Is it worth it?

It’s always hot in Cambodia but the past few days have been especially hot, with temperatures as high as 108ºF (42ºC). We don’t have air conditioning at DDP so it makes it really difficult to work–especially since the electricity is off a half day every day now because of a lack of electricity caused by the incompetence of the government—which means we don’t even have fans. Would any of that deter the young women who still cover up every inch of exposed skin as much as possible in order to not get–gasp!—tanned? No-o-o-o-o….it wouldn’t stop them at all as seen in this young woman driver on her moto.

Lunar New Year

Tomorrow (Monday) is New Year’s Eve, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, the re-union dinner when all the family MUST be home. Today, Sunday, gave people a little time to prepare for tomorrow.

Another load of peachtree branches made its way into Phnom Penh this morning.
A good number of customers seeking peachtree branches visited this sidewalk vendor.
This pharmacy took a minimalist approach to decoration,
just a couple pots of chrysanthemums.
This is an office building soon to open after renovation (it used to be a KFC outlet) and the owner seems to want to impress the neighbors with lots of chrysanthemums.
This French colonial building wants to light up the neighborhood with Chinese lanterns.

Lunar New Year

Another essential element for the proper celebration of the Lunar New Year is chrysanthemums. And they are out in full force on the streets now, ready to decorate every house with any Chinese heritage.

The chrysanthemums come into town on a wagon pulled by a motorcycle.
Then they are displayed for sale on streets and sidewalks
and wherever a vendor can set up shop.
This woman has her flowers but also the traditional peach tree branches
which are just starting to bud.

Lunar New Year

More signs of the approaching lunar new year are appearing. Today I passed a woman on the street who was washing traditional Chinese figures and symbols used to celebrate the New Year. They were probably stored away in a box all year and very dusty.

After washing the figures, the woman dried each one with a yellow towel. As I saw her handling them, I was wondering if she has a favorite figure just like some of us had favorite Christmas tree ornaments that we would look forward to displaying each year.