Wednesday Around the World: Kep, Cambodia

I heard a lot about this photo meme from a friend that I got very interested to join. So yeah, in order to take a break from posting stamps and postcards, I’m jumping into the Wednesday Around the World bandwagon to show my part of the world:

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Low tide. Kep Beach, near the Crab Market in Kep, Cambodia.

It has been three years since I last visited Kep. Back then, Kep used to be our favourite weekend getaway. My husband and I cherish the simple, laid-back and slow-paced lifestyle of Kep. Not to mention the fresh seafoods – shrimps, squids and crabs – these fishermen catch that are served on our table the next day.

Nowadays, the quiet days are gone, I am told, with the arrival of investors and the droves of wide-eyed tourists. It is becoming like the Sihanoukville these days. So many new hotels, restaurants and bars have mushroomed to cash in on this new tourist destination. Instead of hippies toting guitars, they are now outnumbered by rowdy over-staying backpackers who prefer electronica and those fancy sounding floyd rose tremolo at guitar center. So you can just imagine how the changes are. I long for the olden days of Kep.

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Home, sweet home

Quick post – a picture of our new house.

new-house

It’s a lovely, traditional Khmer wooden house that was just vacated by its previous tenants. My husband and I found it fortuitously while we were at the end of our rope in search for a new place. The house is located in Boeung Tumpun area, south of the city, tucked in a leafy neighbourhood with small roads and a mix of apartments and dainty wooden houses. It is very old and basic but just oozing with character. We know right away that this will be a nice home.

There were some furniture left by the previous tenants which the landlord and his wife offered to us to use. I was amazed at how much was left – dining table and chairs, washing machine, wooden beds, fans, a fancy electric guitar with 8 string cobalt (which is now in the possession of the landlord’s teenaged son) and many more.

We moved in on New Year’s eve and, although we have not moved in completely, we love the fact that the we are getting enough sleep and rest and relaxation in this place.

Hey, hey, hey!

Hello, blog. It’s been a long while.
It’s been — what — nearly two months. Gosh.

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Welcome to Banlung, Ratanakiri!

For those not in the know, I got a job in August and since then, I’ve been busy with the surgical missions – two times already – pre and post-mission preparations as well as the mission itself that lasts at least 5 days, not including the travel time. What an international volunteer remarked the other day is so true – mission coordinators do not have a life at all. We don’t have enough sleep, we don’t eat when not everyone hasn’t eaten yet, and we do not have a night life. Good luck to me next year then.

Now that we just wrapped up our most recent surgical mission in Banlung, Ratanakiri province, I am swamped with paper works. My back aches from too much slouching in front of the computer, typing out reports and letters and other stuff. My eyes and head hurt from too much staring at the computer monitor. Gah.

One time I allowed lazy self to take over and wandered over the Internet. I got hooked in the online buy and sell group of expats here in the Penh. There’s so much going on – from selling (and buying) home and office items, to musical instruments. I didn’t know a lot that there’s a lot of music enthusiasts in the expat community as there are lots of electric guitars, drum sets, sound systems – what is a budda amp, by the way?

Anyways, going back. My postcard-swapping activities will resume shortly. Just allow me to wallow in idleness for a while just because… I think I deserve to, considering the stressful mission that I just been to.

Broken scanner

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been away for so long that the mails on my email accounts need sorting out. From the email I use for my swapping activities, I receive more than a thousand emails already. Emails from people who want to swap, and yes, junk mails, too.

I was going through it one by one because if I didn’t, I might erase unintentionally some emails that are rather important. Like the case of my coursera application – I almost forgot that I used this particular email to contact coursera. There is also one email from the reid supply homepage which I bookmarked simply because it has some tools that my husband needs in his mini-workshop.  My husband likes to create things and then let his students do the same and develop their English communication skills through this.

Anyhoo, I digress.
I just found out that our scanner doesn’t work anymore 🙁 I have lots of postcards that needed scanning for publishing them here. So it has to wait till we get a technician to check out what’s wrong with it. So please come back next time for new postcards – lots of them.

Computer Security alert

Hi. It’s been awhile, isn’t it?

If you’re disappointed about the lack of updates here, well, you are not alone. My friends are, too. I myself is very disappointed because I could not seem to push myself and finish my drafts.

Work is really getting more hectic, and from the way I see it now, looks like I’m going to stay longer. Hurrah for me! Anyways, I was not totally offline as I’ve been browsing through a lot of sites lately. Just reading, mostly, and I have to congratulate myself for successfully keeping myself from commenting. Yay.

In one of the sites I surfed, I found this online article about Internet spying by Cyberexpert Nate Anderson, Meet the Men who Spy on Women through their Webcams. It is scary! I recommend this to everyone, most especially young and vulnerable females, to read this as it exposes how hackers can infiltrate your computers remotely and use your camera to spy on you, or worse, blackmail you. This is a great article on Computer Security, or the lack thereof.

Howdy, friends!

Girl power!
Girl power!

I had a long period of absence from blogging on this site due to some personal matters. If truth be told, I actually have lots of scanned postcards and stamps as well as several blog posts waiting to get published but haven’t had the time. Apart from that, I have several swap requests that are put on hold. I hope you understand my situation.

And so, besides the new apartment, I also got myself a new job after — what – some 100 years? Just kidding about the number of years but you get the picture. During the years I was out of work, I tried hard to be a Home Biz Mama or simply a home-based wife but it’s really not my forte. So when this job reached my attention, I had to grab that opportunity right away. And I thought that was the hard part. I was wrong.

Snagging the job is just the beginning. Making it out alive and whole on the first day of work is another story. Being the “new girl” on my first day of work, I was just a bundle of nerves! Imagine, after many years of idleness, I’m thrown into the lion’s pit again, hahaha. But yeah, I was nervous, but I made it out alive, hahaha. Now I’m on my second week and I think I’m slowling getting into the groove. Besides, being the “new girl” is fun!

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Photo Source

Sundown or sunup?

That is a good question.  Posting again one of my favourite Angkor Wat postcards –

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I have always loved sunset and sunrise views. However, just by looking at this postcard, we can not determine whether it is a sunset or a sunrise. Maybe other readers know?

I love the silhouette of the temple, its reflection on the water, and the colours. It gives it an enigmatic air to the temple. Don you think so?

Please excuse the shoddy quality of the photo. My scanner is old and needs replacement. Not too urgent a need but will find a replacement soon.

As an aside, I wonder if anyone can give me any idea about portable pa system? My husband’s looking for a pa system that he can use for his English class. He is teaching public speaking and needs something to use in the classroom for better listening experience. His students have prepared really good speeches; some had even incorporated background music and some sound effects. I’ve heard them practice and it would be a shame if the sound fails them on their presentation day. My husband had already read some reviews on the classic jbl eon 210p portable pa system 10″ 2-way reviews at guitar center but he needs more inputs from others before making a decision. I’d appreciate any help, thanks.

Soksabay from the Penh!

midweek-mails-bound-for-lithuania-romania-and-the-UK
Sorry for being inactive again. If only blogs can talk, mine would have berated me long time ago for neglect. To give you updates, so much happenings in the homefront lately. I can’t tell you in details but changes are definitely coming and preparations are being made. The monsoon season is upon us again, and the fun begins!

I did a few swaps here and there but I have been inactive at Postcrossing. Temporarily, that is. Once everything is in place, I will go back to it.

We recently got a lease for a new apartment outside the city. It is a mere 12kilometres from where we currently live but it is totally a different place. Semi-rural. It is close to the meeting point of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. Very quiet. Large, green space for my dogs to run around and, more importantly, a place to develop my green thumb. We’re not moving out of our current apartment; we just wanted somewhere quiet to spend the weekends. So we have been busy packing stuff around, cleaning, and making sure the utilities are working fine. My husband is so picky about the lighting – nothing fancy on his mind but he likes a modern exterior lighting of sorts to add pizzaz to the new apartment.

Sadly, I haven’t been to the Post Office this week, and the week before. But prior to that, I was able to mail some to friends and others. So these postcards have probably arrived, or on their way to, Lithuania, Romania, and the UK. I do know that the postcard to Romania has already arrived 🙂 Just waiting for the others to reached their destinations before I sent out new ones.

People postcards

Here’s some more postcards with views that are not Angkor Wat or temples. Glad I found more of them in my box.

Boys and their buffaloes. Nothing more fun than riding a buffalo in rural Cambodia.
Boys and their buffaloes. Nothing more fun than riding a buffalo in rural Cambodia.
cyclo-passengers
Cyclo! It’s a Cambodian version of a rickshaw, similar to the ones in Vietman.  Slow. It could take you to your destination. Eventually. Meanwhile, enjoy the view while riding a cyclo.
Hilltribe members. They are living in the northeastern part of the country. Very interesting culture and traditions.
Hilltribe members. They are living in the northeastern part of the country. Very interesting culture and traditions.
lotus-girl
Ahhh, this is my favourite. A girl on a dug-out boat and picking lotus flowers. You wouldn’t believe how beautiful a pond full of blooming lotuses is.

 

Yummy tarantula

As I was listening to an acoustic music CD, a friend of mine who I was chatting with online asked me if there are other postcards from Cambodia aside from the usual Angkor Wat and other ancient temples that I’ve been sending out. Of course, I felt a bit offended. She sounded a bit snotty. I told her there are other kinds of views but they are more expensive and limited.

Now that she flagged my attention, I went to check my postcards box to see if I have indeed in my possession some non-Angkor Wat, non-temple, postcards. I was happy to find this:

Postcard moment.
Postcard moment.

Scary? Hell, yeah! I bet all hell will break loose if ever I’d encountered one crawling on my limbs. Just as I had this thought, the music I was listening to rose to a somewhat dramatic. Sounded like a six-year-old-kid playing Fender Stratocaster guitar center. Hah. With that as background music, I’m giving you a bit of info  about this postcard.

Here’s the deal. There’s a town in Cambodia, halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, called Kampong Cham. Buses from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and vice versa, stop here for a short time for rest and food and to pick up some more passengers. This is also the place where the popular a’ping or local tarantulas come from and offered/sold as snacks. Along with crickets, termites, grasshoppers, and many other bugs, they  are considered a delicacy in Cambodia and neighbouring countries. Some other enterprising locals offer live tarantulas as props for photograph. For a fee, you can pose for the camera with the tarantula.

So there you have it. Friends, yes, this postcard is for swap but I’m not currently entertaining private exchanges.  You can see from my side bar the list of countries where my postcards are from. If you’re country is not in it,  then, by all means, please drop me a line.