Goings Ons

June 27th, 2005. Categories / Cambodia

Iced milk coffee in a sack for 12 cents rocks.

S. had a conversation with his students about kissing (but not them). Apparently, Cambodians don’t kiss each other on the mouth. This is a traditional behavior that seems rather mysterious. Since you use the mouth to kiss, why wouldn’t you kiss a mouth. My cultural bias talking here. But his line of questioning went nowhere except for the common reponse that “it’s just the way it’s always been.” But one girl asked rather fearfully, “what if it smells?” Is bad oral care the cause of the Cambodian kissing tradition. I have smelled some rank breath over here and doubt even if I was used to it would I want to be kissed by a mouth that smelled like the overflow spillway at egg and sewage factory. This is a working theory.

S. and I and the children built some awesome structures out of bricks the other day. To the children, it looked like Angkor Wat so we called it Angkor Wat. But to me, it was the Coolest Castle in the World! I forgot how fun building with blocks is. And these are some nice blocks. The traditional Cambodian brick is unlike the traditional American brick. It is made with a clay that almost looks and feels like terracotta. It looks like it is made by fusing together four long extrusions and squaring the sides, then sliced in smaller blocks before drying. There are cap bricks that are half-size solid pieces of fired clay. They feel a lot more fragile, but they also weigh a lot less. They make a nice clinking sound.

After what I thought were coincidences, I finally determined that when I plug my laptop in to charge, the whole place loses power. I learned this when I cut the dance class short last night and plunged everyone into darkness. Shhhhhh, this is between you and I.

One day before heading back to Thailand, and three days before livin’ it up all in Chiang Mai.

Peace out.

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