, hasn’t it?

    I flew into the cobra swamp airport a week ago on a plane that had all those outside cameras. We were able to see some of the floods from the air and it was a rather sad aproach. I really feel sorry for all those people, who lost so much, but even more so, for the unlucky people that lost their lifes.

    Well, life has do go on and nothing can be undone. I just hope, that the country and it’s people will recover as soon as possible from this sad event and hope that it really was just the century flood and not an every year returning one. I hope as well, that some lessons have been learned by everyone, and that things will not be repeated in the future.

    Best of luck to you and your loved ones Paul. Buddha bless you all!

    Best regards

    Paco

    1. Hi Paco, I would imagine that Bangkok must look like Venice from the air at the moment. The Thais are an amazingly resilient people so I’ve no doubt they will bounce back quickly from this.

    1. Hi Camille, I think because of the attempts to protect central Bangkok the outskirts have suffered a great deal. It did look depressing but life was still going on as it does in Thailand.

  2. Dear Paul,

    Is your bathroom working at all, or does nothing flush because of all the water still outside? What are you doing about this if the bathroom isn’t working?

    Also, without electricity, what are you doing for light in the evenings? I presume you are cooking with gas. Is it hard to get gas bottles? Are you able to take warm showers with a gas bottle?

    What is the situation with your car?

    Best regards,
    Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne, the water is now completely gone from outside our house. We also have electricity and a flushing toilet again. The plastic protection from underneath my car has come off so I will need to get that fixed at some stage.

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