Monday, May 31, 2010


So sorry for the lack of posts! I wanted to write about so many things, but I could not. Blogger, like many other sites, is blocked in Myanmar, and can only be accessed with the helping hand of a computer savvy person and, well, access to an internet connection, which was spotty in most parts of the country.

But I am back now, somewhat settled in Phnom Penh, at work, siphoning internet for just a few more minutes and staving off the heat (100+ degrees today) before my short walk home. Tonight, I am going to track down a good fruit and veggie market. Wish me luck.

I will write soon.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My, oh my, Myanmar, your faces haunt me. Only half a day in this country and already I am enchanted by the saffron-robed monks with umbrellas armed to guard against the heat, with the men walking in traditional longyi, a unisex sarong, and with the radiant women and children adorned with thanakha, a yellow sandlewood paste worn as make-up/conditioner/sunscreen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In transit

Where do I start? I find myself grasping for words that won't come, still digesting it all and, believe me, there's a whole lot to digest out here.

How do I begin to describe a journey that began with my poor, poor panicked dad locking himself out of the car that held our baggage, then involved a mad dash to the airport with a very frantic Jack, a never-ending corridor of shuffling lines, and a series of plane trips and layovers? I suppose you could call that a long day.

Stepping off the plane in Phnom Penh, we were instantly thrown into the throng: tuk-tuk drivers on the street touted their business with rapid-fire calls of "Madame, madame, tuk-tuk!", a wall of hot humid air greeted us, as did honking horns and sounds, sights and smells indecipherable and unfamiliar (for now). This is the Cambodia I remembered, in all of its overwhelming, raw, chaotic beauty.

Although I have been here for a few days, I feel unsettled, still in transit. I am looking at an apartment today, picking up my Myanmar visa at the embassy (after having answered many, many questions about my profession and my former employer), and leaving for Yangon in a few days.

I am exploring the city slowly, easing into life here, observing and conversing. It is scorching hot, 100 degrees and humid, and, as a result, I am addicted to fresh mango shakes and afternoon naps. Rainy season has just begun.

P.S. Thank you for all the sweet comments!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Into the fray

gorgeous photo by alicia bock (via sfgirlbythebay)

My suitcases are packed, incidentally with more dresses than I had planned. The whirlwind of emotions that gripped me this week has peaked and plummeted, reached a crescendo. The final vaccinations were given, the malaria pills picked up, and the visa pictures reluctantly taken. Farewells were thrown about like confetti, and warm words were exchanged with friends and colleagues.

Did I tell you my mum made a last minute decision to hop into Cambodia for two days before heading to the Philippines? We will celebrate Mother's Day in Phnom Penh! It should be interesting.

There is a quiet excitement welling up in me.

Here I go.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Baubles. Red velvet & blackberry cake. A great bowl o' sweet potato fries. Steven Alan Outpost. That was my Sunday.

And, hello, May! Last week was the intended week for the move, but vaccinations were in the way. This week is the week. Can my heart beat any faster?
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