Daily life in Cambodia

My Cambodian family

familyIt’s wonderful to go to a new place and find yourself with an adopted family. Long-time expats and global wanderers will understand how a local family deciding to take you on as one of their own can do wonders for adaptation, understanding, and overall happiness.

I can say that apart from my biological family in Canada, I also have adopted Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Japanese families. I consider them my first go-to people and those that allowed me to join them and feel like I’m at home. After over two years in Cambodia, I now have a Cambodian family. Continue reading

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Categories: Culture, Daily life in Cambodia, Personal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My coconut man – self taught and speaking out

coconutmanI want to share with you a short snippet of the life of a man that I visit weekly in search of the best coconuts Phnom Penh has to offer. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him Mr. Nara. Mr. Nara has a small coconut stand in front of his house on a street that is known as the coconut go-to of the city. Competing with probably more than 50 other coconut vendors, Mr. Nara spends his days from sunrise to long after sunset cutting open coconuts and selling them to thirsty passer-bys. He has a wife and a two year-old daughter who also take shifts to manage the stand – his wife has recently started making coconut jelly to sell as well. Continue reading

Categories: Daily life in Cambodia, Politics | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Ode to the granny bike

grannyDutch blood runs through my veins. My legs are genetically supposed to begin making cycling movements before I even start to walk…

In my volunteer programme, we are generally expected to ride bicycles if our workplaces are within 5km or so from our homes. Living in Phnom Penh, most of us reside close to work. When I arrived and had a look at the chaotic city traffic and chronically potholed roads, I thought there was no way I was getting on a bicycle. Not even to mention the fact I had arrived in Cambodia under that stifling heat at the beginning of the rainy season and daily flooding. Other volunteers encouraged me to get on a bicycle and give it a try – which I did once – and subsequently made a decision to never try again. Alternatively, I decided to focus my Dutch genes on spinning classes at the gym with machine bikes, cute instructors, and pounding dance music! Continue reading

Categories: Daily life in Cambodia, Personal, Volunteer | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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