Charlie’s Places

In my old website I had a section called “Charlie’s Own,” a take-off on Steve McQueen’s “Steve’s Own” salad dressing long ago, in which I showed the various places I frequent for different services. I used to have a young man by the Boeung Keng Kang Market who fixed my watch, replacing bands, changing batteries, etc., but he moved on. Now I’ve found this man by the Russian Market. What you see is his whole shop: basically the left part which looks something the shape of a phone booth (although not that big) with a chair for him to sit on. Here he is working on my watch band today. Charged me 75¢.

Not for me…

Maybe I’d learn to like it, maybe I’d even do well at it, but working with heavy steel cables seems like one of the worst jobs imaginable. Trying to splice them, adding hooks and clamps—maybe there is even some artistry to it but something in my mind really doesn’t like the idea.

Changes, for the good

Some changes taking place in Cambodia are subtle and wouldn’t be noticeable to people arrived in the last five years. The picture above would not have been possible when I arrived twenty years ago: workers wearing helmets and safety vest, metal scaffolding. It’s still not the norm here but more and more construction sites are following international safety standards as outside funders and developers take a stake in the development of the kingdom.