If we needed any further evidence that the rainy season is upon us, a bit of confirmation was afforded last week when we returned to the Deaf Development Programme office after a four-day holiday. While we were away, these–and other–mushrooms sprang up from the wooden threshold board in the doorway of our upstairs balcony! Apparently the early rains indicated to some dormant spores that it was time to bloom!

Not like the old days….

Squat toilets are not unusual in Cambodia—in fact, they’re the norm–but a squat toilet with a water tank for flushing! Now that’s unusual. I don’t ever recall seeing a squat toilet with a tank for flushing before. Usually there is just a barrel of water or a reservoir for scooping pans of water to flush everything down by hand. Another different feature of this squat toilet is its height. Because it has to accommodate the incoming water pipe for flushing, it stands eight or ten inches above ground instead of being flush with the floor.

Is it the rainy season yet?

Our power has been going on and off daily for quite a few weeks because the dry season has lowered the water levels in the reservoirs which generate 60% of Cambodia’s power. This week we have had three one-hour downpours, though, so maybe the rainy season is just about here. The government newspaper says it will begin the third week of May. This is what the street looked like yesterday when I came out of a hamburger joint after a lunch meeting.

Another fruit of the season

Mangoes are definitely in season now but they are just the predominant fruit available now in the markets. There are lots of others. One is this fruit for which I have now forgotten the name! It is a big fruit with a large hull, almost like a coconut, but there is just a small amount of soft creamy colored fruit inside (in the upper plastic bags in the picture). I’ll have to ask the name….

Change of Season

It’s May in Cambodia and hotter than he** and we’re getting near to the rainy season with a few sporadic rains to indicate what’s on the way. Also in May the mangoes become ripe and this man has a load with some really big ones.

Not what you expect

Asian people generally don’t bake. Most of their land is in rice and they don’t have wheat. As times and tastes change, though, many bakeries like this one are springing up in Phnom Penh. I come from a family where Mom baked a pie or cake or cookies almost every day but that’s not what you find here. Go into one of these bakeries looking for doughnuts or rolls or kuchen (or even an eclair, as the name of this place suggests) and you will be disappointed. These places are usually an initiative of a stay-at-home-mother who wants to start a small business like everyone else. She bakes a few cakes, seen in the display case, and creates other cakes to order, but it’s not a business driven by volume—and the cakes are certainly not like mother used to make!