Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well it's finally happened- I've had my first breakdown/freak-out as an expat in Bangkok. The kind that leaves me crying uncontrollably, unable to move from the couch, cursing everyone and everything, etc. The cause of this breakdown- the fact that we have to leave Bangkok.

Ever since the floods hit Ayutthaya and the Rojana Industrial Park, our future seems to be changing so quickly and nothing seems to be under our control. Eric's company kept changing their mind about what they were going to do with the expats here in Thailand, but finally they've decided to move everyone back to the United States. 

This is not how I imagined our transition back to the US would go. I though we would have plenty of advance warning to prepare, both mentally and logistically. 

I focused so hard on making Bangkok our home, that having it ripped away so quickly makes my heart hurt.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Well, it is starting to sound like the flooding of Bangkok is inevitable and that the only question is how bad will the flooding get. Everyone in Bangkok seems to be in full crisis mode:

Buying stores out of food and water. It is pretty much impossible to find any bottled water in the city. Eric and I stopped at Tesco Lotus in Pattaya before we came back to Bangkok earlier this week, and even they were running low on water. The stores today were packed full of people stocking up on supplies.
It's a bad sign when the overpriced imported foods are almost gone.

Scrambling to find parking for their cars. Our condo parking structure which is usually mostly empty, is packed full of cars. People are even using the elevated expressway as a giant parking structure, which is really hampering the evacuation of some areas in outer Bankgok.
Yes, those are cars PARKED on the expressway.

Building extensive sandbag walls. Last week, very few businesses in Bangkok had sandbags in front of their buildings. Now it seems like they are ALL working to protect their property from the impending flood.
Same wall in front of Silom complex from my last post

I am not too proud to admit that I've also gone crazy this week preparing for the floods. I think it's the inner Girl Scout in me that worries about not being prepared. So during the last few days I've done my best to cover all of my bases:

Stockpile of non-perishable food including dried fruit to prevent scurvy:

ALL the essentials...
Bathtub full of water to use for washing and flushing toilets:


Every possible container filled with boiled tap water:


Purchase a butane stove and plenty of fuel canisters:


I think that my paranoia about not being prepared also stems from the fact that I am now in Bangkok alone. Since the manufacturing plant where Eric works is currently under three meters of water, he is now on a plane back to Wisconsin to help the manufacturing plant there ramp up production. So, I have to deal with the floods on my own, but I think I have enough supplies and support from friends to make it though this. 

This is going to be an interesting weekend I think...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches- Preparing for Floods in Bangkok

Bangkok is currently in preparation mode as flood waters from the north move closer and rain continues to fall. In our neighborhood, life seems to be going on as normal, with a few exceptions:

Shop owners building a concrete wall in front of a shop along Rama IV
Lumpini MRT station with new steel gates on the windows
Pile of sandbags outside the Silom Complex 
Nearly empty shelves at the local grocery store
While things may be deceptively calm here in our neighborhood, we are still contemplating going south to get away from the floods.

In a related note, the manufacturing plant where Eric works is currently under six feet of water. The flood waters broke through levee after levee and inundated the entire industrial park. We are still not sure what that exactly means for us and our stay here in Thailand. Hopefully, we will have some answers soon.

Image from The MacLeod Thaimes
If you are the praying type, please pray for all of the families that have been affected by these floods. Entire cities are currently underwater and the devastation is so immense, it is kind of hard to comprehend. 

If you are looking for up to date news about the flooding in Thailand and you are on Twitter- @RichardBarrow and #ThaiFloodEng are great sources of information.