We live in a section of the city called Nong Hoi, which means ‘The Place of Shells.’ Nong Hoi was once rice fields in wonderful, fertile bottom land near the river (which is only a five-minute walk from our home). Because of its location, it is a great place for frogs and snails. Every so often, a monster snail will visit us. But they never stay long, making their way to some other place slowly and steadily. (Check out the size of this one in the thumbnail photo below.)
It has been about ten days since the flood and a week since the water receded. What is amazing is that you can now drive around the city and see very little evidence that anything unusual happened! Even in our neighborhood, which was one of the hardest hit, the debris has been cleared away and the streets have been washed down, so all the mud and muck is gone. Only in the empty fields can you still see a surface layer of mud and debris, but rain is gently washing even that away. But the flood did leave some aftereffects. On one of the sliding glass doors of our house, I found a snail more than halfway up the door. Since snails usually stay on the ground or close to it, it was unusual to see one up so high. But neighbors have reported snails climbing even higher than this to escape the flood waters.
This little guy was not the only one traumatized by the flood. Last night was the first night that I have slept soundly since the flood. It was the first time that the water level in the river was down to “normal” and the city stopped hourly measurement of water levels. For an entire week, I have been up every other hour reading the spreadsheet with the latest water levels and watching as the river rose and fell and rose and fell, but never quite overflowed its banks again. Today, I finally brought the car back and tomorrow, we ma;y bring some things down from upstairs. I am finally convinced that even if it rains heavily tonight, the river should not reach flood stage until tomorrow. Like the little guy on our door, I just want to be sure that I am prepared, in case it happens again.
The word is that the worst of it is now south of us. Please pray for those who are south of us, including Bangkok. It is the worst flooding they have seen in a generation and more than 200 people have died as a result of the floods. In some places, the floods began two months ago and the flood waters have not receded. We are grateful that we were spared, but our hearts ache for those who are suffering now. They have been overwhelmed. By contrast, we in Chiang Mai just got splashed.