So tonight will be the first night in my new apartment- The Wonderland Apartments with "Luxury Forniture" and "Approximately Lucky Super Market Restaurant" with "Terrace Over Look Independence Night Piece". I can't complain and in spite of its slightly tawdy broken bits and shopworn corners, I am in love with it because of.......
My BALCONY! I sit on it now, typing this and listening to Sunday night far below, enjoying the fine crossbreeze. I can't wait to fill it up with orchids and other plants. The rest of the apartment is just a regular box. but the large sliding doors out onto MY BALCONY let in oodles of light and a pretty good breeze as well.
There is so so so so SOOO much to tell that the temptation is just to do a running travelogue of the plot rather than the planned and edited pieces I prefer. There are my co workers and the site and the administration and the city and the food and the TRAFFIC and, as of today- THE KIDS! I will post some photos of them on brightuprising.com if I can manage to stay awake. Today was arrival, so we dipped by and I ended up singing Where is Thumbkin with a group and then they sang me the Cambodian National Anthem (very long- all of us at attention) and then I belted out the Star Spangled Banner (we all put our hands over our hearts). Kind of better than being in London for me, I think.
So I am in a busy area with lots of NGO workers and tourists, but my street is kind of on the fringe of that. Of course it is changing so intensely rapidly that I will surely be swallowed up by boutique hotels and spas within the year. Bustling hardly covers it. It is more like a Hurricane Katrina of development and change. I agonized over whether to live out of the city on the river, but many Khmer co-workers cautioned against it and I thought it would be interesting and different to do a "city year" since I have not lived in one since New York/New Jersey in 1989. I hope to have my Khmer down to a degree and know the local area well by next fall and then make my decision of whether to stay or go bucolic then.
Above all of my other impressions is how lovely and genuine are the Cambodian people I have met.
Here are a few more from the posh palace I am inhabiting.