Where Am I?…


Well, that’s a good question. Thank you for asking.

I know, I know, I normally post something every few days and it’s now been more than ten days since I was complaining about the Indonesian haze.

No need to complain about that any more. It’s been washed away by almost non-stop rain. That makes it sound somewhat like an English summer so I’d better explain.

The non-stop rain is interrupted every two to three hours by a torrential thunderstorm, so the regular rain is the nice part of the day. That’s when I manage to get out to run the essential errands of life. The last time was yesterday morning when I had to take something to the Post Office. On that trip I could see the rivers are close to bursting their banks, and the sea is so high the beach has all but disappeared. And this is the start of the monsoon season.

Even the BBC Weather Man mentioned it last night – saying that continued heavy rain can be expected across the Malay Peninsular. And Southern Thailand is part of the Malay Peninsular. I tend not to trust my Accuweather App, but Auntie Beeb is usually right.

I read this morning that pretty-much every road on Koh Samui is flooded, and the storm that hit there – about 100kms northeast – is clearly headed this way. The horizon out to sea is black, the rest of the sky is charcoal gray, while some of that regular rain continues to fall. It’s not called the “Northeast Monsoon” for nothing.

Things are going to get interesting.

travel, thailand, monsoon, weather
Koh Samui about an hour ago. Courtesy of a Facebook user.

Why was I at the Post Office? Well, it’s resident visa time again, and I had to send some papers to the visa service I use. So that means I’ve been in Thailand for a year. Actually a year plus ninety days, as that’s how the visa system works. From here on in, I renew the one year visa every – well – one year. That is, until I decide to live someplace else, I end-up being stuffed into the oven at the local wat, or the visa system changes. I wonder which it will be.

Still, it’s hard to believe I’ve been here 555 days (that includes some time before I obtained my first visa.) Fifty-five, I would believe, but 555? That’s actually quite funny, as the Thai word for five sounds like “Ha” so when you or I might end a short message with “LOL” or “Ha!” the Thais write “555”. HaHaHa.

All of which is a long-winded explanation for why I’m not out-and-about finding things of interest to report on. And it looks like I won’t be for the next few weeks. Unless I decide to escape to the North.

There are advantages though. I don’t need to buy water, and I hardly use any air conditioning. I have to turn it on periodically though to pull some of the humidity out of the house. It gets unpleasant. Even my mouse is sticking to my desk.

Actually my main task at the moment is to find somewhere new to live. My two-year lease will end in March, so I have time to discover all the options. When I moved here I had very limited time, so I basically agreed to the first offer that came along. I can’t say that I made a mistake because I like the house, and it seemed like a good deal. It turned out not to be, but there’s no way I could have discovered that before living here.

Well, unless I’d noticed the two cables coming out of the electricity meter. One is mine. The other seems to power a whole village at the back. The owner’s attitude is “well, he’s a farang, he can afford it.” Same deal with the water. No wonder I have to buy more every four to six weeks. Confrontation is not acceptable in Thai culture, so I smile while uttering obscenities under my breath, and will move as soon as the lease ends. Such is life.

travel, thailand, monsoon, weather
One small cable for me. One giant cable for mankind.

I’ve toyed with the idea of moving to a completely different part of Thailand. I’d have new places to discover and write about. But somehow, this area – slowly, slowly – is starting to feel like home, and I enjoy the sea views. Thailand is so large that it would be possible to live 1000kms from the sea, and I’m not sure I’d want that. Maybe one day.

At the moment, I’m looking within a 50km radius of where I am now. I’m nowhere near done with Southern Thailand. There’s whole provinces I haven’t visited.

And I will, one day, if it ever stops raining.

In the meantime, I feel like doing a little reminiscing. I think I mentioned a while ago that I’d been busy sorting, editing and archiving to Dropbox my collection of digital photos – some of which are so old they are scans of physical photos. Well, I’m almost finished. 16,287 done. A mere handful remaining. I’ll dig out some interesting ones, put them in a few blog posts, and add some narrative.

Unless is stops raining.

Paul

...has been travelling the world for more than fifty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more. He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way. More info than you could possibly need is available by clicking the ABOUT tab in the top menu line.

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