Bangkok is so different from Phnom Penh. There's really no comparison, though this month has felt like two worlds colliding into one - the Western, modern world I lived in most of my life and the Southeast Asian experience of the past few years.
Moving to another city/country is always wrought with flux. In moving, I neglect the small details that previously held my life together (e.g., having a bank account, knowing which co-op/grocery store to buy the freshest produce, having a favorite coffee shop, a favorite restaurant, a favorite neighborhood, etc). It's a matter of re-learning and re-exploring --and trying to piece together a routine that works. It's both an uncomfortable and exciting feeling, one teeming with insecurity and hope.
So far, my work has managed to be challenging and heart-wrenching, but the environment is much more collaborative and supportive than the previous. (Also, my personal safety and security is no longer an issue, so that is a plus.)
Also, it's an insanely feminine office (most of the lawyers are female). Fresh flowers brighten up the office. So often conversations veer towards food and dress and lovely, frivolous things- a nice counterpoint to the practice of refugee law. Just the other day, one colleague brought fresh-baked bread, a huge chunk of cheese she recently purchased from Switzerland, and the most delicious salami I have had in a long time, which she found in a small shop in Florence. I was loving it!
The rest of this year I am going to focus on savoring small joys (such as exploring this huge city) and keeping a healthier balance of work and life. There's a wedding to be planned (and my honeymoon) and that alone is way over my head.