02 November 2011

New Digs

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02 November: We are settling in to our new digs, one floor higher and much dryer than our flooded 1st floor below. But coming and going from the house still means that we must wade through knee-deep dirty water get to the soi (street). There is an elevated temporary board walk from the nearby utility office complex to the main street. Many sois are closed nearby.
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For our extended family of four, we now have two toilet stalls and two bath stalls operating, thanks to Tuk and her cousin getting water to the second floor via a longer hose from below. Running water! I’ve been rigging clotheslines, and everyone has finally washed adequate clothing.
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Yesterday I did my climb to the roof by going out of our 3rd floor window and up a rusty ladder with a solidly placed static rope next to it. I took my laundry up and it dried quickly. My procedure: I put on a climbing harness, clip the rope into my Petzl ascender on my harness, and that provides my safety net. The ascender ratchets, and I can move up but not down, so if the ladder fails the rope will catch me (theoretically). Coming down, I release the lock momentarily to go down a step at a time, and if I fall I will be caught.
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I love the feeling of height again. Small balance shifts, precise footwork, meticulous attention to clips and technical details, and well-thought-out moves are all so exhilarating. There is no room for error, and it makes you feel so proud and glad to be a free rational being.
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Yesterday I also went out to do my routine walking circuit, but it was hard going because of the water. The highest water was on our soi, and some of the other parts of the sois were either flooded lightly or not at all. I checked on some my friends along the route but not everyone was outside. The vendors I knew had no customers because the road ahead was closed to traffic. There is a Chinese woman along that stretch who has a small table out with snacks and a refrigerator with cold drinks. I stopped to buy something cold; her house was lightly flooded.
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But new vendors I’ve never seen before are out in droves on one intersection. It is a small, narrow, two-lane soi, but now it is one-lane because the new vendors have set up on both sides. They are supplying all kinds of food, water, rubber boots, etc., and it is very crowded on the corner by the police station.
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On one stretch of sidewalk near the river, the sidewalks and streets were quite empty, so I sat on a bench and listened to the newly arrived birds from the north. I’ve never witnessed such quiet there before.
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Tomorrow I might venture into Bangkok if I can find a way. I need to file some immigration paperwork, and my own province’s immigration office is flooded and so is the main one for Bangkok. I heard that the old office in the inner city is operating, so I will go for it before it too is flooded. I haven’t been in a bookstore for an eternity, and this might be my chance.
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Tuk somehow bought some bags of ice!
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-Zenwind.
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1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the new digs; but especially for finding a place to use a climbing harness, static line etc. on a flood plain.

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