I know its been really quiet here lately but the insane amount of stress I am currently under is just no conducive to writing anything …well..positive. In the interests of keeping my loyal readers up to date….here is a random update of where I am at, what I am experiencing and what my thoughts are.
Firstly, the house move. It went really well and was manic there for a week. Luckily my boys at work helped us with labor and worked tirelessly tweaking the new place to instal Leakhana’s much loved oven, the clothes washing machine , extra power-points, fans etc. I was very lucky to have those resources available to me. I made sure they had plenty of cold beer at the end of each day. Grace and Angus have transitioned smoothly and barely noticed we are gone from the much bigger villa we were in. The other day I had to farm out the 4 larger turtles ( keeping two little ones ) and Grace screamed and cried and I felt horrible doing that to her but we just don’t have the space. Watching TV is not quite as peaceful as it used to be as the living area is the only real play space along with the carport so there is a constant stream of little heads filing past ! Where we used to live was very quiet and where we are now it seems EVERY SELFISH FUCKING ARSEHOLE HOME OWNER has an untrained, unruly dog that just loves to bark all night. Fuck me dead. These people must just lie on their beds all night listening to it like we do so why can’t they get off their fat lazy arse and tell the dogs to shut up ? Jirra is being amazing. She puts up with the owners nasty little dogs right next to us growling and carrying on ( they will go at the end of the month when the tenants come back from Australia ) and she does not participate in the nightly bark-a-thons. She has adjusted to the smaller space really well and I am now walking her every afternoon which is good for both of us. It stretches her limbs and allows me time to think.
Nanny Pov is just a trooper and is happy to follow us anywhere. We were very lucky to find her and she has fast become one of the family . Nek, who I think thought we were going to kick her out due to the loss of job, is happily sharing a room with Grace that looks like a little girls treasure cave. Lots of stuffed teddies and pink things. There was a very poignant moment when she asked me before we moved “can I come too?” and it almost made me cry to think she might have thought we would leave her behind. This kid has been living with us for over three years now and is a hard working thick skinned human being who pulls her weight tirelessly. She has never known her father and her mother has basically, effectively…almost abandoned her and sister Pek to the rest of the family. Lyn ( her mum and Leakhana’s sister ) is 5 months pregnant with her third child and is living in a $17 a month room with her useless boyfriend. She rang up the other night begging for money as she hadn’t eaten in days and this sparked a heated conversation between Leakhana and I that Nek overheard. My stance ; its only a tiny bit of money – $20- and we should help although Lyn really needs to take stock of what she is doing to the family and her kids. My wife’s stance : NO WAY SHOULD WE HELP ! I later found Nek in tears in her bedroom and it broke my heart. Leakhana says she has read Nek’s diary ( there is no privacy in Cambodia ) and this is a very sad little girl who wants to come back in the afterlife to …..a different life ! I would later go to her room and put my arm around her and fighting back tears try to explain that although I was never going to replace her father, I would always be her uncle and would always do my level best to look after her and she shouldn’t worry about her mother. When Lyn came over to collect some cash for food I had to bite down hard on my lip to stop myself from asking her what the fuck she thought she was doing getting pregnant again when she can’t even support her two daughters. She barely said two words to Nek. No kiss. No hug. Phew.
Leakhana has just proven again and again what a fine woman she is. I am just in awe of her resilience and get on with it attitude. Funnily enough the stress and adversity brings us closer and we are now closer than ever as we take each day as it comes. She has not flinched at the downsizing and is happily organizing the new house to ensure everything is ship shape. I am working on not letting ANYTHING bother me that used to – like toys underfoot for example – because the space is too small and its just not wort it. Those dogs – or their owners more precisely – ARE giving me the shits though.
On the job hunt front I am busy networking and tapping everyone I can. I wont lie though. I am scared shitless. We do not have much cash saved and are going to be in a world of pain in a couple of months if I don’t secure something. Maybe I should syndicate this blog and make a quick million or two ? I have one very real opportunity brewing but it would see me away from the family and living remotely all week. In the grand scheme of things it is not that far from the city – about 2.5 hours – and I am sure the family would visit as it is in a very nice area. I just cant stand the thought of being away from my wife and two beautiful children. Its just such a joy going home to them every day. Grace just adores her dad and Angus is only one and needs me ! They all need me . Leakhana is pragmatic and Khmer have a very basic outlook on life ” well….we need the money !” but I know she would moss me and I’d be asking her to basically do it all while I am away. She is certainly capable but how does that leave me feeling ? Guilty ? .The $$package would be very nice, the work damn hard and the living lonely but it might be a chance to stash some serious money and learn a few new things to boot. So I wait and see what transpires there and if I get the tap and give it a try it could go either way. It could be an unmitigated ” what was it thinking ” disastrous experiment OR it could be a ” holy shit this is actually working !” catharsis . At the end of the day it would be what I made of it and a man has to do what he can to provide. If that doesn’t come off then I am still out there swinging. Still waking up every night at 1am and fretting and still walking around with a sick feeling in my stomach.
On a much more personal scale it makes me wonder what the future holds for our family. If I am always going to be going through this job uncertainty then what kind of future do we have here and should we stay here longer term ? Education is hellishly expensive and I truly despair at the lack of lifestyle and recreation options such as beaches and sports my kids would miss out on here. Thing is, if I decided to pack it all up and head back to Australia….where do we settle and what do I do ? Where i used to live ( Forster ) is small town with no work and I could never go back to the big city. I do sometimes think about going to a larger country town though. I’ll be 44 this year and though I now have good professional experiences here in Cambodia, back in Australia Id just be another guy looking for work. And then don’t even get me started on the concept or thoughts of “retirement” and what that even looks like..
Socially its been very quite. I just don’t feel like going out so I turn down most initiations and I need to conserve cash.; Its also been raining a fair bit so that slows everyone down. Leakhana went to a fundraising night at Raffles last week with all her girlfriends . Our friend Danich is going to Australia to model at Australian Fashion Week. Danich is seriously stunning and I hope she gets snapped up by an agent over there. She has the world class looks without any of the attitude and is as normal a person as you’d ever meet.
So there you go. Bare with me and Ill update as we go along.