Our house flooded last night. Christoff and I were out in the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker district last night, enjoying the Tiger beer happy hour celebrating that we didn’t have to work this morning. Anyways, we called it a night at about 3 o’ clock after Christoff got batted by a few chicks and his self-confidence was lower then Bafana Bafana’s (coupled with the waning of the Proteas might and the stumble and fall of the once-fearless Springboks, that’s doesn’t leave a lot of confidence at the bottom of the barrel).
Sorry, I'm digressing. So we arrive home just after three and unlock the gate. Christoff says: “Wie bad die tyd vannnie f*kken aand?” I plead ignorance. Unlock the front door. I realized something had gone pear-shaped when little cockroaches come rowing out in peanut shells, with toothpicks for oars. The geckos run across the slick walls two-by-two. There’s water everywhere. A waterfall runs down our stairs. Our empty fish pond is nearly full. The water comes out of the walls, out of the door frames (it looked like one of those rustic beaded curtains).
Ankle deep in water, Mr Diep – the man’s man, ladies man, and man about town – comes wading in with a smile and says: “No problem!” Luckily, both Christoff and I had dulled any sense of anger or worry we usually would have had in this situation whilst wrestling with the Tiger. Diep’s inside the roof, shoveling buckets of dirty water out, his sister’s on the floor sweeping the water off the balcony and his wife’s downstairs mopping. Christoff and I form a human chain to empty the full bucket appearing out of the roof into my bath. It was grand. A real group effort.
The more we tell Diep and his family not to worry and wait until the morning, the more adamant he is to fix it. We manage to rescue our house bar a few damp spots and fallen insect heroes.
Finally, Diep’s party left and Christoff and I just laughed trying to think of what insects and animals escaped the flood and what they used for boats (the mozzies proved their worth with a valiant and daring sea-rescue, picking up capsized ants who had tried to escape through the backdoor on canoes chiseled from Christoff’s toe-nail cuttings.
What a night. And best of all, Christoff regained his confidence: being part of a group working towards a common goal and finally achieving that goal with hard-work, teamwork and determination can do wonders for a man’s morale. Every story has a moral...