Yes I live in Hong Kong. Yes I work for Tencent in Shenzhen. Yes I work mostly in Bangkok for a company that Tencent acquired. And yes Bangkok is somewhat normal again, as in we finally moved back into our previously evacuated offices after a whole month on the run!
- Week 1: nobody knows anything until the water shows up at their doorsteps. With not many options in mind, we asked all staff to work from home starting Oct 22 because the surrounding neighborhoods are all seeing water and it is impossible to drive. Two days later, I get pictures that show both access roads to the office have been turned into a tranquil lake.
- Week 2: Waiting... waiting... as a temporary solution for both staff and company, we rented some hotel rooms for affected staff and a conference room to work out of.
- Week 3: I finally am in Bangkok. On the cab ride from the airport, the city seems eerily empty. I see no floods. There are several cars and trucks parked on the elevated highway. Near my hotel, there's little traffic, little tourists, little people on the street (street vendors are still out in full force though), only a few food vendors, and no working girls. They say central Bangkok will be spared from the floods. For once, I believe them. They also announced that the flood waters will recede in 11 days. Nobody believes that. My staff tell me that the water may come towards our current location. I believe them.
- Week 4: Seems the same as last week. Alas the water didn't come our way. A bit more people on the streets. Central Bangkok is as normal as it can be, but on TV you see reporters in chest deep water interviewing families who had nowhere else to hide from the water. Near the (now evacuated) office, we can access the office via convoys but not drive in ourselves.
- Week 5: The cars have been cleared from the highways. Toll booths are back up and running. Tourists on flipflops are ranging around the hotel. Breakfast food vendors are back 80%. Working girls are back at the bars again. Nov 24, I'm sitting back in my office. About 40% of the staff is at work. And I let out a big sigh or relief.