|Stories about Bangkok's day & night life
· Tsunami Ray added Mar-2005
Strength of Will and Jai Dee Mak
· Mayday that's a good day added May-2004
about the hottest mayday in this century - well, it's hot and the country needs more freedom.
· Saxophone added Nov-2003
as long as I know Bangkok ... great live music and -if your lucky- some brilliant jam sessions.
· Georg and Wasawat added Oct-2003
"I don't want to be rich, but if I did, I'd want to be really, really rich so I could employ lots and lots of people and share my wealth."
· Butterflies added Aug-2003
even a flabby flap of a butterfly could change the world...
· Are you ready for Chatuchak? added Jul-2003
some say ...never again - some get addicted
· Brown Sugar added Feb-2003
old tradition ... since 1985 - Jazz & Blues Soi Sarasin, opp. Lumpini Park
· Gagging Bar added Dec-2002
live music and a cool chill-out corner first floor ... Soi 2, Ekamai, Sukumvit
· Bangkok Bar added Nov-2002
back to the 70s and very relaxed ... Soi 2, Ekamai, Sukumvit
here's the latest addition:
Tsunami Ray (Mar-2005)
Strength of Will and Jai Dee Mak
Sorrow, terror, pain, grief. Benevolence, love, goodwill, charity. The horrid devastation, loss of life and overall tragedy of the tsunami and its aftermath will live on in the minds of people the world over. It affected fishermen and it affected royalty. Mother nature made no distinction of who was taken in her path of fury.
The outpouring of sympathy, help and hope for the victims and their families, however, demonstrates the ultimate basis of good will in the hearts of people everywhere, whatever their race, religion or creed.
Ray, an ex-Samui resident now living in Bangkok, was vacationing with his wife and daughter in Khao Lak with friends from Europe. Breakfasting at their resort's beachside café, they noticed the water receding far out to sea. Many people ran out to see what happened, when Ray saw the swell and tide returning.
"It was surreal," Ray says, "Like it was coming in slow motion, yet so quickly."
He told his family to run through the back of the hotel, while he got out his camera to take photos. It never happened. The wall of water crushed the restaurant's beach wall and swept through the restaurant, where Ray tried to seek cover behind the bar. Unrelenting, the water smashed down the bar, sending Ray and countless items of debris through two brick walls. Sucked under the water, Ray suddenly thought that his time was up, but then he regained his will to live. When the water pushed him up to the crest and he got his first breath of air, the torrent led him straight into a coconut tree. He tried to hold on to the trunk, but the immense power of the water's force drove tables, bricks, cars, and appliances into his back. The continual pummelling forced Ray to lose his hold. The waves swept him away again, sucking him under the water and tossing him further inland.
When Ray finally came to dry land, an American came to his aid. Ray says, "He helped me get up and supported me for a few steps. When he saw I was relatively okay, he left to help other people."
Dazed and in shock, Ray could see the blood oozing all over his body. The reality of the pain would come later. It was the sound of his daughter's shout "Daddy!" that brought him back to consciousness. The family was briefly reunited when they heard warnings of another wave. Ray sent them up to the jungle as he was unable to walk. Fortunately, a songthaew soon pulled up. The driver had several injured people in the back and added Ray to his gathering. He headed for the hospital in Phuket.
The main road was destroyed. After several attempts to get through either way, the driver drove through a series of small inland roads to take his wounded passengers to the nearest medical facility, the small hospital in Khao Lak. It took one and a half hours.
On arrival, thousands of injured people lay awaiting emergency treatment. Doctors quickly tended to the basic dressings, telling Ray they would get back to him next for surgery. But, emergency medical services do not run on a first come, first serve basis. The huge number of people in critical condition put Ray at the back of the line. And there was just not enough staff or facilities to help everyone immediately.
Family and friends did not hear anything from Ray for almost a week. Everyone was frantic. Fortunately, his wife and daughter made it to a small village and were largely unharmed physically. They made their way to their hometown and awaited word.
Ray waited three days for surgery with no food, no water, no passport, no money, and no cell phone. When emergency vehicles could reach the town, he was moved to the airport in Phuket, where the Thai Army had mobilised to distribute essentials and help the transfer of victims to Bangkok.
Ray now loves the Thai Army. "They gave me four glasses of ice water and an orange. Nothing ever tasted so good in my whole life."
After his move to a Bangkok hospital, Ray was still in line for surgery for his many wounds. When the doctor came round to say he was "next" in line for surgery, Ray was not amused.
"I've been next for six days and I need food," Ray complained. When the doctor realised his patient had had no food or water, he put the brakes on the surgery schedule and ordered Ray a full meal.
Thai Samaritans soon came round and asked Ray if he would like to make a phone call. He called his mother-in-law and was reunited the next day with his family.
Although still recovering in hospital, Ray considers himself extremely lucky. "I have life and I have my family. My friends all over the world are helping."
Similar stories abound, despite the many, many tragic losses. Tourists tell of the care and generous help of the Thai people. On arrival in Phuket from Koh Phi Phi, two English survivors were astounded by the local support. They said that throngs of locals greeted their boat, providing water, food, clothing, and the use of their cell phones to everyone.
We applaud the benevolence and compassion of everyone who provided aid and care for all of the victims. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured and offer our sincerest condolences to those who lost family and friends.
written by Mary Ruth Olsen, excerpt from The Samui Sun, February 2005 Edition.
(C) WordsmithAsia 2005
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