Enjoying Thai steamboat
Miles, James, Kim, and me at the Directors house.
Well, it's been a long time since my last blog, but don't be peeved, you haven't really missed much. Anyway, here are pictures from my stay here, or at least from the last time my camera got nicked. Now, my camera has only got nicked, but that doesn't mean it can't be nicked again. Unfortunately, in this country having any kind of possession is a bit like a Russian roulette. Most of the time you are lucky and all your possessions are still yours, but that doesn't mean that you don't know that given enough time someone will eventually lighten you of some of your worldly possessions. The upside of this is that you don't really get too attached to mere things. Although I reckon that Buddha didn't really have theft in mind as a way to make man not so caught up in his worldly goods. Anyway, I am digressing... International New Year
New Year as we know it was rather an uneventful affair. However, there was one good party which was arranged by my school for all their employees. Seeing that this is Cambodia the location of the party had to change at least five times
Kim and me
All made up for New Years Eve
and of course end up at the first location three hours before the party was due to start. But what the heck, that just adds a bit of excitement to the lot. After living here for a while one gets accustomed to never taking a place and time for anything for given. They can and will change at least three times before the event is set to start. The experienced expat puts his dollars on the first place though, as they tend to go around in circles and most of the time ends up on the first place that was decided. Anyway...
The party was to be held at the Director’s mansion, and when I say mansion here I really do mean mansion. This was a house that could easily have contested the Norwegian Royal Palace. Not that the Royal Palace in Norway is such a grand affair, but you get my drift. Of course, as we were told when we got the grand tour of the house, the Director, his wife, and his daughter do not actually live in this mansion, but rather in their other house, which is located closer to the daughter’s school. This is the first
The Director's villa
You might not see it in this pic, but there is a crystal chandelier on the porch...
house I have ever seen which had a crystal chandelier on the porch outside the main entrance.
The party was a grand affair. There were about two hundred people there, and the entire front yard had been set up with tables and a stage, and there were steamboat for everyone. Steamboat is an Asian dish that basically means you get a pot of chicken stock on a heater onto your table, then you will get loads of different meats and vegetables which you put into your stock at will to make a soup. During the meal the people around your table will pick our what ever they like to eat from the soup, and they will add whatever else they would like to eat. Very good. And of course there were free flow of beers.
The party ended around midnight, and then we were off to a New Year party at Elsewhere, which is a rather fancy little outside bar. However, I must admit that most of that part of the evening is rather blurred for me due to the free-flowing beer mentioned earlier. But, while we are on the topic of drinking I have to mention... Khmer
New Year cake?
Suddenly a cake came out. I am not quite sure, but there was a rumor that there was someones birthday...
men and drinking
The Asian way of drinking is very different as Westerners know it. As soon as you get over the extreme binge-drinking in your teenage-years, most tend to drink mostly because alcohol is enjoyed, and not only to get drunk anymore (although this doesn’t hold true for everyone). Although getting drunk is still a rather well-exercised option, drinking is for the most part a quite time-consuming affair. One will meet up with friends to have the famous ‘one’ drink. Of course, this one drink most often do come in the company of six more, but they do take time to appear though. A party will easily last for five hours or more. However, this is not the case in Asia. In Asia, it seems to me, it is all about getting drunk as soon as possible. The few times my boyfriend goes to a party he is able to consume an amazing amount of beers on no time whatsoever. I don’t know the times I have happened to call maybe half an hour into a party, and he will tell me that he already have had six beers. Six beers in half an hour is a feat that not many of us have done since we were sixteen and didn’t know better. And this is the norm. Which means that you can go to a party, get blind drunk, pass out, have your friends take you home, all within the hour. Being with me though, he has been introduced to the ‘having two beers over one hour’ thing, and he now does appreciate it. But that doesn’t stop him from making mystified comments about Westerners and their sipping of drinks. In Cambodia one drinks to get drunk. End of story!
Of course, any Khmer woman who drinks more than a small glass of beer will instantly turn bright red and go to sleep. Here, tolerance for drinking is truly gender based.
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