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….

Incompetence

One of my favorite sayings that guides my reactions to people and events is “Never attribute to ill will what can be explained by stupidity.” Many things in Cambodia can be explained by corruption, greed, malfeasance, theft, the desire for power, etc. Other things are the result of the failure of thinking or common sense, or maybe their absence.

Look at this STOP sign (yellow circle). That fact that no one in living memory has stopped at a STOP sign in Cambodia is another story. Here we are talking about the sign’s location. Most STOP signs are located 3 to 6 feet from the intersecting street where you are required to stop. The intersecting street (red circle) in this picture is probably close to a tenth of a mile ahead. Notice how small the car is in the red circle. It’s hardly identifiable as a car because of the distance. Some road crew without a clue about traffic signage, traffic law, etc., separated this sign from the intersection it controls. That’s incompetence.

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!

Notable Quotes

Just a reminder, Trump’s attacked immigrants & refugees, people of color, war heroes & Gold Star families, the press, the FBI, Intel leaders & Democrats, Western allies incl. Justin Trudeau, Americans of all shapes & sizes. Who has he not attacked or questioned? Vladimir Putin.

~ Steve Beschloss

Moving Stuff

Here are three examples of people moving people or stuff on a Sunday morning as I was motorduping across town to the 10:00 AM mass.

Moving the kids around on motorcycles.

Moving six bags of crushed ice.

Moving a whole lot of some kind of fried bread.