|The top of our fence|
|Clipart courtesy Microsoft|
|Rain in our courtyard|
They’re talking what? Again? Apparently the rainy season this year was even more rainy than usual, because there’s been massive flooding throughout parts of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. There have been deaths; I’m not sure how many, but a lot. Here in Phnom Penh, the danger is minimal, but there’s still the potential for huge problems. Flooding outside the city affects the supplies coming into the city. Contingency plans have been made for evacuation, because if the supplies can’t get in, the people who depend on those supplies need to get out. Obviously not all will leave; most wouldn’t even consider it. But American embassies are cautious with their people, and if supply becomes an issue, we’re outta here. I hope that if it comes to that, we won’t be flown all the way back to the States, but rather to some regional safe haven that isn’t affected by the flooding—probably not Bangkok, because they’d be affected too, but maybe Singapore, which is our med evac location. But this is the U. S. Department of State we’re talking about, and regulations are fairly rigid. In general, evacuations are to the United States, for a minimum of 30 days. Hopefully it won’t come to an evacuation at all—we are nearing the end of the typical rainy season, after all, and the worst of it probably is over. On a purely selfish note … we opened the year with an evacuation; I really hope we don’t close the year with another one!
Mmm, good. Oh, wait. I tried my first Khmer dish tonight. Chicken amok. My first thought was “Wow, this is pretty good!” As I opened my mouth to say so, the heat kicked in. I ended up guzzling water and then eating a few bites of rice instead. That strategy was successful in cooling off my overheated tongue. Luckily, I didn’t offend anyone by not eating any more—we’d ordered dinner from a pretty good restaurant that has both Khmer and western cuisine. My meal actually was fish and chips, Jeff’s was a cheeseburger, and Alexa’s (although she fell asleep before it arrived, so hers is in the fridge) was a hot dog. But since the Khmer cuisine was so inexpensive, we decided to order a dish to split and try. My one bite was enough. If only it were possible to get the first taste without the heat, I’d love it. As it is … no more anything amok for me! (Added Saturday, 15 October 2011.)
There you have it. Snippets of what I’m noticing and thinking of as I begin my life in Cambodia. I think it will be interesting to see what I’m noticing and thinking of at different points of my time here—what will change for me in six months or a year? I look forward to finding out.
Written Wednesday, 12 October 2011.