My entry might be a bit different from what other participants have this week. This “glass” represents the darkest moments in Cambodian history.
The photo below shows the glass panels of the memorial stupa inside the Choueng Ek Genocide Centre. It contains thousands of human skulls and bones, belonging to the victims of the Khmer Rouge, arranged by age and sex.
I have written about this before, also a part of the Photo Hunt entry. You can find the post here to understand more about this glass of horror.
Since I am tied down to where am I right now and in the throes of a consultancy work, my husband and I have actually never gone away for holidays recently. Not that we don’t want to, it’s just that there’s always some reason that keeps us from going away at the very last minute.
So for now, while waiting (again) for the right time, let me just indulge in an armchair travel. So let’s continue with the sign from Phuket, Thailand… in Patong Beach.
Patong Beach is the busiest, most crowded, most popular beach in Phuket. I know, I’ve been there in 2008.
There is something to do for everyone that guarantees fun and excitement – food, spa, various recreational activities and shopping! The sign below grabbed my attention. It is just one of the many that I saw that are set into the footpath on the streets of Patong. To me, it evokes beach, sun, sand and a whole lot of fun. Don’t you think so?
At night, the atmosphere is vibrant, pulsating, mesmerising. The kind that draws you in. However, in some parts of Patong, is another story. There’s another brand of fun (read: seedy) that goes on there. It actually puts off many tourists.
These are the hard-working carabaos, aka, water buffaloes, lazing in the muddy part of a ricefield in rural Cambodia. They are endemic to Southeast Asia.
On my way to work, this is one of the views that greet me everyday. Cows and carabaos are important draught animals in Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Funny how I used “hard-working” and “laz(y)ing” in one sentence. I guess when they’re not at work or when they’re done with their work, they deserve to laze around and enjoy a mud spa of sorts
These beasts are a farmer’s bestfriend, especially in the Philippines. Here in Cambodia, farmers use cows more than carabaos, but I digress.
They are very useful in the farm, ploughing the fields. Farmers rely on the carabao’s slow but hard work to get the job of ploughing the fields done. Not only that, carabaos are also used as modes of transportation (riding on their backs or pulling carts laden with people and stuff). Carabao milk is also highly-sought to make cheese (kesong puti), yummy sweets and desserts.
When my pet Joe, aka, Negro Bandido (the Black Bandit) was a puppy, he followed me everywhere I go. I think he is more attached to me than my husband because I stayed home more often than he did when we had Joe.
While getting acquainted with being a stay-at-home Sreisaat, I was lucky enough to snag a few consultancy work that didn’t require me to be at the office all the time. So, that meant less time playing with Joe as I had to “work” on some days. No problem. Joe found a quiet and convenient spot to be near me the whole time.
Joe’s favourite spot – under the rattan couch where I sat.
And during rare times he was not there, I knew exactly where to find him – to his second favourite spot.
I eez eenveezeeble. Right, Joe. Especially when no one is looking
… under the small side table that I used where I was working on my laptop. This was also his favourite place to play hide and seek with me and my husband, especially when he saw us toting the camera. He was camery-shy and didn’t want to be seen by us. Quietly hiding under this table with only his cute paws on display, he probably thought he was invisible, lol.
I went to Phuket with my husband in 2008, nearly four years after the devastating tsunami that hit the island.
What happened there (and in Sri Lanka) in 2004 was something unimaginable – I wasn’t there but saw most on TV. Four years after the tsunami, I set foot in Phuket’s beaches – Nai Harn, Kata, Karon, Patong. Imagine walking on these beautiful beaches… There were already new establishments that replaced the old ones that was destroyed by the tsunami. It felt odd. I couldn’t help it but my mind was racing thinking about hundreds and thousands of people that drowned and died under water. You couldn’t help it because the signs of devastation were still around…
Anyways, I wonder if this sign was put up before the tsunami hit, or after.
Some years ago, I participated in an advocacy training by a well-known international advocacy group. In the first ice-breaker session of the training, we were asked to describe ourselves in one word using our first name initials. It was an easy task for most, but for me, it was challenging. Having a name that starts with letter “Z” didn’t give me a lot of choices. I settled for Zooming Z and argued I could be forgiven for I could not find any adjectives describing me in this letter. I was forgiven, needless to day, lol.
This week though I’m using it here as it perfectly suits the theme. So here, I’m Zooming home!
Here comes Zooming Z!
Home is – for more than a decade now – Phnom Penh.
From the plane, I was struck by the chocolate-coloured landscape. It looked like a giant puzzle from above. It was beautiful! And if you’d look closer, to the lower left-hand side of the picture, you will see the shadow of the airplane I was on. Awesome! I’m just amazed at how my trusty old point-and-shoot digicam could capture
This was previously posted here.
I was organising my stuff at home over the holidays and was surprised to find a lot of photos that have accumulated in my collection. Yes, they did bring back a lot of memories of my travels (mostly work-related) when I was still single. I decided to post them one by one. Having said that, this is my first entry for the weekly Signs, signs meme.
Taken in November, 2004 on my first trip to China via Hongkong for an international conference on environment in Shenzhen. At that time, applying for a Chinese visa was not as difficult as it is (for Filipinos) today. Armed with an invitation letter from the Chinese NGO and other required documents, I received my visa at the Chinese Embassy here in Phnom Penh in just three days. No hassle.
My airfare and accommodation were sponsored by my host, the Chinese NGO, and I could’ve chosen a better travel route. However, being the adventurous me, I chose one that was not usually taken by most foreign travellers – a land trip to China. From Phnom Penh, I flew to Hongkong and rode a bus that took me to the border. Arriving late at night and fearing the border closing at midnight, I was surprised to see that there was a sea of people and (public and private) vehicles there, coming in and out of the border. It was chaotic and noisy, always moving and in a feverish hurry, something I didn’t expect considering it was already close to midnight. I found out that the border crossing, located between Lok Ma Chau in Hongkong and Shenzhen, Guangdong, operates on a 24-hour basis daily.
Going through the Hongkong and then the Chinese border controls was a breeze although I have to admit I was nervous as the border officials, especially on the Chinese side, didn’t smile and were looking rather stern. Some English are spoken there and there are signages in English but on the HK side. I wonder, after nearly a decade after, what changes have occurred there?
Transfer finally completed! Woo-hoo.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of tweakings to do. I’m giving this site a makeover but go right ahead. Read my posts… explore the archives. Some photos are missing, most links are broken, and the sidebar, err, side widget area in WP term, is not back yet… but I’ll soon have them fixed in no time.
So please bear with me for the time being. As always, leave a comment or send me an email