Archive for November 2011
Had a short work trip to Vienna, Austria. It was arranged on a short notice, so I had to go alone without my wife. Two and a half days of meeting, which was productive, useful, and interesting. I had less than five hours of actual sightseeing and shopping.
One of my top priorities in any foreign land is to try local food. The sausages were yummy. Since I gave up coffee over a year ago, I didn’t try it. I also missed out on the wiener schnitzel.
The city was beautiful. Clean, convenient, and safe. It was cold (sub zero C). No snow or rain though, just freezing temp, enough to make my hands numb with pain. Despite that fact, the weather was great for running. I didn’t have much time to run due to tight meeting schedule. I ran a little bit each morning, wearing two jackets, running gloves, wool hat, and Nike Vapor Quick 2 shoes. It was an experience different than the usual. Running without sweating was quite pleasant.
Yesterday I was back to the office for the first time in over a month. Dirty water was gone, but the ground smelled quite bad. Walked inside Kasetsart University to survey the damage. From the stains, it was obvious how high the water level was. The entire campus just stank. I ran on the track in the evening and it was yucky. The college is still closed, but there were some cleanup crews on campus working hard. One can only hope something will be done to ensure this will not happen again.
Been back home for about a week. Though I still cannot go to work as the roads are still flooded, it’s good to be home. At and around the house, the water level has decreased, but that’s one of the few positives. The place is dirty and smelly. Big cleanup will be required.
I lost someone very close to me on Friday. My childhood nanny, who was with me since I was very little, passed away early this morning. My parents were visiting her home in Prae province and learned the news. I knew she hadn’t been well for a long time, but didn’t realize it was that serious. So it was with a shock when I was told. For over thirty years she had been part of our family. We’ll miss her.
Looking ahead, I hope to run a marathon in January. The flood has taken my mind off the race calendar for the past month. But I have been able to run consistently, though unstructured, and should be fit enough to go. I have no time goal. Just want to do my best. There are a couple of nice marathons to choose from, Khonkaen (15 Jan) and Chombueng (29 Jan).
My second evacuation was in Pattaya. My family home was flooded so we drove a couple hours to the beachside city. My sister and her husband was visiting from England. It was good to spend time together. The ease of access to Pattaya means that a lot of people made the same choice. So the city was very crowded, the traffic was awful, and food and drinking water ran out in stores.
Still we were lucky to have a nice place to stay (family’s friend place). I had a treadmill to run on. A brief few days to reflect and make plans during this chaotic time. When you are with family and friends, it is never too bad.
We evacuated from our Bangkok home for a week last week. The news on TV and internet was worrying us. I felt we should get out before we could not.
Spent a relaxing time among the green trees and corn fields of Kanchanaburi. 220 km away from care. Away from urban pollution. Plenty of fresh food and clean water. We could access internet for our work. We could probably spend a month there. However, we had to return yesterday though due to work and travel arrangements. Such is life.
Turned out it was probably good to get back yesterday rather than later, as the main roads which connect Bangkok and Kanchanaburi were all getting cut off due to the flooding. Yesterday we could not even use the road we used on our outbound drive (Petchakasem) as it was already flooded. We had to use another route, which was 50 km longer. We may not be able to come back for a long time if we did not do so yesterday or within these few days.
We hoped when we took off that the flood would come and be gone by the time we got back. Well, we came back to a dry house. The water came more slowly than predicted but it eventually showed up this morning, less than a day after we got back home. Not ideal situation obviously. But we will find ways to adapt. No use stressing out about natural crisis. Got to face it with a strong mind.
On a bright side, I got to run daily while in Kanchanaburi. One hour of easy jog in the morning before breakfast. The space was limited. There were several scary looking dogs who protected their territories with loud barks. So I ran on a bumpy surface of a short dirt trail, doing 180 degree turn every 100m or so. Making do of the environment. Air was clean and temperature was cool.