Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New apartment, floor clearner, beer, hangars what else do I need

Finally after seven weeks of In Country Training, I hopped the bus from Kampong Cham back to the bright lights of Phnom Penh. It was Monday 18th and I had just returned from homestay and had managed to make arrangements with my landlady to move into my new apartment in Phnom Penh later that evening.

The thoughts of having my own place, my own space and my own fridge after 7 weeks were too much for me to resist and upon return from the homestay I took the first available bus which was the 10am to Phnom Penh. I arrived at 1.30pm a mere 30 minutes late due to the bus breaking down just outside Phnom Penh. My first destination the Programme Office to pick up the rest of my gear. With my newly acquired Khmer I haggled the tuk-tuk driver down to $1 and heading to the office. Further stretching my Khmer skills I explained I needed him to wait for me while I got my bags and then give him directions to my new house. 

Well folks, there are no words that do justice to the feeling I had when I turned the key in the front door. Now maybe I was 'tried and emotional' but I really felt like I had finally arrived in Cambodia after 7 weeks of hotels, hostels and PO rooms. The first thing I did was empty every single bag I had  and started to unpack, then I promptly fell asleep for while. That evening my new neighbour Emily (also a VSO Vol) who lives downstairs and I went to dinner. The funny thing is that we had done some of our preparation courses together, although she had already been here for 6 months so just goes to show you it is a small world.

So quick tour of my place: it is St 322 which is nice area, there is mini-market right on the corner, plenty of motto’s and tuk-tuks though I have bike. After you come in the double gates you head around back and up to flights of stairs which quit steep and not to be taken in hurry. Then you are at my place. First up is the kitchen area which includes a utility space (formerly a bathroom) in which you find the washing machine, two ring gas cooker and fridge with separate freezers I kid you not.

Then you head down the hall the master bedroom (the only bedroom that is) is on the right and has an ensuite bathroom with hot shower.
Then there is the jewel in the crown the living room. This room is huge, and comfortable fits a set of furniture, dinning table and chairs, book cases and TV.
 Then the final piece of the apartment the balcony which is about 3 foot wide and 8 foot long were I have set up two hammock and now spend about 30 minutes every evening reading and watching the sun set.

On Tuesday morning I woke up more refreshed than ever, I had my first shower in the new place and then went with my Landlady to sign the lease. I spent the rest of Tuesday moving things around and making lists of things I needed to buy. Items such as floor cleaner, clothes hangars and plates and cutlery were placed on the list beside milk, beer and hammocks though not in that order.

The strange thing was that no matter how many times I went to the market or planned the list I either never managed to get what was on it or added other things to it. Again most of Wednesday was spent getting things just so and I can't tell you how happy I am with the apartment. Sure it has it quirks but what place doesn't and seen as I spend most of my time in the hammock on the balcony I don't really care about the small things. 

The rest of the week flow by on Wednesday afternoon ICT started again with some more session in the Programme Office and eventually finished up on Friday with sector meetings. On Thursday night I went out with Chris from Kampot but that’s another story for another blog and on Friday I went to Danny’s to say goodbye to the group has we all prepared to go to our placements. I cooked dinner for Leandra and Andra on Saturday which I think went well no-one got food poisoning and just spent the weekend taking in my new surroundings. 

I am very happy with my new home and invite you all to come an visit, my list of beverages ranges from fresh juice to chilled water and beer and even tea and coffee after the last trip to the market.

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