Kampot New Year

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December 30th 2008
Published: January 9th 2009
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Tuesday 30th
We monopolised the hammocks for most of the day.

Wednesday 31st
On Jen's instructions starved myself until late afternoon following a visitation by the 'Kampot trots'. We headed to the Epic Café and I had a wonderfully simple Cheese Roll with home-made pickle. Just what the stomach needed. Seemed to work and sufficiently recovered to see the Old Year out at a special buffet at the busy Blissful I had a few gin and tonics and some beers. There were many French so quite a lot of French music was requested and played. The buffet was tasty and plentiful. Nice to have the Khmer staff tucking in (albeit discretely), one of whom became very amiably drunk. A couple of Frenchmen became unsociably drunk - I'd seen them earlier quaffing large glasses of specially flavoured vodkas. They somehow really upset the barman so there was a bit of a scene. We got talking to a couple of blokes (one English, one American) who teach English in Japan. Very interesting to hear them explain how difficult it is to teach people where the concept of 'face' is so important that it's difficult to get them to speak up for fear that they will make a mistake. Another guy has taught English in Korea and has encountered other cross-cultural difficulties. Midnight passed pleasantly and I retired to bed. Jen had more energy and made it through to 1am.

Thursday 1st
Late start as I had a mild hangover. We learned that some commotion earlier was the drunken Frenchmen from the previous night being evicted - having damaged some windows. The police were called apparently after they had refused to pay for the windows. They wisely paid up. We lazed in the hammocks in the splendid heat and then headed for sunset on the riverside, noticing a pig sty right on one of the streets leading down to the river. It was very pleasant there, as quite a few Khmer families were also enjoying the first day of the year simply relaxing on the riverbank. We sat and had a couple of happy hour beers at the Ramboutri Lodge. Melinda appeared on her bicycle and joined us. We had a nightcap back at the Blissful and said goodbye to Melinda.


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