Settling-in in 20 sights, smells & sounds

So, 24 hours have passed since I arrived in Phnom Penh and it’s already beginning to feel like home, mainly because it’s all as crazy, mad, bonkers as I remembered it to be.  To sum it up here’s my list of 20 Cambodian (or East & SE Asian in general) experiences in the last 24 hours that have put a smile on my face and helped make me feel at home:

  1. My Khmer speaking driver occasionally muttering crayyyzzzy every five minutes on the journey from the airport and then grinning in the rear view mirror at me as he narrowly misses yet another head on collision
  2. Turning up at the very very pink Good Luck Guesthouse
  3. A family of five all riding on one motorbike with the baby laid carefully over the petrol tank
  4. A squashed, bloody rat lying on the pavement
  5. A courting couple (how retro does that sound) walking down the street in matching pyjamas at 4pm in the afternoon
  6. The Tat Guesthouse
  7. Walking out of the guest house to see a woman with a drip in her arm dragging the stand behind her as she walks down the middle of the road
  8. The odour of blocked drains every time I turned a corner
  9. An upturned cockroach writhing around in the middle of the corridor (one of the big brown ones in case you were wondering)
  10. Being offered a tuktuk or motorbike ride every 10 seconds(even by the drivers who’d already heard me say no to the guy in front)
  11. 7 cars and twice as many motorbikes all fighting over the same lane of the road
  12. Jumping 10 feet as a ghecko scuttles up the wall at the sound of my key in the lock
  13. Turning the corner onto a busy main road to find a man sitting kerbside on a stool, dressed in a white tuxedo playing a full sized keyboard and wailing dolefully
  14. A guy – his phone firmly wedged in his helmet – chatting away as he navigates a huge roundabout on his moped (At least he was hands free I guess)
  15. At least one smiling face on every street I walked down
  16. An offer of ear cleaning for the princely sum of $1
  17. Learning and eventually remembering how to say thank you in Khmer (and being understood)
  18. Being asked my age before I’ve even sat down in the coffee shop
  19. Looking out of the window to see a dance party in full swing on the roof top opposite


And if you’ve got this far, here’s a bonus 10 Western influences that have helped too:

  1. My ‘Say f*ckit & smile’ Spotify playlist – compiled with the help of my f*ckit friends when I was having a tough time at work, it never fails to lift me up. If you want to check it out (it’s pretty damned eclectic, here’s the link: Say F*ckit & Smile
  2. Getting wifi back at 12 noon today after not realising it was limited and binging last night
  3. Looking at the lovely cards people wrote me before I left
  4. Skyping with my lovely sis & bro in law and the 2 gorgeous lights of my life Emily & Grace and being able to show them where I now live
  5. Biscuits – my staple arriving in Asia food
  6. Laughing at the retro photobooth photos – fun times making memories before I came out
  7. Mum and dad getting to grips with technology (well mum nearly has J)
  8. Qi Gong & meditation. Yes I know these are actually Eastern but I learned them in the West and thank god I did!  Really helped at 1.30 in the morning when the world seemed like a very bleak place
  9. Chatting with friends from home on What’s App, Facetime and Facebook – you’ve been life savers (even though I again have no wifi as a result J!!)
  10. Discovering back to back episodes of Britain’s Next Top Model showing on StarWorld (well you didn’t really expect me to go without trash TV didn’t you!?)


2 thoughts on “Settling-in in 20 sights, smells & sounds

  1. Sara this is absolutely great I’m looking forward to keeping up with you


  2. Brilliant! xx


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