I really enjoy visiting Phnom Penh. This is my fourth visit in about 18 months and I’m now quite familiar with the areas Christina frequents. I feel confidant to get around on my own – I can give basic directions in Khmer and I recognise a lot of places; I can feel my way around. The small city feel is fun for a holiday. It’s a low-stress place to be.
Housesitting a lovely place with pets and a beautiful garden, and being with both Christina and Susan, made this a special visit. There was a lot of fun hangout time, with them and with some of Christina’s friends here – finally putting faces to names I’ve heard for months. The weather also kept fairly cool which I very much appreciated.
We ate cheap Chinese food, shopped for clothes, sat in cafés, ate amazing Italian food (including the famous triple chocolate mousse), dressed up as Khmer princesses, and paid Christina’s neighbor the tuktuk driver a lot of money. When he saw me the first day he asked how long I’d be here this time and another day tried talking to me in Khmer. The conversation didn’t go far…
I enjoyed the sights and sounds and smells – entire families on a single motorbike, a young woman paying homage to a passing monk, chicken grilling by the roadside, whole animals skinned and on a roadside spit (including one that looked suspiciously like a big dog), the tunes and horns of garbage collectors and street sellers, naked toddlers running in the street, sudden tropical rainstorms with big fat raindrops and wide swaths of lightning and thunder that claps and crashes and rumbles… So good :)
Another significant part of this trip was preparation for a TCK conference Christina and I will be running here in December. I’ve spent a lot of time this week preparing the registration packet and conference website. I’ve talked with several people here about it and toured the conference venue. We’re almost ready to start publicising and taking registrations. I’m really excited about it!
I was actually supposed to leave for Hanoi this afternoon, but a little visa glitch means that I’m still in Phnom Penh and leaving tomorrow instead. Mei ban fa! Means one less day in Vietnam, but some more girltime here :)