Olah my compadres…

As I sit here typing, the streets are beginning to flood in every intersection, on every road, in the city of Bangkok! Earlier, as I ventured out to locate the exact location of the “Bus Stop” where I catch the Airport Express in 2 days time – I noticed some “frantic” activity of street vendors closing up shop; wondering why the fuss – I stopped and noticed a subtle wind picking up and omnious dark clouds puffing up the atmosphere above – yes, rain was forcast even before one drop sauntered down from the heavens.

Not even 2 blocks from my hotel, I immediately did an abrupt Uturn, remembering 3 days ago when I was caught in the last downpour, unable to get to my hotel without the assistance of a taxi, drenched – eventhough I was 1 block away – the water would have been up to my calf had I made the attempt! And, who knows what lurks in that water!!! eeeeks! And so I headed back for my umbrella – just in case!

An, hour or more went by – I located the supposed bus stop, a beautiful 5 star hotel, to find, as I had anticipated (which is a very healthy paranoia in this country where 75% of all information given will be either flat wrong or lacking in some majorly vital way!) that it not only didn’t exist where I was directed, but that the one that did exist, 5 blocks away, was not the one I wanted. Hm? AND, there was no further helpful information offered and frankly, none I would have taken at that point anyway – I will take a taxi!

I swear that touist “misdirection” HAS to be a Thai hobby or sport; I have heard sooo many tourist talk about the same thing………you could literally spend 1/2 a day trying to get somewhere that may literally be only blocks away because of the misdirection!

So, by the time I left the hotel, where my bus stop was not, the rain was coming down in sheets – no, thick blankets! No, how bout, VERY LARGE BUCKETS! I did wait a spell along with the Thais, under awnings as the rain poured, and waited, and waited – and then it occurred to me, “this is NOT going to get better – in fact, it’s going to get worse, as I witnessed before my eyes the water getting higher, and higher and – quick run for the hills!” So, I dashed into the rain umbrella in hand! A very attractive bright yellow umbrella, I might add!

So, here I sit, 1/2 block from my hotel, my pants soaked up to my thighs, the roads outside flooding, my hotel – besieged by rising tides -… What’s a girl to do? but wait until the rains subside and the roads clear. Sheesh! I can already here a slight lull in the rain but you know what lulls are? Exactly! ( the calm before the storm).

While I wait….
Here are some of my life saving tips for surviving as a pedestrian in Bangkok in case you ever venture this way.

1. Take a taxi
2. Take a taxi
3 Take a taxi

Ok ok, this is ideal – but not practical.
So, in leiu of taxis –

1. follow behind the locals – I mean RIGHT BEHIND!

2. allow them to be on the side of traffic whenever possible – so if someone gets hit………what can I say, they should know better how NOT to get hit, I am just saying, rely on their street savvy to keep you alive!

3.crosswalks were only created for tourist to believe they might have a chance to cross the road without fear of being run over – the Thais know – they are in fact, NOTHING but white lines on the road!

4. This also holds true for green lights! They don’t always mean that you have the right of way and that cars, buses, taxis, tuk tuks, motorcycles, police vehicles, etc won’t come hurtling at you from all directions anyway….on that note, dogs here seem to have a very good sense of crossing the street.

5. when in doubt follow a dog

6. don’t cross streets- just make sure everything you have to do is on one block and on the same side of the street! ( which given the crowded, cramped conditions of the shops etc here, wouldn’t be that hard to do!)

Ok, so, off I go into the floods. Speaking of floods! I read in the newspaper earlier today about flooding all over Thailand which has put 140,000 people in the hospital due to water borne illness; and that’s only counting the ones that actually make it to the hospital! It has made7.7 million people homeless AND they are forcasting more wet weather to come!

I think now is as good a time as any to start making my way back home! And, I am looking forward it!

Be well, be happy – p

PS: I hope to do a post blog apon my return, so stay tuned!