After many weeks of lockdown and ‘Stay Home’ orders, it was a relief that we are able to leave home and walk around Pattaya and our parks in relative freedom, except for taking precautions regarding distancing and having to wear face masks.
Last Sunday, I decided that it was time to breathe some fresh air and do some of the things that I would normally do when the office is closed but still have to work at home.
First things first. After many weeks of collecting dirt and dust, I needed to get my car washed. The moment I stepped out the front door of my home, I felt like I walked into a furnace. The heat was so intense I had to shield my face with my hands. There was no breeze and as I jumped onto the even hotter car seat, I noticed that the temperature gauge showed the outside air temperature to be over 40 degrees Celsius.
Usually the hottest month of the year is April. This year we didn’t notice it very much, because we were indoors for most of the month due to the Emergency Decree and the ‘Stay at Home’ lockdown. But this heat wave has extended into May and if the rains don’t come to bring relief soon, we’re going to see humans and animals drop to the ground like flies.
I drove to my favourite car wash and was disappointed to see that it was closed. I guess that was because of the lockdown and there were not too many cars on the streets that needed washing. Plus, most of the workers were probably laid off and had gone to their homes upcountry. I drove around and saw that many more car washes were also closed. I did find one open though, on Siam Country Club Road and am now driving around in a very clean car.
I drove on to Mabprachan reservoir, which some refer to it as a lake, and was shocked by what I saw. There in front of me was an arid bare land for as far as the eye could see. The reservoir was practically dry. There had been no rain since January and almost all the water had been used up.
The whole purpose of the reservoir was to store water enough for consumption by the people of Pattaya and the surrounding communities. But how is this going to be possible now? Though the Pattaya Water Authority has assured us that even without rain there will be enough water supply, but I personally think that we’re in for a hot and dry summer.
One consolation is that the Thai Meteorology Department has warned us of summer thunderstorms along the east coast this week. But that will only serve to cool the land for a short while and bring a little respite to the people down below.
Nevertheless, be prepared for when it comes. The thunderstorms could be pretty strong and can cause damage.
We’re looking forward to Thailand’s official rainy season which starts in July and ends in October. I have also seen that in some years in the past, the rains go right through into November too.
But be warned, May will still be a very hot month. So another month stuck indoors can also be good protection from heatstroke.
I am extremely happy to see that public parks have now reopened. During this time of year, the sun sets much later, so even if most people tend to stay indoors during the day because of the extreme heat, they go outdoors at around 6 p.m. and are still able to enjoy the longer daylight hours.
Last Sunday, there were a lot more joggers and bicyclists on the track around Mabprachan Lake. They were happy to be able to take in a breath of fresh air and do some physical exercises. Being a bicyclist myself, I immensely enjoyed riding around the lake again, taking in the sights and enjoying the cool breeze.
We are still waiting anxiously for May 17 to arrive. It is the day that the government promised to ease more restrictions that were imposed on the people to protect us from the dreaded coronavirus. We don’t know what the measures will be, but hope that vital businesses can start operations and our lives can return to some sort of ‘new normal’ again.
In the meantime, keep cool, stay home as much as possible. Pattaya is one of the safest places to be right now and we do not want to see a resurgence of the coronavirus in our midst ever again.