time flies when you’re having fun (and working too :)

Wow! I can’t believe it’s September. I have been absent from here for two whole months. Life is Phnom Penh has been good. I have been concentrating mainly on becoming better at my job. Teaching little kids is definitely an introspective experience in some ways. I have learned new things about me daily for the past four months and at times is has been frustrating, but mainly it has been a rewarding growing process.

 

a wonderfully giant and gold buddha

a wonderfully giant and gold buddha

I took a trip at the end of July to Battambang, a place that I have been yearning to get to since I arrived in Cambodia. It was a fantastic experience. My friend Danny moved there at the end of May so come July he knew his way around and was an awesome tour guide. We went to four wats around town, the winery and kayaking on the river. We ate at a delicious restaurant that specialized in home-made noodles and dumplings. Battambang really struck a cord in me; it is a place i can see myself spending some time.

having a refreshing drink inside The Cave of Sacred Water at Wat Banaan in Battambang

having a refreshing drink inside The Cave of Sacred Water at Wat Banaan in Battambang

 

I am sad to report that my Khmer has not improved much. This is still an area that I need to focus on. When my sister gets here, I am going to see about taking actual classes I believe.

baby boy can't keep his eyes off his mama in Battambang

baby boy can’t keep his eyes off his mama in Battambang

I have read some great books lately. Cambodia’s Curse by Joel Brinkley is a wonderful read. It is heartbreaking at times, but most Cambodian histories are. He has an insightful connection on how the history of Cambodia has shaped its people from both a societal point of view but also a psychological point of view. I started it and could not put it down until I was finished. My roommates didn’t see me for a week while I was reading this book.

 

the sampler at Cambodia's only winery: brandy, red wine, grape Juice and ginger Juice. Sadly, I must admit the grape Juice was my favorite.

the sampler at Cambodia’s only winery: brandy, red wine, grape Juice and ginger Juice. Sadly, I must admit the grape Juice was my favorite.

I also read a book about the sex trade in South East Asia. It was another heartbreaking sociological text filled with real life horror stories. At times it is not pleasant to read but I think it is important to read material that makes us uncomfortable with out surrounding environment. It keeps us thinking about it that is the only way people will start acting. I really want to start volunteering somewhere on the weekends. Despite the abundance of NGOs in Cambodia it is still difficult to find a good volunteer position where you really get to interact with people.

family fishing time on the river in Battambang

family fishing time on the river in Battambang

I read a biography of Pol Pot that was pretty dry but at times an interesting story. I did learn a lot about Pol Pot and the details of the Khmer Rogue regime.

Right now I am reading a great text by Naomi Kilne entitled Shock Doctorine. It is phenomenal. It is about the rise of disaster capitalism. I am learning new things with every turn of the page. And it is a wonderfully written.

At my hotel in Battambang I traded a pretty bad book for The Horse Whisperer. It’s not great literature, I know, but it is one of my favorite books. I read the entire things on the 6 hour drive back from Battambang.

There have been some other novels as well. The Weight of Numbers was really interesting to read but also confusing. I tried to figure out the plot and character connections via charting it out on paper but I still got pretty much nowhere except the obvious connections. But maybe that’s the point: it’s not the obvious connections that rule our lives sometimes.

I know this is a condensed update but I just wanted to be alive online again. Peace.

Advertisements

2 responses to “time flies when you’re having fun (and working too :)

  1. I’m lucky enough to be heading to south east asia in October and will spend 3 weeks in Cambodia – but after reading this, I don’t feel like it’s enough!! Will def checkout Cambodia’s curse before I get there! Good luck with the search for more volunteer work, I look forward to more updates!

  2. Just came across your blog and really enjoyed reading about your travels.

    I have been traveling through South East Asia this year and am currently living in Vietnam teaching English. It’s been great but I’m actually leaving Vietnam in a few weeks for more travels – first to China and then on to Australia. If you have a second you can check out/follow my blog here:

    http://overdueadventure.wordpress.com/

    Look forward to reading more posts from you!

    Siobhan

say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s