I was told they didn’t celebrate Christmas here in Cambodia but the devotion to Christmas lights has travelled here and the streets are decorated with festive twinkly lights and as always the streets look better when dressed for a night out.
There were lots of little fairy lights wound around trees, poles and shopfronts and it all looks rather lovely. We took a tuk tuk – my first ride in one and it was fun. The driver perched on his motor bike pulling us along at a good pace, weaving in and around other tuk tubs, people, cars and bikes. Such skill.
We arrived at the rather grand FCC or Foreign Correspondence Club. Such clubs were big in past years and particularly the one in Phnom Phen sheltered many a journalist, sipping a gin and tonic, during the war years. We met my friend Lynette from Brisbane. Lynette and I are in a mahjong group and although we don’t know each other well, happened to mention we were both going to Cambodia in December. She is here volunteering at the New Hope School and outreach centre. She’s been before and has made some friends here. This is something I’m quite interested in so was keen to find out about it.
We share lots of stories over cocktails in the twinkling gardens before heading off to the eat areas of Siem Reap for a Cambodian BBQ where we sat around a steaming pot and cooked out meats and mixed it with the vegetables simmering in the saucer part of the pot. Good clean eating. We chatted all night with Pete and El telling us all about their life in Cambodia and hearing about Lynette’s life as a volunteer.