There are many things exotic about Cambodia, and most of the time I appreciate all the differences that help to make this place what it is. Despite the myriad of differences, and strange things I encounter everyday, there is still a sense of normalcy that anyone obtains from living in a place for a while. To de-mystify anyone about what they think a day looks like here, or to inform people of what I do… I decided to take pictures through out a regular day here. I usually only write a post when something big happens, but figured it would be interesting to explore what a regular day might look like.
7:10 am: Wake up and hurriedly get ready to leave. Sometimes I get up early and go to the gym close to my apartment, but most days I sleep in.
7:30 am: Leave to work– either driving Pudge, my little moto, or riding passenger with my roomie.
8:00 am: Arrive at work covered in dust, just in time to see the cute kindergartners holding a rope together as they walk over to their classroom.
8:30 am: Get the news that we need to run some financial errands- so head out with the school finance officer in a took took to Phnom Penh.
11 am: Head back to Svay Pak after completing tasks. Since it is around lunch time all the garment factories are taking their lunch, crowding the roads. There are a lot of garment factories that I pass on the way to and from work.
The children who go to school in the first half of the day also get let out around this time. Pictured below is a ro-mok full of students…Cambodia’s version of a school bus/ all around transporter of people.
11:30 am: Back in the Pak, I go catch up with some of our staff. I work with 41 Cambodian staff members, who are all adorable and hilarious in their own ways. I love spending time with them, and treasure the growing relationships I have with them! This friend and I decided to take a picture after she put her same shade of lip color on me… same same, but different.
12:00 pm: It’s lunch time! I skip eating rice and soup with the staff today and eat my own pasta. I eat fast so I can head to the Svay Pak hair salon. For about a dollar I can get my hair washed, and my head massaged. I’ve decided I’ll treat myself to this every couple of weeks. I sit in this back room with a sketchy chair, and cobwebs all over the ceiling. It is charming in its own way.
1:00 pm: Lunch is over, and I get back to work. This time slot is used for managing our fix-it-boys, who help repair little mishaps all over our school.
2:00 pm- 4:00 pm: I continue working, doing different administrative tasks. Right now, the school is busy with hiring new staff, and acquiring a new van, among other things, so i’ve always got things to do.
4:00 pm: Head home– dodging things such as this (there is a wee moto under there somewhere), which are completely normal!
5:30 pm: After resting for a little bit, I head out with some friends to the riverside to go to a new restaurant. The restaurant is on a boat, that took us up and down the river- we got to soak in all of Phnom Penh by night!
Everyday looks different here, some more mundane, some more exciting. Last night I went with some friends to be in the audience of Cambodia’s Got Talent ( a hilarious story for another time), and tonight i’m taking it easy. What I enjoy through all of my days is that for the most part this exotic, foreign place feels like home to me. There are a lot of things that are normal and comforting to me. Sure, there is discomfort, but everyone faces that regardless of where they live- my discomfort may just look a little different than your discomfort at times. I hope wherever you are feels like home to you too though, took took’s or no took took’s.