0

Photo Hunt: Shelter

One of the fascinating provinces I visited in Cambodia is Ratanakiri. It is home to indigenous hill tribes in Cambodia. One of the hill tribes that I find interesting is the Kroeung tribe. This group has one of the unique traditions that are still practiced up to this day.

One of these is involving teenage boys and girls. When Kroeung teenagers reach a certain age, they build the so-called bachelor or bachelorette houses, such as the ones you see below.

Kroeung hill tribe in Ratanakiri
Bachelor and bachelorette houses in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province.

These bachelor and bachelorette houses are temporary shelters for teenaged Kroeung boys and girls looking for potential mates. It may seem controversial to some but this is a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Once they’ve found their mates, these houses are then destroyed. More about this here.

photohunter7iq

2

FYI, I D-I-Y

Hey there, I’m blogging again! YAY!
I thought I wouldn’t let the holidays go by without posting something. So here it is.

We’re having a really nice, cool temperature in Phnom Penh these past few weeks. A fine weather, really, and our teapot is working round the clock. At the rate we are going, we’re going to exhaust the contents of the gas tank before the month (or shall I say, year?) ends.

Hey, remember a classmate who belong to the other group of kids who waited till it’s the last possible moment before it’s too late to begin a course work or a project? Well, I was one of them. Years have passed and nothing’s exactly changed (I can hear my mum talking here, lol). I still live up to the eleventh-hour and it’s one thing that I hate/love about myself, tee-hee-hee. So, at the last minute, I decided to send handmade Christmas cards to family and a few friends across the seas. My husband just shook his head knowing the fate of mails during the holiday season but it’s something I really wanted to do.

Inspired by a friend, I decided to write the greeting cards with my own hand. I’ve seen how elegant my friend’s handwriting was – oh, the playful swirls and flourishes that just scream beautiful – the lettering geek in me got envious and prompted me to teach myself how to write like that.

I bought a cheap fountain pen, a bottle of ink and a sketch pad at a Chinese store in Tuol Kork and started writing. To my utter horror, I feared someone would throw rocks at me for having an ugly handwriting! I think the use of computer has changed my handwriting into its deteriorated state now. So I practiced more and more, even delaying further the making of the cards. Imagine my delight when I discovered a lot of tutorials and practice sheets over the Internet! I practiced even more, writing an hour in the morning and another in the afternoon, and one more hour before I go to bed, for a couple of weeks. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what that is.

After so many wasted paper and spilled ink, I think my hard work is paying off – I am seeing improvements! With this, I found my confidence and, with only a few days before D-day, I started making the cards. I just hope and pray they arrive in their respective destinations…

Two pencils taped together and a felt-tipped marker are great to practice the uncials with.
Practing my As and Bs in copperplate.
Some more scribbles. You can do this over and over and over again.
The Internet is a treasure trove of calligraphy tools and resources. The practice sheet is from The Postman's Knock. Click the photo to go to the site.
Quotes to ponder.
Writing again and again.
The final output.
My early attempt at writing on envelope.
card and lined envelope
My handmade card and DIY lined envelope.

I am still learning though and I find it very therapeutic. I’m going to hone further my skills, this time with the proper calligraphy tools, you know, nibs, holders, ink, the works! While I do not expect to have any wedding commissions to deal with or make pocket money out of this, I think calligraphy is a lovely, personal touch to handmade cards for any occasion. And boy, oh boy, it feels really good when you create something by hand. What was the last thing you made by hand?

Oh, and before I go… here’s wishing everybody the happiest holidays! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We don’t really have any specials plans for Christmas day but we’ll see which way the wind blows.

3

Signs, signs: Asakusa rokku

I’m trying to get back into the blogging groove again so I’m digging up old photos and reminiscing the experiences that I may be inspired to write. So please indulge me for this week’s Signs meme.

Many years ago I was invited by a Japanese NGO to visit their country. After my official obligations were done, I stayed for three more days to get acquainted with Tokyo.

In my previous post, I mentioned about sightseeing and shopping at Demboin-dori, a shopping area in Asakusa. Having been amazed at the sights before me as I strolled along, and coupled with my faulty sense of direction, I got lost and ended up in the rokku (the sixth district) entertainment area, which was really a welcome eventuality.

Asakusa’s rokku, in its heydays, was  one of Tokyo’s prime entertainment districts before the war.  And even prior to that, between 1600s-1800s, it was said to be a known as a Yoshiwara, or the pleasure district. Sadly, it didn’t regain its popularity after the war ended.

At present, the rokku features attractions such as pachinko parlours, rakugo theatres (similar to a one-man stand-up comedy show), cinemas, and street performances.

Asakusa, Tokyo, Rokku
This is Asakusa’s rokku entertainment district.

Walking around the rokku, I could feel the post-war atmosphere. Actually, the whole Asakusa feels like old-world Japan. The advertising banners and signs for shops and shows are still traditional and some were noticeably garish.

The street cleaner had just finished his duties when I took this photo. The two “shelves” contained his cleaning brushes and is held together by a wooden stick.  He carried them on his shoulder as he went on to his next cleaning spot.  The rokku is a busy place but since I went there in the morning, the entertainment strip was still empty.

 

open

0

Site under renovation

Again.

make theme by theme foundryPlease excuse if some elements are not yet in order. This blog is undergoing a make-over.

I found a great theme from Theme Foundry called “Make”. It’s simple, minimalistic, and very flexible with no codes to alter (unless you really want to do a major facelift!).  Involves a drag and drop feature and customising layouts, colours, and fonts are very easy.

So for the meantime, please excuse the clutter. I’ll be done very soon!

0

Going Japanese-a!

A friend of mine, Lui-in-Penh, and I arranged to meet at Aeon Mall last Friday for the much-needed breather from our daily routine. Last Friday, the weather was beautiful and sunny day in Phnom Penh, and thus was a great day for a lunch-date.

Aeon Mall is an upscale *kuning* mall filled with variety of shops and restaurants (to choose from). I haven’t eaten Japanese food in quite a long time and have been craving for it recently. So we went to this restaurant called Watami Japanese Dining. On our way there, I think I spotted a music maschine shop but was too excited about our lunch that I forgot to check it out afterwards.

It was nearly lunchtime when we got there, but it was still quiet with only one or two tables occupied. Good thing was that we didn’t have to wait for a table since this place normally gets busy come rush lunch hour.

There’s so much we wanted to try but opted for the special lunch set for a reasonable price. And we were not disappointed.

Special lunch set at Watami Japanese Dining, drinks excluded. The verdit - definitely coming back!
Special lunch set at Watami Japanese Dining, drinks excluded. The verdict – definitely coming back!

The special set came with a salad, hot potato fries that’s not soggy, breaded/fried chicken cutlets with egg sauce, sukiyaki, and the fantastic spicy salmon roll that just melts in your mouth. To finish our meal, we had mango honey toast and the refreshing fruit tea. Overall I enjoyed the meal. I think Manay Lui and I deserve special lunches like this, from time to time.

Watch out for a more detailed post coming out soon at PhnomPenhEats!

0

Cooler morning breeze

I miss blogging here. But I have been busy watching TV series and basically just bumming around.
So I was supposed to update seven days ago but, guess what happened.

Spicy salmon roll at Watami Japanese Restaurant. Yum.
Spicy salmon roll at Watami Japanese Restaurant. Yum.

A friend of mine recently discovered a new photo editor and shared it with me. And I’m loving it, too! Here’s a photo that I edited with the help of Pixlr.

This app is not only available in mobiles (Android) but also on desktop (Windows, Mac). Of the thousands of effects, over-lays, and combinations, you can edit your photo in just a few clicks of a button. For free. Imagine how much more exciting features you can avail of when you get a subscription?

Anyways…
We are already mid-November and the weather is starting to be cool and breezy. Getting up and taking a shower is getting a lot more tedious these days because it’s just so nice to stay a little bit more in bed when the weather is this nice.

The other day, my husband and I went to IBC for some office stuff and — lo and behold! IBC is already dressed for the holidays! Shoppers also didn’t mind the blaring Christmas songs (on-loop, for sure). It’s gotten to me. Christmas will soon be upon us and this will be the 14th year that I’m not celebrating it like I used to. On the other hand, there won’t be any pressure to give gifts.
In other news, I just said yes to my nephew who was asking for an electronic drum set. Should I feel guilty now?

2

Signs, signs: Hiding

Did you see my dog?

Pet Humour Red Dog
Someone didn’t want to be seen.

This was months ago and my dog, Red, was just over two months old.
I was looking for him as I realised it had been quiet so suddenly in the veranda where I let him play. I called him; no Red. I kept on calling him. Over and over. Till I found him here. Called him again but he just wouldn’t budge. I guess someone didn’t want me to find him. Oh well.

open