As I delightedly devoured my Pad Thai in a small restaurant in Bangkok, I heard a small crackle of thunder and the drizzling of rain. It was my final day in Thailand before I flew to Bali later that day, so I hoped that the sudden storm would be a brief and carnage free affair. It was not. A few spoonful’s later the drizzle had become a downpour. By the end of the plate, the torrent of rain coming down was so strong and heavy the water began to rise in the streets. The restaurant and nearby shops quickly filled up with tourists seeking shelter. Cars slowed as they ploughed through the water with mopeds hiding in their wake. The sound of crashing raindrops and waves beating the walls was contrasted by the blaring of horns. To keep hold of my seat in the shelter I ordered another plateful. The downpour continued to get heavier and the water was climbing up the few steps in the shop doorway, bringing with it the creatures from the overfilled drains. Ants and flies looked for dry land racing mammoth cockroaches up the curbs and stairs. A sinking tuk-tuk floated determinedly past setting off a tidal wave over the crawling bugs who were too slow as the survivors aimed for the refuge where I ate. Away from the wave they scuttled, one riding a spring roll past another less instinctive friend who ran towards the kitchen, I even heard it scream as it was swept into the dark, soaking abyss. The surviving swarm scampered around their new home, where the threat of terrified travellers now savagely swatted away from the safety of the chairs on which they stood. The bugs took over the floor, forcing the people into an aggressive game of ‘the floor is made of lava’ or this case, cockroaches. I upped the pace of my noodle consummation.
Back in the biblical flood ground of Bangkok the carnage continued. The traffic was nearly at a stand still with only lorries and SUVs powering through the oceanic roads. One man sailed past on a big wooden boat carrying two of every animal, searching for a dry Elysium to rehabilitate his herd. I hoped that he may be heading to Bali with the idea of hitchhiking, fearing my flight be delayed in this cumbersome monsoon. The time finally came to relinquish the sanctuary of my seat, which was quickly commandeered by cockroach evading evacuees and I was thrust out into the murky marina. Wading through the knee-deep waters, past the unphased locals whose street food stalls remained open for business and stocked with fried insects, hopefully not a fresh catch from the current swarm, I headed for the hostel to collect my bag. The warm smell of fresh rain battled to overcome the nauseating aroma from the piles of rubbish floating above the pavements as I jumped over the resulting waves of passing cars in an effort to keep my shorts dry. I gladly turned the corner to the sight of my destination where the employees were fighting the current with brooms to save their reception.