It’s 8.45am on day 2. We’ve spent 20 minutes throwing a ball around to music and reading things out of our notebooks (whilst randomly laughing uproariously/giggling snidely) and now Loueng is lecturing us on leading teams. Meanwhile in the far corner of the room a phone rings.
It’s the annoying Nokia 3310 ringtone, synonymous for me with one of the very early reality TV shows, Driving School, on the BBC. It’s one of 3 phones placed out neatly in front of the rather disengaged man in a red shirt who is currently playing some game or other on his 4th phone (the bubble popping sound giving away the fact he’s playing a game just in case you were wondering).
His neighbour looks pointedly at the phone and then up at red shirt man but it has no impact. Peering studiously over his glasses, red shirt man swipes left then right, then left again before sighing dejectedly and momentarily glancing up. And at that point the phone finally stops trilling.
Meanwhile, back in the main ring of the circus…
Loueng has moved on from lecturing to leading a 3 man show featuring himself and 2 of the most vocal trainees. They banter back and forth whilst the rest of the group occupy themselves either observing the act or noodling on their phones.
The guy directly in front of me has that annoying leg jiggling habit favoured by men the world over. I fear if he doesn’t stop I may be forced to take corrective action.
Another phone is ringing. This time an iPhone, this time not one of the four owned by red shirt man (he’s taking photos of the woman sitting next to him with his iPhone). It’s Sophea’s phone – the same Sophea who is currently in charge of cutting up bits of paper to hand out to everyone in the room. The people are waiting for the paper – they need it to do whatever it is they’ve been asked to do by Loueng. And so Sophea does what only he would (actually he and every other Cambodian I know) he puts down the paper and scissors, picks up his phone and wanders off somewhere uttering “hello bong” into his phone as he goes.
Arms flailing wildy, the lovely ladyboy of the group flounces over to the table and heroically picks up where Sophea left off. Disaster averted – our trainees will get their red and yellow squares of paper before the time runs out.
Oh bugger, I’m being summoned. Mr Questioner is asking his first (no doubt of many) question of the day that Loueng can’t answer. Half way through my explanation and yep you’ve guessed it, Mr Questioner’s phone rings, he glances at it and picks up to answer………………..
It’s going to be a loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg day!