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Phnom Penh Traffic 101

By: Carl James Adam Posted: December-02-2011 in
Carl James Adam

For the Western mind, it's fair to say that things work strangely in Cambodia, some would say in reverse. As the cliché goes, Cambodia is a country of stark contradictions and there is no better symbol of this than the traffic of Cambodia's chaotic capital, Phnom Penh.

The stuff of legends, traffic in Phnom Penh can best be described as liberal, at worst, all out anarchy - where vehicular laissez-faire mixes with rigid SUV authoritarianism depending on what side of might you find yourself on in the event of an accident.

We don’t belong anywhere, actually, no we belong everywhere

By: Hanna Sworn Posted: November-16-2011 in
Hanna Sworn

When my parents told their average, middle class, British families they were moving themselves, their four-year-old (me), and their six month old to Cambodia, they received a range of responses.

A Cambodian Riddle

By: Clare Ortblad Posted: November-09-2011 in
Clare Ortblad

One of the best reasons to come to Cambodia is that you’re bound to come away with an unusual story. I have been living in Phnom Penh for a few short months and feel as if I have already collected at least a dozen stories to be retold for years to come. Many of these stories have been collected through my experiences as a volunteer at a local, non-governmental organization (NGO) that specializes in agricultural development. One of the best perks about working at this NGO is that I get to go out into the field with fellow staff.

Family living in Svey Rieng

By: Claire Barker Posted: October-25-2011 in
Claire Barker

During my second month in Cambodia back in September 2009 a Khmer friend invited a few people to spend the weekend in Svey Rieng province where she is from . An extremely sleepy place which warrants only 1 short paragraph in the lonely planet saying it is one of the poorest provinces and there is nothing to do. We were invited to stay at her Grandmother’s house and had visions of sleeping on the ground and washing in the well outside wearing a sarong. We drove in a minibus and had to cross the Mekong on a ferry on which we enjoyed taro ice-creams and lots of curious stares.


By: Bernadette Vincent Posted: September-23-2011 in
Bernadette Vincent

She is having a rum and raisin ice cream, one of her favorite. She lost 2 kilos in the past two days so she deserves it. Does she? Does she deserve anything? Yes, her soul mate would say. Well he is her soul mate but she is not his, but that’s ok. She is used to this one-way relationship. Anyway, back to the ice cream. It was ok, not as good as the one she makes though. Her room is called sweetheart. That’s nice. Not many people call her that. She doesn’t really know why she is in a room called sweetheart all by herself.

In This Place, We Are Kin

By: Heidi Hoefinger Posted: September-17-2011 in
Heidi Hoefinger

We meet at corner of the main street and the entrance to the maze. We navigate our way through the winding concrete alleyways in this Cambodian slum, past the salted snails, the fried crickets, grasshoppers, and iced coffee. Sochua and I stop and buy a bag of fried spiders. People around here recognize me now, but still stare at the white barang.

Birthing Abroad

By: Junlah Madalinski Posted: August-25-2011 in
Junlah Madalinski

I am a type A control freak. Everything has its place, and usually those places are labeled. Even in the three-week whirlwind of deciding to move to Cambodia, I organized, itemized, and put that label maker to good use. Two years of living in Cambodia later, I found myself in the corner pharmacy, trying to hand gesture the phrase "I need a pregnancy test." One “label” I was not expecting was the one that came in the form of a faint pink plus sign.

My first trimester was consumed with uncontrollable bouts of morning sickness, which was amplified because, lets face it, nausea and "developing country smell" do not go hand in hand. I don't think there was a corner of Phnom Penh that wasn't christened by my vomit.

Expat experiences - power outages

By: Eric Gonzalez Posted: August-09-2011 in
Eric Gonzalez

Living in a foreign county means a lot of things to most people; those things can and do vary widely, but most people do end up with one experience in common, experiencing theft, and lots of it. It’s a fact of life, just being here makes you part of a population that suffers from increased petty theft, and adding to that, being an expatriate means that aspiring thieves think you have more money and peg you as a juicy target. My stories are the same as everyone’s else,

The Headstone and the Wizard

By: Philip R. Slocum Posted: June-22-2011 in
Philip R. Slocum

I recently received a call from a local friend and he asked me to stop by his place to check out a gift that he had for me. It was a warm afternoon and upon entering his bar he grabbed my by the arm and hauled me to the back of the tavern that he runs. Propped up against the wall of the wash room was a Graveyard marker, a Headstone. It was obviously very old and appeared much abused. The stones age was not easy to determine but hundreds of years old did not seem out of the question.


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