The fear of the Flood has gone through several stages over the last month or so.
1. At first everyone believed that Bangkok was safe from flooding. So Bangkokians continued with their lives.The biggest news in Bangkok at this time wasn’t when or where the flood will hit, but the opening of Terminal 21. Everyone was going to Terminal 21 to check it out, all the “hip” magazines where talking about it, and Facebook was filled with people taking pictures in the different styles of bathrooms in T-21.
2. Panic swept Bangkok when the flood threatened to wash away Thamasat University. The News was telling us that everything would be ok, then minutes later would tell us that Bangkok is doomed. This led people to either deny the reality of the flood, or it led people to panic. As situation became bleak for Thamasat University, people began to stock up on water, instant noodles, and snack food. 7-11 was restocking their shelves everyday to keep up with the demand. During this time period people began evacuating to Pattaya or Hua Hin hopping to escape the flood, only to find themselves having to return to the city a couple of weeks later.
3. As news agencies and government departments continued to change their minds on whether Bangkok could be saved, people began to get frustrated by the lack of information. Schools also began to close in the fear that the flood would wash away their schools. Parent began to pull their children from school, so they could flee the city. With the flood becoming a reality to most Bangkokians, the city began to prepare for the flood. Homes and Business built walls, and sandbags were everywhere, people also started to hoard water, instant noodles, and snacks. Grocery stores began to have empty shelves, and signs limiting purchases to two per person.
4. After Thamasat fell to the flood, Bangkok thought that it was safe again. Until it became clear that the sandbags were not working the way they had hopped. each day the flood inched closer and closer to Don Muong Airport. Until one morning we a woke to the headlines the airport was lost, soon followed by parts of Lathprao. It became clear that Bangkok was not safe from the flood. It was no longer a question of if the flood will come, but when and where.
The Thai Flood 2011 has brought out the good in Bangkokians. Large portions of the city were mobilized to help in the flood relief in some way or another. Citizens are making food, and finding ways to deliver that food those trapped in the flood zones. Groups of young people are going out everyday to help fill sandbags, to help ease the flow of water. Sections of malls are being used for packing food. Everyday people hitch rides on large trucks heading into the flood zone, to help bring supplies and relief to those left stranded by the flood.