Getting balance in Cambodia

After so many hours in the air, it was nice to have a full 24 hours to get familiar with our neighborhood in Siem Reap.  It is both similar and different from areas we have stayed before.  Similar in that the street is bustling with activity with small shops, cafes and services.  Different in that it is away from the tourist hustle and bustle of the centre of town.  I quite like it.

Our Landlord, Nabil, has a lot in common with Rob.  They are both avid photographers.  To start the day they got into a great conversation about cameras, lenses and photography opportunities here in Siem Reap.  In addition to running this collection of condos, Nabil takes photographs that land in magazines and billboards here in Cambodia.  He is a talented man.

The first order of business for us was to fill our fridge with a few of the basics and to get our phones equipped with local SIM cards.  Being able to communicate and navigate while out and about is super important to both of us.  I purchased a SIM card with 20 GB of data for something like $7.  It should be more than enough to keep me connected during my two weeks.  Rob, who is staying a little longer, went for the mother load of SIM cards that offered 80 GB.  We were in and out of that particular store with our new Cambodia phone number within minutes.

Our next stop was the Lucky Mall where we got a few basics.  This is a grocery store, in the North American sense, with prices reflective of home.  The sooner we get comfortable shopping like the locals, the less expensive it will be.

By midday we were starving and back at the condo ready to hike over to a restaurant/social enterprise called Marun.  Nabil had suggested it as a great dining choice. He also suggested his favourite dish which is red fire ants and beef. I went with his suggestion and was not disappointed.  It proved to be one of the best Cambodian meals I have ever had. 

Rest is super important to me, and the deep sleep provided by a late afternoon nap was what I needed to recharge.  Our jet lag is minimal, but it is there.

We met up with Lee, Kent and Heng for dinner at Genevieve’s, our favourite restaurant in Siem Reap, run by Phil, an expat Australian who helps train potential restauranteurs.  His measure of success is when employees get to the point when they are ready to leave the next and start their own operation.  Linda, his number one hostess, is about to do that.  Phil is a little concerned, but very happy at the same time.

Our trip back to the condo gave us the opportunity to show Rob the lights, sounds and smells of the Pub Street area.  It is truly something to see with all the light lit up. 

It is early Tuesday morning and this will be our first day out in the field with Bracelets For Buildings.  We will be building west of town in an area we affectionately call Heng’s Land.  Heng is our Cambodian foreman/translator/boots on the ground man in the land.  


Popular Posts