Sunday, February 26, 2012

Comforting Continuity

Walking the flooded streets of Phnom Penh c2008. 

I've been wearing these blue thongs/ flip flops recently and feeling happy. I bought them back in 2008 and wore them pretty much every day from then until I left Cambodia about a year ago.  Its nice to have something that is the same, so many other things are different.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The other day I was at uni and I met a girl from China who has been in Australia for 4 days! She has come to study here, she hasn't really met anyone yet and is just finding her way around. I'm looking fwd to tomorrow, I'm hoping to meet some other new people!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This blog is interesting , its by an American who just got back to the states after some time in Cambodia. Some highlights from her blog:

"... My boyfriend and I are experiencing a curious kind of post-third-world life culture shock...
“This place is so big and no one is living in it,” observed my boyfriend, as we walked down the echoing corriders of Arden Fair Mall on a Tuesday.
I thought of the Borei Keila people I’d been reporting on for the past month, who are battling intensely over tiny apartments and tiny patches of land.  You could fit all of them rather comfortably by most Khmer housing standards into around 1/4 of this suburban California shopping center.
I wonder how recent Southeast Asian immigrants respond to this kind of unused space upon arriving in the USA – Sacramento hosts a very large immigrant population, after all, a number of people must have had the same thought as me about the uses and misuses of space.
It would be remiss to write this without mentioning that people are much bigger here. Upwards and outwards. 
Restaurants are another curious experience, with every server speaking fluent English .....
The poor eat poorly in the USA, but at least they eat. I think of this as the Poor Are Fat countries, standing in direct relief to the Poor Starve to Death Under a Sweltering Pitiless Sun On A Regular Basis countries.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

this time last year

 With all the start of year things happening its hard not to keep thinking about this time last year. Last January I was planning to go to Brisbane but the floods put a stop to that. It was fun to be on holidays there this January and see that Brisbane river was NOT flooding (although it was a rainy week in the so called Sunshine State).
First staff meeting of the year, last year I was new and had no idea what was going on, and Soeun hadn't come from Cambodia yet. This year I get to enjoy meeting the new staff, catching up with the old, not feeling too confused, and enjoy having my husband in the same country. MUCH easier !!!! relief!

On the way to first staff event last year I crossed the road in auto pilot, it wasn't til I was in the middle of the road I realised I was crossing the Cambodia way but I wasn't in Cambodia as I wrote about here.

Friday, February 03, 2012

still a novelty after 12 months

A common conversation among expats in Phnom Penh was how we missed being able to walk around town and go to parks. Between lack of footpaths (or space on footpaths) and the weather, walking isn't a pleasant past time or even a practical way of getting around. And parks, well, Phnom Penh doesn't really have them, and its mostly too hot anyway. (Land is for developing and making money- so many places in Australian cities are "wasted space".)

So being able to walk around on footpaths and go to parks has felt like such a novelty over the last 12 months. It was something that I was looking forward to as we packed up to come here (to aust from khmer), and its one of the few things that met my expectations.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

need a raft

In Phnom Penh after it rains it can be a bit wet, as you can see in this video.