The people you meet..

Everyone I’ve met since I’ve been here in Cambodia has been lovely (apart perhaps from the grumpy monk at the English meditation session way back when I first arrived).

There’s my gang who I still see every day on the way to and from work.

Huong the gateman, who has now taken to regaling me with longwinded tales of woe to which I furiously nod and mutter agreement, whilst simultaneously not having a clue what he’s on about.

A very cute little girl who I see walking to school with her mum who stops to chat and tell me all about what she is doing that day at school and her likes and dislikes (same conversation everytime!)

And then there’s these randoms that I meet in passing.  Phone in hand I snap a pic of them to remind me of the randomness of my life and to keep the smiles coming long after they’ve gone on their way and I on mine.

  1. This little cutie, fascinated by the videos I was making at the fairground


2. The gang of little posers in Kampot (the one in the blue shorts was definitely the ring leader)


3. A street vendor, passing time whilst waiting for customers at her stall at a major junction in Phnom Penh


4. Hookers waiting for customers outside a cafe early in the afternoon


5. This guy who decided to decorate his otherwise totally ordinary bike with comedy flowers


6. At one of my regular lunchtime haunts, the daughter of the owner practices her pole dancing skills


7. The only man in Cambodia capable of growing significant facial hair not capitalising on his uniqueness and instead driving a tuktuk in Phnom Penh


And last but by no means least……






8.  The Cambodian Simon Cowell outside a cafe on street 63



If you’re interested in seeing more of my random pictures I’m over on Instagram @anewlifeinflipflops posting almost every day (sometimes even post twice!)



The one where I discover my psychic powers, make new friends & test my diplomacy skills

For some reason, when I went to bed at 9.30pm last night I had the feeling I needed to set my alarm clock for 6.15 the next morning.


When I was still awake at 11.30pm, switching it off seemed like a good idea and when I woke at 1.30am after nodding off for an hour it was the only sane thing to do – so switch it off I did.


I then slept fitfully until 6am when I found myself pretty much wide awake.  I lay listening to the world waking up for a bit and then decided to get up, go out and get breakfast.  As I came back in from getting my random pork and pineapple rice wrapped in a banana leaf thing (pic on Instagram @anewlifeinflipflops if you’re interested *Warning* some of my friends with a dirty mind appear to think it looks rude!!!).

I noticed 3 people sitting in reception and felt compelled to approach them.  It turns out they were waiting for the VSO pick up which was due in – wait for it – 2 minutes.  OO errr missus – it appears I’m psychic.

I asked them to hang on whilst I ran back to get my things and about 5 minutes later we were in a Tuktuk and on our way.


En route my colleagues filled me in on their background whilst I grinned inanely mainly as I could hardly hear most of what they said over the din of the traffic.


Once at the office it soon became apparent that, whilst I was expected, there hadn’t really been any sort of effort made to get me there or to decide what I would do when I did arrive.

So, the poor Khmer language and culture teacher was dumped with me and I joined my new found friends, Tuti, Kees & Gloria, learning how to go shopping at the market.

In the style of all great language lessons it involved all 4 of us pronouncing the same thing differently and each being praised emphatically by our very patient teacher.  I now know the names of lots of fruit and vegetables – unfortunately most of the ones I actually like are totally unpronounceable – and can count to 100 very slowly and with frequent expletives interspersed as I return to my notes to yet again try to remember how to say 3!


Lunch was pork fried rice in a Thai restaurant/hairdressers where the menu was a photo album and the shelves were stacked with snail face gel, tomato hair paste and shrimp pot noodles.


The least said about the test of my diplomacy & patience in the afternoon the better – suffice to say the challenge came from a direction I wasn’t expecting, was disappointing to experience and has left a sour taste.  I really appreciate those of you who received vitriolic text rants about said person as soon as I was free!  I think the word cock womble was used in at least one of them but believe me it wasn’t the only derogatory term that came to mind J


I’ve ended by day with my new friends eating laklak beef and rice at a restaurant down the road whilst reflecting on our experiences to date all to a back drop of a fabulous electrical storm.

The trash TV is too bad even for my low standards this evening, so it’s back to my book ‘100 days of solitude’.


My alarm is set for 6am and fingers crossed for a good night sleep to prepare me for whatever fun and games tomorrow brings..