Paul and Aileen’s house warming party

The Lord of The Manor – Paul

After a boring, stiflingly hot day lying around with the nieces, Sunday night brought Paul and Aileen’s housewarming party. Paul has just about put the finishing touches on his palatial multi-level hacienda and whilst I have seen it unfold over the months as we play poker in his backyard, it was time for Paul and Aileen to show the house of to everyone. The jeep was loaded with kids and baby and all supplies; Zorok Beer, Wolf Blass red wine, baby formula, spare nappies,iPods for music supply, cameras etc etc and away we went. Luckily Paul’s house is about 1km from ours so it was a short trip.


On arrival the party was getting started with the usual poker suspects and colleagues, wives and girlfriends. Thousands of children were running about under foot and the flip flop pile at the front door took on Everest like proportions. After a few cold beers, the table was loaded with plates and plates of delicious food and everyone was soon noshing hard. Across the road another party was raging and the (mostly male) crowd was having an absolute ball dancing as the music pumped out.

After dinner I took to the bar (literally –Paul had removed a 2 meter section of his restaurant’s bar ) and did my best at mixing a variety of cocktails which seemed to go down ok although it was all a bit random because I was not sure how big the measure was – 50/25ml or 70/35ml. Paul’s new sheesha pipe fresh in from Afghanistan was fired up and everyone including some of the girls and some inquisitive young Khmer guys were choofing away as the party revelers across the road watched on with interest.

Grace and Veasna

A little later I sniffed out a card game going on out in the back yard. Some of Paul’s relatives and his chef and her husband etc were playing and I thought it might be fun to sit in with them. None of them spoke English so asking for instructions was pointless. It was basically just a case of sitting down and learning the hard way. What I soon figured out was that they were basically playing 7 card stud poker!! And even better – they were playing with small change. Just 2c saw you in the game! Lucky Luke joined in and a small crowd soon gathered to watch the white guys get fleeced. As I tried to steal pots by bluffing and muscling the Khmers with larger cash bets of $1, I soon got done trying to score a straight and a little later Luke was out doing the exact same thing.

A top night as we approached Khmer New Year and big thanks to the Gager Family for a great night.

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