A Month in the Floods of Salaya – Part 5Kevin (เควิน) Khaosan
Bangkok – Salaya by lorry (7/11/11)
After three days in a mainly dry Bangkok, I went to Bang Sue train station to find out about trains to Salaya. The train station was so deserted I was slightly surprised to see two ticket sellers at the ticket counter. I asked about trains to Salaya, but was informed that there were floods there and therefore no trains. As I had previously been told that it was possible to go to Salaya by train I decided to persist and told the man at the counter that I knew that Salaya was flooded but that I wanted to go there anyway. He curtly informed me that there would be a train leaving at 9 o’clock the following morning.
About an hour later, I received a call from Chai. He told me that a lorry would be leaving Bangkok at 3pm for Salaya.
There were only about a half-dozen of us waiting for the flat-bed truck to depart. There were boxes of provisions such as soft-drinks already on board. At the last moment, two boats were loaded, taking up nearly half the available space. However, there was still enough room for everyone to have their own white, plastic chair to sit on. We left Bangkok on the lorry at just after 5pm. When we reached the floods it was already dark and the flood waters had a more sinister veneer. We picked up and dropped off several small groups of waders, laden with bags of groceries, who loomed into view on their way back to their homes. On this return journey in the dark, I did not feel any of the excitement or euphoria I’d felt three days previously going the opposite way. Perhaps this was partly because I was voluntarily going back to a flood zone and felt a little trepidation and foolhardiness. The other passengers also seemed subdued and there was not much chatter as everyone tried to make themselves comfortable in the limited space. We arrived in Salaya after about three hours.
I found Tu and gave her the cigarettes she’d ordered. M was there and informed me that at the Royal Gems Resort and Golf Club, not two kilometers away, a 2.5 metre crocodile had been found in a flooded building. I popped in to see U and Pui. U offered me a whisky and then showed me his infected foot. It was an ugly sight; most of the sole of his foot was covered in angry red spots. He said he’d got the infection from the flood water and the day before he’d been unable to walk. Today was his second day of anti-biotics and he was feeling a lot better. The water level had gone down slightly. They told me that on the TV they said the water would go down in two weeks, but that that really means a month.
I cycled home and found the flood water at my doorstep had dropped by one or two centimeters.
Paul Wilson is a sometime actor, stand-up comedian and cartoonist. Visit Paul’s Top Man Tone Facebook Page…