Keeping Cool in Cambodia

There are many signs that Cambodia is moving into the 21st century—paving sidewalks, jamming the streets with cars, erecting tall buildings–but there are also indicators that Cambodia still hasn’t made the jump from a simple village life style to a modern city environment.

When I first came, I don’t remember one shop on the main street that had an enclosed front.  Each store had a pull-down metal shutter that, when opened, revealed the whole interior of the ground floor.  Then slowly one shop after another started to have a glass front, a normal doorway, and it was no longer possible to drive motorcycle or car into the store at night.

As the shops were enclosed, they needed air conditioning and it’s spreading, but it’s still at its earliest stages.  New modern buildings often have individual stand-alone AC units sticking out like warts all over the exterior.  This KFC at least has put all the units in one place, but central air conditioning’s time has not yet arrived.