Friday, February 12, 2010

Cambodia Packing, pt. 1

This afternoon, I had coffee with the fab Miss Becki, a voice of reason for a very important part of my move: my wardrobe. Strangely, I have no apprehensions about the health and evacuation insurance needed for this move. Nor does the idea of trekking across Myanmar or any equivalent remote area give me more than a quick pause. Believe it or not, what triggers pangs of panic in the middle of the night is my ability, if any, to condense years of my life into two suitcases.

I travel light, squeezing everything into my bright Le Sportsac bag, which is tiny relative to other backpacks. I (happily) make do with much less. In the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, for example, we slept without electricity, relying on cow poo fires (really) to warm us in the gers and the rising sun to serve as our alarm clock. What water was available was saved for the livestock -- that is to say, there was no running water, no showers, no bathtubs. And, in spite of these inconveniences, the 8+ days I spent in that desert gave me some of the best memories of my life so far.

But I am moving to LIVE and to WORK in Cambodia, in the field of human rights law. If you have been to Phnom Penh, you know that, even though it is the capital, it is a poor city. The undeniable charm of the decaying French colonial infrastructure ultimately gives way to a backdrop of constant hub-bub, of crime, garbage and the other realities of living in a developing country.

So, what goes, and what stays? What about my trekking trips to places like Myanmar, Tibet? What about my weekend trips to places with more Western comforts, like Hong Kong and Singapore? And more importantly, what of my pretty dresses?

I have a headache.

via Bird

I stumbled upon this skirt by United Bamboo, and I love its art deco, lurex style. Suitable for a lawyer in the US? Sure, in some offices. I would have made it work. Suitable for my life in Phnom Penh? Eh. Undecided.

Home? Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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