Random Thoughts by Dave – Volunteering and Finding the French Influence in Cambodia
- After one week working for my volunteer program in Phnom Penh I can say I’m very proud to be a part of the organization and to hopefully play a small role assisting the group with its mission. I’m working with a non-governmental organization that helps empower youth to have more of a role in Cambodia society and to elicit change. It is very inspiring work and the people I work with are very dedicated to their cause and extremely friendly and helpful. It should be an exciting three months.
- I’ve definitely been drinking less since we’ve been in Southeast Asia. I’ve also lost weight. I don’t really want to know if the two are related.
- I thought I finally had the evidence I needed to prove Jill is not human (I was leaning toward Robot over Alien). Our apartment in Phnom Penh is on a side street and our bedroom faces the street. There’s a dog somewhere nearby who howls at all hours of the night. She would sleep right through it. Then one night, it appeared as though someone was dragging an aluminum roof through the street and to their house. Just when I thought this also didn’t bother her she said, “Maybe we should sleep in the other bedroom.”
- Another un-human trait Jill has — she can speed type on an iPhone using both of her thumbs. She tells me that plenty of “people” can do this, but I’ve never seen anyone. She also has an amazing ability to read maps. She was given a map of Phnom Penh a couple of days before we arrived. After looking at it for a while I asked her if she had the city down yet. She said, “about 40%” and would need a day of actually being there to figure it out. This is the same person who asked for a road atlas for our drive across the U.S. because it provides more detail than Google Maps. What’s next, a set of Encyclopedia Britannica?
- Not having hot water for a shower isn’t so terrible when it’s 90-plus degrees out. (Update – we’re the idiots here. There has been hot water all along if we had turned on the right light switch to activate the hot water box in our shower. Doh!)
- Wine is much more prevalent in Cambodia than Thailand, in part because tariffs are much lower and perhaps because of the French influence here. I’ve been able to find wine in the grocery stores for less than $10 a bottle, but the quality has just been OK. Jill has laid out an exhaustive sightseeing itinerary for today (Saturday), while my only request was to visit a real wine shop.
- By the way, thank you France for occupying Cambodia so I can still enjoy a baguette here.
- Ever since my first trip to France I’ve wanted one of those tea pots that you just plug in and place on the base and the water heats up in about a minute. I finally have one!!! And love it!!! Shouldn’t more people have these in the States. On a related note, I’ve been eating more ramen lately.
- I got the first massage of my life last night ($6 plus 50% tip). Best way to describe it is that I got manhandled, but not in the way you might think. It also confirmed I’m the most unflexible person on the planet.