Hello, it’s me.

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.
It’s been playing in my head over and over for no reason. Anyways…

The first two months of 2016 has just flown by and I can’t quite believe that we are on the last week of March. Soon it will be Khmer New Year!

Thinking about time flying by so quickly, I think I’ve been productive in a sense that my morning schedules have always been packed since the beginning of 2016 and I’ve spent less time on the Internet. I’ve kept my house relatively tidy and my dogs are healthy, I’ve caught up on my favourite TV series, I’m making progress in calligraphy and hand-lettering, and on top of that, I think I’m doing okay with my after-school “job”. What do you think?

A bowl of spicy udon and onion tempura filled my hungry stomach quickly. Very good meal for affordable price.
A bowl of spicy udon and onion tempura filled my hungry stomach quickly. Very good meal for affordable price.

Thursday last week I caught up with a friend and her awesome Binosaur over udon noodles and it was the first time we’ve been together again since, errrmmm, January? We proceeded to Aeon Mall and had coffee at Costa while catching up on the latest gossip (and shopping stuff like top selling dj gear).

Also, I finally got a hair cut!

I had a long, thick hair and a coarse texture that,  prior to getting a hair cut, gets in the way when I work around the house.  I usually tie (pony tail) or braid it.  Now that I have a shorter, more manageable hair, I think I’m ready for the hot summer days in the Penh.

My week

What a whirlwind week it was!
Here are a few of my favourite photos taken last week.

I prepared coconut macaroons for my good friend’s son’s birthday party. I was a bit nervous so I practiced, hah. Yobo assured me that the macaroons tasted good. The only comment he had was he preferred the golden brown with uneven lumps rather than the “prettified” version. How about you? The party was held at Nham Cafe last Sunday. It was a small gathering of the family, close friends and relatives.

Summer is nearly over and yet I can still see lots of durian and rambutan in the market. The durian fruits came from Kampot – which is arguably the best in Cambodia – sweet, sticky and creamy. You can’t miss them, just follow the scent and your nose will take you to the right spot.

Highlights of last week.
Highlights of last week.

 

Red Dog recently turned a year old! He’s been such a source of joy not only to us but to the two older dogs, Joe and especially Max. Red’s energy and playfulness spread to these two.
The three of them always find a spot close to me when I’m practicing calligraphy in the veranda. I started practicing Copperplate this month and it’s really very challenging. I can’t seem to get the strokes right — the Bs, Ps, and Rs are particularly tricky. To help me with the techniques, I’m watching video tutorials on YouTube. I sent out postcards last week, one of them you see above went to Peru. It’s my first postcard to Peru and I’m very excited that it’s another country off my list. I also got to practice modern calligraphy when writing the postcard.

That little boy on the lower left side is my nephew, Ryder. He’ll be turning two years old next week and he loves playing with his (plastic) tools.  He pretends to be carpenter, a plumber, an all-around handyman. He proudly tells anyone who listens that he is Ryder the Builder. Oh, he could be that and more when he grows up! I can’t wait to see him soon!

Food! That’s how weekend meals look like in our household.
How was your weekend?

Signs, signs: Road works

The other day I mentioned about getting stranded along Mao Tse Tung Boulevard near Chenla Theater.

Well, a flyover bridge or a sky-bridge is currently under construction in my neck of the woods. Work began last year and it’s expected to be completed in December this year. This flyover, the fourth in the country, is being built to help ease traffic congestion along the Russian Federation, Kampuchea Krom and Mao Tse Tung (Tuol Kork lights) areas.

Warning signs to motorists and riding public.
Warning signs to motorists and riding public.

I live in Tuol Kork and it is already a nightmare along the Tuol Kork intersection during the peak-hours and the recent construction activities and barriers have worsened the situation. Once I got stuck in this area for two hours, hungry and feeling dizzy as I was unfortunately engulfed in a mixture of fume, dust and BOs. Next time, I’ll keep a bottle of deodorant or pinaud after shave to give to the offender in case I’d get stranded again. Just kidding.

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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.

 

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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!

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!

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.

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Wordless Wednesday: Bouquet

Today, the whole Kingdom marks the second death anniversary of the King Father Norodom Sihanouk and there was a big Buddhist ceremony this morning at the Royal Palace with the Queen Mother and King Sihamoni, and joined by PM Hun Sen and the country’s top officials.  A wreath-laying ceremony was also held at the King Father’s statue near the Independence Monument in Norodom Boulevard. Some more ceremonies are also planned later today.

***

Although the planned outing today with friends was called off, I am having a nice day at home.

My husband and I had a busy morning going about our chores together and, after lunch, we retreated to our own corners busy with our individual interests. He is tinkering with his school project while I, on the other hand, will soon be binge-watching after posting this photo for this week’s (not-so) Wordless Wednesday 🙂

Garlic and chives bouquet.
Garlic and chives bouquet.

I just couldn’t resist playing with my “food”!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Photo Hunt: Cloudy

Weather forecast is cloudy with a chance of meatballs 🙂
Ahem, I borrowed this line from a movie title! Have you seen it? My nephew and nieces just loved it.

photo hunt cloudy
Sunset and a dramatic cloud formation over Yeak Lom Lake. Beautiful.

This is my favourite spot in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province, the Yak Lom Crater Lake, and this is where we took our international volunteers after a week-long medical mission in December last year.

Yak Lom Crater Lake  is a popular tourist destination in the northeastern part of Cambodia, with crystal clear waters, cool temps and a peaceful, verdant scenery. Sunrises and sunsets here are like no other, with shimmering waters accompanied by jungle sounds. This is why I come back here everytime I’m in Ratanakiri. A must-see for visitors.

photohunter7iq

Sorry I was away…

… and this is what I’ve been doing while I was gone from blogging.

Operation Smile Cambodia. Giving new smiles. Changing lives of Cambodian children. My apologies to the owner of this photo - I just nicked this from the slide presentation shown during the closing dinner. If you know him, or, if it's YOU, let me know so I can give a proper attribution.
Operation Smile Cambodia. Giving new smiles. Changing lives of Cambodian children. My apologies to the owner of this photo – I just nicked this from the slide presentation shown during the closing dinner. If you know him, or, if it’s YOU, let me know so I can give a proper attribution.

Preparing for Operation Smile Cambodia’s international mission and the official opening of the Smile Center. It’s no easy work, I tell you that. However, seeing 109 kids receiving free reconstructive surgery and spending my birthday with them is just another reason to celebrate. I am very proud to be associated with OpSmile Cambodia’s work.  Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime.