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Posted by on Feb 13, 2013

Random Thoughts by Dave – People, Dogs and Products in Cambodia


For those of you who somehow missed my first ramblings, you’ll find them here.

  • Things are obviously a little chaotic for Jill and I. We’re halfway around the world in a foreign country we’ve never visited where we don’t speak the language, and even walking on the sidewalk (if there is one) can be an adventure. But there’s one thing that’s made things so much easier on us. The Cambodian people are among the nicest you’ll meet — friendly beyond belief, always offering to help us and so grateful that we are here as volunteers. The people I work with are fantastic and the few children I’ve met at my organization have been a delight as well, very inquisitive about where I’m from and why I’m here. It’s made going to “work” after a three-month hiatus actually enjoyable.
  • I take back everything I said about Jill being human. Last night, the insane dog in our neighborhood was screaming bloody murder for at least a half hour and she didn’t move a muscle. Just mind-boggling to me. It’s also calling into question her protests about my snoring keeping her up. I think she needs something to hold over me (there are so few things) so she latched on to that. Is this pillow talk that’s best left in the bedroom? Probably, but I think it needs to be out there.
When night falls on Street 134, the dogs come out!

When night falls on Street 134, the dogs come out!

  • Though when we were discussing it this morning she said the dog did wake her up the night before. Isn’t that something a smart robot would say to try and throw me off track? Must find the on/off switch. Anyone with information on this please contact me.
  • Then again, things could be worse. The two guards/maintenance guys for our building sleep outside in hammocks with mosquito nets around them (not as exotic as it sounds). Their protection from the dogs is non-existent. I should stop complaining.
  • If the U.S. is looking to end road rage it should turn to Cambodia. Here, it is routine – no  expected – to cut people off every chance you get, pull out of side streets and into traffic without stopping, make traffic stop so you can get across a street, run red lights, even drive on the wrong side of the road. In a strange twist, it is incumbent on the person who is getting cut off to avoid the person who is cutting him or her off.  And yet, no one really gets upset at anyone else and there are surprisingly few traffic accidents (well, that we’ve seen anyway).
  • You can get pretty much any consumer staple good in Phnom Penh (thank you good folks at Unilever!), though we had a little trouble finding contact lens solution since contacts are expensive here and the dust and pollution can play havoc with your contacts.
  • Panasonic is mostly an after-thought in the U.S., but has a couple of strong niches here. Virtually every building here has a Panasonic single room air conditioner (I think these are catching on more in the U.S., if not they need to) and you also see Panasonic washing machines and refrigerators in a lot of places.
Our best friend, the wall air conditioner.

Our best friend, the wall air conditioner.

That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll think of something else when the dogs wake me up tonight.



  1. Another informative post from you Dave. You two are such an inspiration to us. Keep the creative post’s coming.

  2. Please find a way to plug Unilever more than just with a cursory mention. Otherwise, we will unsubscribe.

    • If you only knew how much of our conversation focused around Unilever…and, we drive by their offices at least 3 times a week. We expect to see you there soon.

  3. Hi David and Jill,
    I enjoy following the story of you both in Cambodia. How about your eating habit? And how about your wild wedding invitation?…

    • Sophiep! Eating habits are back to normal. We decided to not attend the wedding this time. Next time!

  4. Reading Random Thoughts by Dave is somewhat helping fill the void of the 10+ hours per week of Random Thoughts by Dave I was used to. I wish there was a podcast so I could stream in during my commute.

    • Love the podcast idea…maybe next time!