Still around…

The Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) was February 10th but many homes and businesses still have their decorations on display.

These chrysanthemums are still holding up pretty well.

This store went for a more formal display and maybe they’re keeping the decorations up to feel they’re getting their money’s worth out of them.
Many smaller shops still have some decorations but for many of them I suspect it is due to inertia; no one has told the staff to take them down.

Untidy is OK

Aesthetics is not a prominent concern in Cambodia. Much of daily life is still focused on survival and so details like cleanliness, order, discipline get ignored. An example is this installation of our wi-fi router at the Deaf Development Programme. This was a new building and the installation could have been placed anywhere and taken any shape. The final result on the main corridor of our building is what is easiest and most accessible rather than might look best.

Birthday Gathering

This morning the Phnom Penh staff of DDP got together for a little celebration of my birthday. Three of the staff put together a “cake” made of various Khmer foods arranged in a large cone. They were really good and much appreciated by all the staff!

It’s mango season

Mangoes grow everywhere in Cambodia and everyone with land has at least one mango tree in the yard. And if you have a mango tree, you need a mango stick–a long pole with something on the end to pick mangoes off the tree. Here the DDP house mother uses a 12-foot pole to pick mangoes that are not yet ripe–but are a delicacy for Cambodians.

Here is the business end of a mango stick. This pole just has a cut off plastic water bottle on the end of the pole. It works, though. Sreymom got three mangoes while I was watching.

What is it?

Many oddities and quirks show up in Cambodian culture and daily life and one never knows whether it is a US-based or European-based fad or whether it some novelty originated in Cambodia. I saw this face? design? under a car door handle recently. What is it an image of? Does it mean something? Does somebody think it’s cute? Who knows?