“Good Thai-dings for Christmas…” Even in a Buddhist country the Christmas tree still manages to go up excessively early in one of the most traditional places: smack dab in front of Bangkok’s newest shopping mall. In line with the Christmas season, the weather is getting colder and residents are even starting to sport hats and gloves. However, cold means a low of 76 degrees so I don’t think we will have to worry about a white Christmas.
What everyone in the USA will probably be doing this afternoon: Here’s a dog taking a nap in a 7-11. Happy Thanksgiving!
Documenting Disaster: “It’s flooding but please take my photo.”
My camera happy Thai mother even carefully documented her own evacuation. I left for higher ground a couple of days ago, but it was not until today that Montha and her family took a BOAT up our STREET along with the rest of our neighbors. I am particularly fond of the resourceful woman who made a boat for her suitcase. While, I am not completely certain of Montha’s current whereabouts, I found these pictures on Facebook, meaning she at least is safe somewhere with WIFI.
All photos courtesy of the wonderful and resilient Montha Ketudat.
Thailand is experiencing its worst flooding in half a century.
While like many others in Bangkok I could complain about the government’s inconsistent stance and questionable actions (ex: they set up the flood crisis center in an at risk zone) I prefer to focus on the things that have stood out from my waiting for impending disaster experience. First, crisis preparation has come with technological innovation: Twitter has been the best source for up to date English news as the floodwaters sweep towards the city. Second, as people pile sandbags and build concrete walls in front of their shops and stockpile supplies the weather has been absolutely beautiful, not even a dark cloud in a sky to give a hint of any sort of looming crisis.
For now, I am fine. Six days ago I evacuated from my house close to the river to a more central location in Bangkok. Given all the inconsistent information, I and others have adopted the wait and see approach. The worst of the flooding is supposed to hit this weekend as high tides on the Chao Praya river arrive in Bangkok. The government has declared a five day national holiday so that city’s 12 million residents can either prepare or leave the city.
Buddhist monks walk through chest-high water as floods inundate Ayutthaya province in Thailand on Monday. Flooding during an unusually heavy monsoon season has caused nearly 500 deaths to date and millions of evacuations in Thailand and neighboring Cambodia. (Photo: AFP-Getty via CNN)