When I was younger one of my family nicknames (apart from my brother’s favourite “hey…Fartsack!”) was Hawkeye. This was due to my abnormally sharp eyesight. If a needle got dropped in haystack. I would find it within a nano second. If one of my mum’s dinner guests dropped a diamond earring under the dinner table, I would be summonsed from my room and the diamond would be back on that ear lobe in a jiffy. Travelling along a country road looking for an obscure road sign? No Worries, I could read things from a kilometre away.

I recently turned 40 and whilst this has presented no issues for me, no mid-life crisis or prostate cancer, I have denied the fact that for the last year or two my eyes have been getting worse. I can read books no worries but trying to read a menu on a wall or a computer screen from a meter or more away or a street sign across the road and it all just gets fuzzy. I finally decided to do something about it. Phnom Penh is notoriously cheap for eye (and dental) work and so yesterday I got motivated and did the rounds.

First stop was Grand Optic on Sihanouk . My brother Adam very kindly had my wife a set made there (US$90 frames and lenses) and my sister had our mother a set made there ( $140 ). The staff are very helpful and the “eye guy” who tests your eyes on the very fancy new machine out the back really knows what he is doing. Within 10 minutes he had prescribed my lenses for my mid-sight problem and although I tried hard, I just could not find a set of frames I liked. I had my mind set on a Buddy Holly / Vietnam standard issue thick black set but that was a bit hopeful ( and probably stupid !). Never mind, he just told me to come back if I found some frames I liked an he would do the lenses for $16.

Then I went across the road to Eye Care and their frame selection was a little better. They did actually have a fairly chunky set of black frames but I thought it was a bit risky for my first set so I settled on a chocolate brown square pair made from plastic. $30 but 20% saw me pay $23.Out of interest I had their “eye guy” test me as well and he took forever to get only close to right. They also wanted $25 to fit the lenses so I purchased the frames and went back to Grand Optic for the lens fitting.

The $39 / 8 hour result? I can now see without any fuzziness! Even as I type this I am marvelling at the clarity of the words in front of me and I cannot believe I didn’t do this earlier. Bloody ripper.

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