Well, you might think I’m going to talk about my lack of blog articles. I am, indirectly, but that’s not the reason for my title.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that my part of Thailand, the southeast coast, has been experiencing monsoon weather for several weeks – now stretching into months. If you hate rain as much as I do, I think you’ll agree that constant storms for weeks on end is damned unpleasant.
With my view across the Gulf of Thailand, I can see a storm approaching. The horizon goes black. That band gets larger and larger until not more than about twenty minutes later torrential rain begins. The rain and strong winds last an hour or more, during which there’s usually lightning, and very often a power failure, until the rain abates and the sky becomes a dull gray. At which point, the black line appears on the horizon and the whole cycle repeats. And repeats, and repeats.
With the strong winds the sea gets rougher and rougher, and the tides are way higher than normal. It’s exciting, up to a point. The rest of the year the sea is more like a lake, with only tiny waves a few centimeters high. But these big waves are noisy, which means inside the house there’s a constant roaring sound day and night, with the larger waves setting off what seems like a sonic boom that rattles the windows – and me.
After a while, you don’t notice it – until it stops.
You see, about ten days ago the skies cleared. The winds dropped. The sea returned to normal. And the lack of indoor noise was quite early. The temperatures started to rise and so soon the sound of aircons once again became the norm, making the lack of noise from the sea seem less unusual.
I rejoiced. The monsoon is over, I encouragingly told myself. I tried to resume my daily walks on the beach, but, what beach? The sea was high, and the crashing waves had churned the sand into a soft mush. It was like trying to walk on deep freshly fallen snow.
Normally walking is easy. Just above the sea line there is a dark strip of sand about half a meter wide that is as hard as concrete. It’s clearly visible – like a purposely designed grayish pathway. Although, since it follows the sea line, it looks like it was designed by a drunk. But, I think it’ll be a while before that reappears.
So after a few days of sun with cloudy periods and no rain, I thought – it’s time to resume tootling. And then I realized – I can hear the sea. More crashing waves, more ominous black lines on the horizon, more wind and wet stuff. The long range forecast shows several more days of rain. Then there’s the typhoon that just battered the Philippines and is now headed across the South China Sea to – guess where.
I suppose I just have to get used to it. I thought last year was unusual, but this year is just the same. Months of rain. If I’d bothered to look at the weather pattern on Wikipedia for Nakhon Si Thammarat, I would have been forewarned…
Those dark green areas with the big numbers are a bit of a giveaway. 68.2mms of rain in February, 631.2mms in November. More rain in the last three months than the rest of the year put together. Oh well, I’ll have to plan some northern trips for these months.
Although, I could only do that if I had someone to take care of the house. The combination of warmth and damp means that everything starts to grow mold in just a day or two. Furniture, especially anything wood or leather, has to be cleaned daily. Cupboards and wardrobes have to be checked for signs of mold on clothes. It reminds me of some friends who once lived in West Africa. They had light bulbs inside wardrobes that were left turned on 24/7. It didn’t seem to make sense. It does now.
So, yes, this also explains my silence. There’s only so many articles you can write about the weather, and I’ve probably already exceeded the limit.
It’s been impossible to get out. I’ve had to brave the weather everytime I’ve reached the critical level on essential commodities like beer, scotch and food to go with them, but sightseeing has been out of the question, and still is.
I’ve tried to dodge the storms by judging the position of the black line, and figuring how long before it reaches Tesco Lotus. But I can guarantee if it’s dry when I go into the store, it’ll be wet when I come out, and vice-versa. And if I thought it was noisy at home, that’s nothing compared with the sound of the rain on Tesco’s corrugated aluminum roof. It sounds like constant machine gun fire.
But, raining or not, I can guarantee my feet will get wet as they totally forgot to put any kind of drainage in the parking lot, so at this time of year it always looks like a swimming pool. Surfboards under the shopping trolleys would be more practical than wheels.
But in the all-too-brief sunny spells, I did manage to make a couple of trips to Khanom, since that’s probably where I will end-up living in a few months from now. You may remember a while back I discovered the Ciao Bella Italian restaurant.
Umberto, the rally-loving chef, has become a friend. He’s now in possession of some of my rally memorabilia. I figured if I kept it all, I’d be the only one to look at it. So, if he wants to put the stuff in his restaurant for him and his customers to enjoy, that’s seems like a better choice. He’s under strict instructions to trash it all if he gets tired of it.
Umberto and his wife are very kindly helping me find somewhere in Khanom to live. The prices are encouragingly low, so no problem there. And I’ve seen places that range from “Wow, I could definitely live here” to “No thanks, I’d rather live in Bert.” Whether or not I end-up with a sea view remains to be seen. But it’s no big deal, as nowhere in Khanom is more than a few hundred meters from the beach. And I still have a couple of months to make a decision.
Normal twittering will be resumed as soon as possible.