Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Countdown Begins

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is the advent calendar.  Before I joined Pinterest all I knew were the cardboard ones from CNA with a chocolate hidden behind each little door.  Part of the challenge was to stick to only 1 chocolate a day until the grand prize on the 24th, an extra big, Father Christmas shaped choc if I remember correctly.

Now I know that advent calendars come in all shapes and sizes and this year there will be no daily chocolate, but instead a daily activity.  Every day, from today until the 21st December my housemate and I will open an envelope, inside which will be an activity.

DAY 1:

We chose one Christmas episode from How I Met Your Mother and from New Girl.  Both were hilarious and a good end to the weekend as well as a great start to our advent fun.

Play Penh Festivities

We have a real live tree in our house..

 All covered up with ornaments and lights it almost looks like a real fir tree.  Time to crack out the Christmas tunes, Christmas season is upon us.  As with transporting most things in Cambodia, a moto (scooter) was employed.  After picking out our tree at the nursery, my friend sat as far forward on her moto as possible, back ramrod straight and elbows bent.  I then climbed on and sat as far back as possible, feeling a little precarious on the edge of my seat.  With the help of the nursery staff we positioned the tree between us and off we went.  My friend gamely put up with the rather stiff, sharp leaves poking her in the back while I held on for dear life with one hand as we picked our way between a few strategically placed potholes.  We arrived home triumphantly, all 3 of us intact.

I love the festive season, what fun:)

Friday, November 9, 2012


Living on the 6th floor has it's perks..
  • I get to ride in an elevator a few times a day
  • When the electricity goes out I get to climb hundreds of little stairs
  • It's fun being on the highest floor, kind of like "King of the Castle" but permanently
  • The neighbourhood sounds of loud engines, honking buses, discordant karaoke, yowling cats and barking dogs are marginally muffled
but mostly..
our balcony and fantastic views.
One of my favourite things to do at home is to sit on my balcony and take in the view, especially in the early morning and late evening..

In the pre dawn cool, cup of coffee in hand, the sunrises continue to amaze me with their varied and fleeting hues.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Start dancing lessons... check.

image credit
This year has been full of firsts.. countries, friends, jobs.  Not to mention new experiences such as eating crickets and frogs and joining the ranks of the moto driving populace.  Lately however, the excitement has worn off as I've gotten into the routine of working and not everything is new anymore.  I've been feeling like a I need a new challenge, something out of the ordinary to do.

I have an extensive bucket list which is ever growing in length and scope.  Ever the optimist, it includes things like, watch the migration ove the Serengeti from a hot air balloon. (However, earlier drafts have been modified e.g. "Do the Dusi".. ya.. never going to happen).  

For years I've wanted to learn to dance and after discovering that Phnom Penh has salsa classes on offer and at the invitation of my friend Katie, I finally went to a class last Wednesday.  I had 2 major concerns:
1) whether or not I would get the steps
2) my lack of a partner

Katie gave me a quick crash course before the class started which helped immensely and despite a few false starts, it didn't take long to catch on.  Regarding the partners, to my surprise the ratio of men to women was hopeful and we rotated partners so that avoided the angst of hoping someone will pick you!  My partners were a motley crue:
1 guy was so tall that my shoulder started cramping
1 had flamboyant movements that totally threw me off and I kept losing count
1 was as clueless as me and so we kept peering over at the instructor to figure out how exactly we were both supposed to spin at the same time without letting go of each other's hands
1 was slightly self deprecating which made him the nicest to dance with

They were all great and it wasn't intimidating at all.  I can't wait to go back next week.  A few changes will be made however.. I wil not wear slops, I will introduce myself to my partner before we take hold of each other and start dancing and I will keep a beady eye out for potentially foot impaling heels.. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Weekend in Kep

A few weeks ago some friends and I headed to a little coastal town called Kep for the weekend.  Kep was a seaside resort during French colonial times, and many once beautiful French homes now stand empty and derelict.  My small town heart comes alive in a place like Kep.  The natural beauty, quiet roads and open spaces do wonders for my soul and it was a wonderful weekend of hanging out and relaxing.  No good holiday is complete without delicious food and a highlight was the Nutella and banana laden pancake I had at a restaurant called Led Zep.  Led Zep is set pretty high up on the mountain and has a picturesque view as well as old photographs showing life in Kep circa 1960 and onwards.

My friend Michelle kindly lent me her camera for the weekend and I thrived at the opportunity to use something quite a few notches up from my point and shoot:)