Friday, October 28, 2011

Gauging the Morning

Morning on Soi Rambuttri. The sun was already high over Banglamphu, as the Khao San tourist area slowly came to life.

As I have been in the mornings for the past few days, I edged over to the window to look down at the ground.

Dry. Dry as a...well, road without water on it. A monk in his orange robe was asking for alms. A woman was sweeping away the leaves in the gutter, as she had every morning this week. The middle-aged pudgy coconut seller with a mohawk was there, completely dressed in red as he is every day. He prepared his coconut cart with a bored look, a cigarette dangling from his lips.

Then I heard shrieking. Squealing. Could that be the sound of the first bits of flood waters lapping at the western end of the block?

No. It was a bar girl, downstairs in the sidewalk cafe. Five British guys, two Thai bar girls, a lot of empty beer bottles. They'd been there a while, from the looks of it.

The skies were blue, the sun was out, and the streets of Banglamphu were dry. No change from last night. I mean, aside from the spa worker who had been bored from lack of customers no longer knitting from a bench, the busker who sings American Pie no longer going on about levees being dry.

I headed over to Coffee World, where I was one of three customers. Businesses are open as usual—in spite of there being few customers—though many entrances are blocked by retaining walls and sandbags. You just climb over.

I read up on the Thai post offices, which are closed until Tuesday morning—that's when I leave for Perth. I have to send a souvenir before I leave as it's wooden and can't be taken to Australia. Little things become issues in a situation with so many variables. I even attended an online meeting with the US embassy here, hoping to glean some bit of info. Sukhumvit and Asoke are still dry (as is my location), the metro and Skytrain are still running, the new airport is fine, there is still plenty of bottled water and panic buying has played a part in perceived shortages, and if I get into trouble, I should call the tourist police. The worst case scenario they predicted at this point is 10 cm-1.5 meters of water.

I was typing away diligently on this week's Wanderlust blog, when I heard my name.

"Miss Marie?"

Huh? I looked around.

It was one of the clerks from the Sakul House front desk.

"Now I know where you go every morning!"

Guilty as charged.

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