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Blog Posted in avatar   D Scott Rosenberg's Blog

The worst experience of my life - the Bangkok Flood of 2011

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By D Scott Rosenberg
Posted Oct 28, 2011 in World
I must admit from the start, I am older than a half century and I have had a relatively good life. Yes the death of my father a couple of years ago and the death of my younger brother a year ago had been emotional strains. But nothing compares to the last couple of weeks here in Bangkok Thailand which is now inundated with flood water.
Why? That is a question that will be asked over and over again in coming days, weeks and months.
But for you to have an understanding of what we have been going through, below you will find daily posts I have made to my FaceBook account along with some pictures. I only hope you, your family and friends NEVER have to undergo an experience like this one.
October 21 5:12 pm
And so the waters start flowing. Been preparing the house since yesterday - today much need rations bought and car dropped off on nearby overhead ramp. This is truly an amazing experience, one I would choose to not go through if I had that choice. I will post pictures as soon as I can. So far, water is only in small street outside yard of my house - about 6 inches deep. Has not entered yard nor house YET!
Water in the street outside gate of my home
Water in the street outside gate of my home
Our car had to be parked on an overhead ramp to escape rising flood waters.
Our car had to be parked on an overhead ramp to escape rising flood waters.
Water is slowly rising. Tryke, like a good dog standing outside barking at the rising waters trying to protect. Tryke is freaking. She doesn't like the encroaching water and she doesn't like being cooped up in the house all day. Besides, mosquitoes are Jurassic Park size here (due to flood water). Also, she went pee-pee, poo-poo upstairs yesterday and she had such an embarrassed look on her face because she knew it was wrong. Poor dog is as stressed (if not more so) than me. At least I know what is going on. She does not.
My dog Tryke barking at rising flood water trying to protect my home.
My dog Tryke barking at rising flood water trying to protect my home.
October 22 11:15 am
"The Indian government has provided Bt6 million (US$200,000) worth of aid to the Thai government to help with flood relief, the Indian embassy announced.
A press statement from the embassy said the government and people of India express their solidarity with the government and people of Thailand in this difficult period of severe floods across central Thailand.
The statement said India's External Affairs S. M. Krishna had earlier conveyed deep condolences to his Thai counterpart on the loss of life and damage to property and agriculture in Thailand."
The Nation
Now what is wrong with this? Doesn't India have a few million poor in its own country? Sad day when one of the most developing countries in Asia can not take care of its own and must take handouts from those countries less fortunate then itself.
And October 28th Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world is donating $1 million to Thailand for flood relief efforts.
October 23 5:33 am
Latest saying from Bangkok: ''Intellectuals fill the sandbags, while buffaloes (politicians - buffaloes are thought as dumb animals here) make the plans.''
October 23 9:09 am
Day 2 flooding my housing village: Sun shines brightly as water very slowly creeps into my yard toward the house. My maid came over to check on me today (that was nice of her) trudging through the flood water. "She said outside the village it was about 2 meters (6 feet) deep. She said all shops were closed - could not buy goods. I offered her some bread I had in freezer (we still have electricity) She said no thanks. I offered for her to stay here and she said no.
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
Water outside gate of my home just entering perimeter
October 24 5:44am
Day three, flood in our village - water level inside my gate has gone down a bit (at the moment). Yard next door at street level almost completely flooded. Beginning to get some ground water seepage into my yard toward kitchen back door. Not yet water, just moist earth. Gov't last night around midnight announced another caution - "move goods to high ground" warning.
moving furniture upstairs to protect from impending flood in home
moving furniture upstairs to protect from impending flood in home
moving furniture upstairs to protect from impending flood in home
moving furniture upstairs to protect from impending flood in home
latest flood fashion
latest flood fashion
October 25 4:30 am
Day 4, flood in our housing village: at 4:30 am it seems flood water in street has subsided some however more worrying is water seeping up from the ground in several places in my yard. Don't know how that is getting in, what flow rate is or just what to expect from it. Even more disconcerting are reports from the government flood center (FROC - or I refer to them as FROG) that there is still a high flood alert in this area which will peak around the 28th AND the water authority, after assuring everyone there would be no problem with tap water (we don't drink it but do wash dishes with it), has now said maybe it would be a good idea to start stockpiling it. There go my daily showers..........oh and pee-pee, poo-poo will then become a problem as well if they turn off the water. I am getting tired of this. Right now, thank goodness for internet.
This is the first time for any catastrophe of this magnitude and it ain't fun... I've been through the Watts riots in LA, large earthquakes in Japan and mini tsunami in LA when I lived at the beach but NOTHING as stressful as this.
7-11 not far form my home - street flooded
7-11 not far form my home - street flooded
Looks like it is going to rain outdoors but besides the pesky "jungle" mosquitoes and stench from flood water, beautiful cool breeze blowing. When I close my eyes, I can imagine Fall. Decaying leaves smell MUCH better than flood water though.
Now boiling water, adding a bit of bleach as fears of contaminated tap water persist due to floods. New level of my cooking expertise. Will still shower with tap water but for washing dishes and brushing teeth, will use my new cooking concoction :-(
To top off my woes, Tryke is in her second heat (she is due but probably brought on by stress) and I don't even have pampers for her (dog shop is closed because of flood). And I had plans to mate her in this heat as well. Guess I will just have to wait to be a grandparent again.
Tryke relaxing in the bright sunshine
Tryke relaxing in the bright sunshine
This is a cute video about the Bangkok floods (it is in Thai with English subtitles):
October 26 6:35 am
Surprise, surprise. Water in my street almost gone HOWEVER high tides this weekend and flow of water from the North means we need to stay vigilant. If any of that heavy flow should break dykes, we will flood again. Try to get my maid in here today to clean up yard where flood water entered.
Because Tryke is in heat, she is extremely sweet. She is not as freaked out now that the water has gone down but her schedule - like our play time in the morning - is all out of whack since I am so stressed out-tired.
flood my housing village (by the way they call them villages as Thai’s are village people – NO not the musical kind -firemen, Indian chiefs etc – early history had them all living in villages controlled by village leaders – now when they build housing estates they are built similar to the villages of old but in a more “sophisticated manner).
Water has receded a lot in my street, enough for my assistant Chaiwat to ride his motorcycle over to the office here. While water level has gone down here – couple of streets away it is about two times deeper. You can see from picture of neighborhood 7/11 how deep.
We went over to a local hyper market, Big C. Roads dry here. Lots of people scurrying around. Needed some food items and water but no water on shelves – sold out. Picked up cranberry juice instead.
Treated ourselves to some KFC. Chaiwat ordered Coke but they were out – they did have water though – go figure. Big C had shelves full of Coke – no water. But since I had been eating well the last few days here at home, I immediately threw up junk food (Sprite, fish fingers {only had one – Chaiwat ate other two}, Zinger Burger with FF) when I got home.
People actually camped out on street here – you feel sorry for them. One family of four, mother and three kids, two young boys and a girl looked very emaciated. Chaiwat asked to borrow 500 Baht which I gave him and he promptly gave to them. I wanted to give them KFC but glad I did not – they would have gotten sick.
On way back home got excited when I saw small animal looked like crocodile trying to climb up neighbors sand bag wall. Wanted to catch it as gov’t offering 1,000 Baht reward (US$31) for crocodiles caught alive. Actually turned out to be SE Asian Gila Monster (called “Gia” in Thai – very dirty slang term) (pictured).
small SE Asian gila monster trying to escape the flood waters
small SE Asian gila monster trying to escape the flood waters
Due to media reports about possible contaminated tap water, started to boil and use bit of bleach in water which I use to brush teeth and as finale rinse when I wash dishes.
But today, Day 5 (I am actually losing track of time) water has receded in street. Maid is coming over and will do complete wash down of area. But will not take down flood prevention stuff since even as I write this, news of more water coming from just north of here is streaming over Net.
As I have said before – what a pain all this is.
I have threatened my mother I am going back to live with her in Baltimore. She said I am welcome but when I arrive she will move out. Ouy Vey!
"Nee", my maid, informed me tomorrow is one year since she has worked for me. Boy, time flies when you are NOT having fun.
October 26 11:35am
My maid came in today and is cleaning up a bit. Nice to smell floors moped with chlorine bleach. Better than "cologne" of citronella spay I have been wearing to ward off mosquitoes
October 27 10:51am
Haven't written anything today - social media'd out. Stress is taking its toll and don't really feel like writing. Things stable, water is street rose a bit but now hearing reports from friends and colleagues how they are dealing with the flood - everyone is stressed. We will all have to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Wonder if the government is going to pay for that. Surely not.
October 28 6:00 am
Day 7 of flood in our housing village - Water has risen in the road again but not passed under our gate. Water seepage continues to dampen dirt in yard. Water in road looks like a sewer - disgusting! Sounds like I am in the middle of a jungle with all insects & such outside.
Difficult to relax, we have had flood here for almost a week now. Before that had friends here from Ayutthaya for a week that were displaced because of the floods. Had to kick them out because of impending floods at my home. Constant bombardment of news of flood - one person says this, one person says that does not help matters. Want it just to be over.
October 28 1:30 pm
Miracle of miracles - we have been lucky here, have electricity, internet signal and running water but the trash men just came and picked up trash that was sitting in front of house gate in putrid flood water for a week. First "normal" thing to happen.
It gives me hope!

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