Weather Forces Us to Leave Our Home in Minburi Again

Readers of my blog may remember how back in October we were forced to leave our home as a result of the Bangkok floods. That saga lasted over a month, and I felt at my wits end near the end of it. I normally enjoying staying in hotels, but this is not so much fun when you have no choice in the matter. The flood season is still a few months away so I wasn’t expecting that we would need to give up our home again so soon. Yet here we are once again staying in a hotel as a result of bad weather.

After the Storm No Electricity

It is fairly common for the electricity to cut out here during the middle of a bad weather. On Monday afternoon we had a particularly bad storm so I wasn’t surprised when the power began playing up. This loss of electricity usually only lasts a few minutes so it isn’t too big a deal. I have lost work on the computer this way, but I’m now more careful when the weather turns bad. In 12 years I only remember a couple of occasions when the electricity has been off for longer than an hour.

This storm was a bad one, but it only lasted about 50 minutes. I sat at my computer just waiting for the power to come back on – full of optimism. Luckily I’d charged my iPad so I had this to keep me occupied. My office began to get uncomfortably hot so when there was no sign of the electricity after an hour I called it a day and joined the family downstairs. We decided to brave the mosquitoes and sit out in the garden. It was cooler out there. It actually felt nice to sit watching the sunset together. I would love to say that this lack of electricity meant we were once again enjoying a more natural way of life but that would be an exaggeration. My wife and I were both busy on our iPads, and my son was absorbed in his Leapfrog game tablet.

After about three hours we had almost drained the batteries for our various gadgets. The electricity had still not come back. My wife decided to investigate. It turned out that all the electrical poles on the main road had been knocked down by the high winds. Thanon Khum Glao looked like a war zone and two cars had been hit by flying concrete poles – luckily nobody was seriously injured. The workmen were already working on repairs, but it would be a huge job.

The Hell of No Electricity in Thailand

The lack of electricity precipitated a truly awful night. None of us were able to get much sleep. The bedroom felt like a furnace without the air conditioning and fan – we use both at the moment. My wife opened all the windows to let in a breeze but it also meant that the room became invaded with mosquitoes. I then had the choice of sweating under a sheet or being eating alive by insects. My wife spent the night trying to fan our son with a magazine – this meant that at least he was able to get a bit of sleep. It was a long night for the rest of us.

Yesterday morning I went to check on the repairs and it didn’t look as if there had been much progress. The repairmen couldn’t say if we would have the electricity back by that evening – they looked doubtful. There was no way that I could go through another night of torture so we decided to abandon ship again. We are now staying in a hotel in Pattaya where I have the air conditioning on full blast. I will never complain about being cold again.

Fixing the Electricity in Minburi

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4 thoughts on “Weather Forces Us to Leave Our Home in Minburi Again

  1. Dear Paul,

    How are things now?
    I have lived in SE Asia and South America so I know very well the torments of trying to live without electricity (and running water) for extended periods 🙁
    Would it be possible for you to invest in a portable generator? Is that common in Thailand?
    Regrding the problem of mosquitoes, in Malaysia most of the houses have screens over the windows so that they can be opened without letting in insects. Do you have that in Thailand?
    They also have the coils that can be burnt and sprays but I am not sure if that would be good for your son to breathe in 🙁
    Hope things improve for you soon!

    Stewart

    1. Thanks Stewart we are now back home and safe. A portable generator would be a good idea – I will have to look into the cost of one. We have screens on the window but the mosquitoes still seem to be able to swarm in.

  2. Hi Paul,
    I found this entry interesting as just recently I went through a similar thing. 50 hours in the village with no power. The big difference for me though was that the weather was cool.
    I blogged about it here: http://www.memock.com/2012/04/19/life-without-electricity/
    and came to the conclusion that 24 – 36 hours without power is a great thing for family life (if you live in a nice climate) but after that it became a pain.

    1. Hi MeMock, I feel a bit ashamed after reading your post. It stopped being fun for me after about 3 hours – you did considerably better. I’ll blame it on the heat. When I’m feeling wistful I imagine a simple life with only the basic necessities. These interruptions to my life by nature remind me that I’m no Robinson Crusoe 🙂

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