The Big Wet and Fatalism

Aquaplaning Camry

I have always wondered what would happen if Phnom Penh a) Ever got slammed by an earthquake and b) Ever got prolonged rains.  I am pretty sure I know the answer to a. Ever seen the movie Armageddon ? Yesterday we all came close to finding out the answer to b. It was raining when I got to work at 7a.m and it rained steadily all day until about 3pm at which time the skies REALLY opened up and it started absolutely blanketing down. Rain like I have never seen before. At 4pm I decided to make a run for it and left all my scooter-riding staff nervously peering out the office windows. ” Oh Justin you are so lucky you have a car”. Yeah bloody oath I am …..I am out of here ! I would make a terrible ship captain. When I got to Russian Market 432 Street was literally waist deep and I was very happy I had swapped out the Toyota Hilux for the Ford Ranger which sits much higher. Cars were conked out in the deep water and I powered through creating my own little tsunami.

Don't pay the ferryman ....until he gets you to the other side.

On arrival at home I found our maid Tee valiantly hanging up the washing under the garden bungalow ( oh the irony ) and one drenched Karma shivering on the front step. I had to wade through ankle deep water to get to the front door and when I got inside I found a bucket in the middle of the floor and drip drip drip coming from the ceiling. That can’t be good. With nothing else to do but wait it out I took Karma through a training session during which we nailed barking on command ( see the next post ) and then when the rains subsided briefly I headed to Kafe Korner for a few beers as Leakhana was over at her Mums riding out the rain. Once I took a seat the rain started AGAIN in earnest. I started to have all sorts of fatalistic thoughts about Phnom Penh going under and decided that I would start hoarding Fresh Water, Medicine, Noodles,Rice, candles, dunny paper and batteries at Mum’s house ( 4 levels above the street ) in case the shit ever hits the fan and we do go under one day.

When I got back to the house at 9pm the main canal at the end of our street ( the “shit river” ) was about 10cm below the road level.  This is the main canal that takes all the urban effluent away from the suburbs and out to the river and I can tell you, you do NOT want this toxic mix lapping at your front door. any more rain and it would have been. EEEEEIUWWWWWW. So I am off to the market today to stock up and i might even buy some flotation devices.


Scarily high canal level


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3 Responses to The Big Wet and Fatalism

  1. Suzie says:

    I almost called you! I was stuck in that crap walking/swimming a mile home after my tuk tuk could not make it any longer. I knew you had a big truck and was hoping you were driving by at some point! Next time I’ll cut my losses and join you at Kafe Korner!

  2. gavinmac says:

    You can’t hoard stuff at your Khmer in law’s house. They will use the stuff up within two months. Or sell it. Saving is not in their nature.

    Then again, you did teach a dog to stare at a hot dog and not eat it. Very similar.

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