Eight Is Great – Monday
This week I’ll post a little bit more information about each day of my eighth week as I was in the village and it was unusual!
On Monday I woke up bright and early, at least I consider 6 am early, to head to Phnom Penh then Takeo Province to work in the village with the ikat weaving and dying team.
This is what my day looked like:
6 am – alarm sounds. I reluctantly wake up and begin my morning routine. Remember to charge my ipod for an hour in the morning and check my e-mail since I know I won’t be able to access the internet again until Friday.
6:50 am – Kongkea is at the office. He’s standing outside the front door waiting for me. He’s 10 minutes early so I finish a few things, check my last-minute list and head down to meet him.
7 am – We depart in a bright (lime) green tuk tuk that Kongkea’s friend drives. Stop and pick Saloth up at her home and head to the bus station.
7:30 am – Bus departs Siem Reap. Kongkea falls asleep immediately. Saloth and I chat before taking naps.
9:45 am – Bus arrives at rest stop. We eat breakfast at Arunras Restaurant and I order my traveling staple – an omelet with onions. Strangely, it is served with rice. I have found that pouring ketchup on rice makes it tastier in the morning. It’s like breakfast potatoes, but not. Same same but different as they say in Cambodia.
10:15 – Back on the road. I look out the window for a while then decide to take another nap.
1:15 pm – Arrive in Phnom Penh. Head to a supply store to pick up thermometer, gloves, goggles and face mask for the dying manager.
2 pm – Arrive at the taxi stand. Book a taxi to take us to Takeo, however, the taxi will not leave until it is full. So we go buy some fruit and wait for a bit. As we prepare to leave, I learn that the taxi – a Camry – has six passengers plus the driver. Saloth, Kongkea and I pay for 4 seats so that we can sit comfortably in the backseat otherwise we’d be forced to squeeze in another person. Two passengers share the front seat. And best of all -get this- the driver shares his seat with a passenger! I was so flabbergasted I took a picture. Seriously.
5:00 pm – Arrive in Takeo. One of the men in the taxi has a weaving center so he takes us to see his center then drops us off at the home of Kongkea’s family. Kongkea takes Saloth and I over to Mr. Mich’s where we’ll be staying.
5:30 pm – I go to take a shower and realize that I’m more frightened of my healing moto burn getting infected from using the local well water than of being culturally insensitive. So, I take a shower using bottled water. This takes 4 bottles, 500 ml each, and some serious skill.
After showers, Saloth and I have dinner with Mr. Mich and Mr. Sophea. It is very delicious. During dinner I talked to the creative and weaving manager about my reasons for coming to Cambodia, how long I’ll be here and what my goals are for the project. One of my primary goals for this trip was to lay the foundation to build trust. It’s important that I’m not just another barang but someone with whom the staff feel connected.
After dinner, I read for about 30 minutes and headed to bed utterly exhausted at the ripe time of 8 pm.