We’ve just had a great couple of days over at mums new house. We took everything we needed including bedding and gas cookers etc. once we arrived the women cleaned the house and I went and bought myself a Khmer panga / lightweight machete and attacked the banana plant jungle that is mums garden. Three hours and a few gallons of sweat later and the jungle looked much better.
After some lunch I took Jirra and went for a swim in the Mekong and we then had a builder over and tossed around ideas for some ( initially small ) renovations. All of a sudden the daughters were taking about raising the house a whole metre, redoing living rooms etc etc. I asked where the money was coming from and was met with mumbles. Phalla has a bit which I’ll consider matching but i stopped everyone from getting too carried away.￼
￼We continued to toss around ideas and I then suggested actually knocking out all the brick walls under the house and simply leaving the bathroom and kitchen.there are already three bedrooms and a living area up top and I floated the idea of a large open area with nice tiling and hammocks etc underneath. I explained I thought a formal living area with walls and windows and all the cost of improvement and then maintenance didn’t make sense in this climate. I said I always wanted to sit outside when I go to the bush so let’s go Khmer style 100% they agreed ! I advised if anything we should put money into extending and improving the kitchen because cooking and eating is a family affair in Cambodia. I also suggested we turn the bathroom into a half indoor half outdoor affair. Also agreed ! So we had a very productive day and I think this house is going to see done really fun times as we work together. The kids loved running around in the garden and watching all the cows and horses go past. The local kids gathered in their dozens to watch the crazy Phnom Penh mob and jirra made new doggy friends.
That night we lit a fire and drank cold beer and ate sizzling beef. It was quiet and strangely not a mosquito in sight although the smoke hung thick in the air. Sleep was random as a wooden floor is not that comfortable but we had a fan so it want all bad.
The next day we had breskfast at the market in a small coffee shop ( read…..a plastic table and some chairs under a house ) and we then went and ordered mum some new water pots. They were $10 each so we got six.
￼More work around the house and an afternoon sleep and then Leakhana and PHALLA went to get some food with Leakhana working on her driving skills. The car came back a few hours later a bit the worse for wear. *apparently* a tuk tuk struggled to make it up a hill in front of the girls and ended up rolling back into the car. They managed to get $30 from him which won’t cover it of course. Anyhooooo…..
Sleep was a bit easier the next night as the hips accustomised and this morning we packed up and headed the short distance back into the city.