How To Spend New Year's Day in Phnom Penh

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January 1st 2011
Published: January 1st 2011
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Happy New Year! It's only once a year we get to celebrate this day. The US government predicts that the American economy will improve; Gerald Celente predicts that the American economy is screwed; Chinese astrology predicts the Year of the Rabbit starts February 3rd; the Mayans predict we've only got another year left; and I predict that I'll never leave Phnom Penh.

How did you welcome Two Thousand Eleven? I didn't really bother.

Scenes from my celebration of New Year's:

*Letting class out early only to get stood up by my much anticipated New Year's date because he decided he'd rather hang out with the much cooler folks from the guest house.
*Crying at home.
*Lying on my balcony at 2 am listening in on my arguing neighbors.
*Spending January 1st, 2011 riding a monster motorcycle across town at 100 kph to get to a riverside restaurant so that I could have an unrelated lunch date with Prince Bandar's much younger double.
*Getting sunburned.
*Learning the bad and dirty Khmer words that naughty security guards and soldiers might try to tell me. Giggling with my teacher as he tried not to say them loudly enough for anyone in the vicinity to hear. Degenerating into a Khmer version of "The Penis Game".
*Mentally and physically imploding at 8 pm due to the side effects of the horrible antibiotic I was given to combat the equally horrible sinus infection.
*Letting in a random stray cat who now 1. won't leave the house and 2. won't shut up.

Do any of you have New Year's Resolutions? I usually don't bother, but this year I have five. Let me write them down so that you know what sorts of things people who live in Phnom Penh think about, and so that I don't forget. Be it hereby resolved that I intend to improve upon the following:

1. Khmer. I'm really tired of spending all this money on Khmer language lessons, and then never once practicing what I learn. Since everyone speaks English, I am inclined to be lazy. But no more. I wanna learn this place, it's people, and it's culture dammit!! So I'm taking advice from this guy, who was a major inspiration to me as I was learning Chinese, and I'm just not going to speak much English. I'll try to do it all month. If it doesn't work, well then, I will start over next month.

2. Break the internet addiction. I don't have friends, family, or money. So all I do all day is sit on the internet, watch YouTube, and surf for meaningless crap that isn't even interesting or useful trivia. Surely as I wake up, I spend 6 hours on the laptop. Then I don't do my homework, I don't plan classes, I don't grade papers, and I bumble through life woefully unprepared. I could instead clean my room, practice my Khmer, update my blog, go into public and practice Khmer with shopkeepers, or DO MY JOB; yet instead I sit here glued to the screen, unable to focus, unable to walk away. This must stop. It must stop today.

3. Electricity. I am poor and tired of spending money on Air Conditioning. Cut back on that, 'nuff said.

4. More classes. I am poor and tired of being poor. Must remember to ask for more classes.

5. Publish the entry about the wedding. This may be the most important one.


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