“Governor, how are you?”
“Ohhhhhh! busy, busy, busy, busy”
Often times the Governor repeats words over and over when he is trying to emphasise a point. A few weeks ago, the CPP (Cambodian Peoples Party) had their annual party conference and a bit of reshuffling took place. (Governors are not directly elected by their province but are instead appointed by their party. The CPP received about 60-70% of the votes in the last national election, so for the governorships, they are allotted something like 14 out of the 23 provinces.) So the Governor has been moved to his native province of Takeo, about 75 km south of Phnom Penh. I asked him how he felt about the move.
“Ohhhhh, very happy, happy, happy, happy, happy…”
Of course with the move came both a farewell party in Kampon Chnanang and a welcome party in Takeo. The farewell party was quite a spectacal, at one point I was drinking a mixture of soda water, tonic, red wine, and Hennesy. The Khmers are furious with giving toasts, so I always had someone pouring some sort of booze in my glass. I was also dragged up to the dance floor and attempted the traditional Cambodain dancing with limited sucess.
For the last two weeks, the Governor has been on a study tour with the Ministry of the Interior to Belgium and the Netherlands. This has been great as my good friend Martin from Switzerland was in town. His visit followed Ryuji’s month long stay. The bottom line is that I have been real busy being a tour guide and thouroughly exploring local drinking establishments. Here is a rundown of the places we have been to over the last few weeks:
-Mekong Island (where a lot of the local silk is produced) for some swimming and relaxing.
-Phnom Chissoir, a mountain down in Takeo province with a temple on the top. (for a description of this day, check out this website.)
-Sihanoukville (Martin was anxious to see the ocean, and a visit to Chivas was in order)
-The temples of Angkor, where Martin and I parted ways – he is heading down to Koh Tao in Thailand for some diving.
Most of these trips have been done on my new motorcycle, a ’93 Honda XR-250. The bike is a lot of fun, though it has a few features (or lack thereof) including:
No key/lock (to start the bike you just hit the kick-starter)
No turn signals
A fake licence plate
Lastly my friend Neil turned 26 yesterday. His girlfriend Wency had an exciting day of go-karting and swimming arranged, but Neil stole the day by asking her to marry him that morning. They will probably get married back in Canada after June, though I am sure a mock Khmer wedding before they leave is in order.
Life is good, though I think I will try and take it easy for the next few weeks. Too much fun can wear you out.
Neil (happy happy happy happy)