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.
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.