It’s been a very busy couple of weeks at work so I missed a blog or two. The deadline for my long article on landmines was quickly approaching so I spent a weekend on an island in the Gulf of Thailand to limit distractions. The adjacent Cambodian beach on the mainland was very cool as it’s been a pretty popular hippie stronghold since the 60s. It’s kind of a depressing place to be since those who live there know that they’re living on somewhat borrowed time as the government will inevitably move to develop the land with Chinese money under the One Belt One Road initiative. Other than that it really just exudes an incredibly strange combination of Hunter S. Thompson and Jon Krakauer.
Then a new intern started at work and it’s kind of amusing to see her go through similar thoughts that I had when I first started. I managed to get an interview with the secretary general of the mine action authority in Cambodia who pretty much fulfilled my expectations of Cambodian politicians. The most notable traits were his Hermes belt and insinuating point at me whenever he mentioned the US bombing of Cambodia in the 70s.
It was a popular expat’s birthday on Thursday, so in typical expat fashion we celebrated Wednesday – Sunday. I imagine that almost every expat in their twenties was there – hundreds of people moving from tiny hole-in-the-wall pub to the next – complete with Cambodian children pointing and shouting “barang,” foreigner. On Saturday, my house hosted a party where I had an interesting conversation with a freelance journalist.
Ah, and, I wore an American flag shirt to work for fourth of July. However, I didn’t find out until I was already in that we were visiting a Khmer woman in our office who’s just had a baby. I felt a bit silly walking through a Khmer hospital with a blaring American shirt on. I ended up joining a volleyball team, which is where I spent my fourth of July – not really a celebrated holiday here. Full of Dutch men with ponytails, Cambodians hoping to practice their English and me, the team’s, needless to say, an interesting mix.