Weekends at mum’s house are always fun and as we lead into Khmer New Year this one was no different. We headed over there on Friday afternoon to see the sunset on our block. Well….we still have to settle but we are calling it our block ! It is so beautiful over there and the sun burns big and orange as it goes down. Saturday morning Danay and I donned work boots and shifted all the concrete and brick rubble to one side of mum’s house where we will create a cement slab for the water pots. By 8am it was steaming hot and we sweated buckets for the next few hours. Job well done though …blisters not withstanding. After a nap in the middle of the day we again headed over to “our block” and the kids ran around between the mangoes and sugar cane plantations while I cracked a tinny or two. That night we stayed up chatting with mum and quaffing beers and sleep came easy.
Yesterday Leakhana,Grace and I took a drive 10kms north to the grass growing area we had visited some years ago for a picnic. I have never forgotten its lovely atmosphere and I thought it might be interesting to see if anything was for sale up there. Interestingly, everything north of mum’s house on the eastern side of the main road is quite unattractive at this time of year. The farmlands where we bought that are lush all year round with fruits etc give way to rice paddies and at this time of year with no rain it is just a barren brown landscape.
Until you hit LAWN LAND !!!!!…..
We stopped and took a stroll across the most perfect grass you have ever seen and stopped to chat with the owners.
“How much for 1m2 of turf ? “
“How much for your land?”
“hem hum er hum hem it isn’t for sale….well…..how much you want to give me ?”
Really just out of interest,we asked the old man to come up with a price and get back to us. I think if they do get back to us it will be a retarded price based on the fact that they aren’t really interested in selling it and also….as far as they are concerned you would be buying commercial, cash producing land. At any rate, the little area if turf farms is even prettier than I remember it . We also found a lovely old man selling palms and we got to talking as one does here in Cambodia. This guy was 80 years old, fit as a fiddle and had only recently retired from raising crocodiles in his backyard. At one stage he tells us he had 50 !! Anyways….he sold us 4 lovely big palms at $5 which he tells us his kids sell at a large garden centre in Phnom Penh for $20 a pop so we will be back for more for sure.
Back to the house and after everyone pitched in to clean the floor under the house we sat down to some lunch and a few cold beers. After lunch Grace and I went for a swim in the Mekong and when we got back the silliness began. Khmer New Year is this week but everyone was already in a festive mood. Talcum powder was thrown about, water fights erupted in the street involving all the neighbors running in and out of each others houses with abandon and everyone ended up looking like Casper the ghost. One neighbor thought she had done very well to avoid getting drenched by making like a jack rabbit every time she got approached. eventually she went to the market with nek to get some sweets and while she was away we hatched a plan. I positioned myself with a huge bucket of water on the veranda overlooking the front steps and when she returned from the market and walked up the front path……WOOOSH….she copped it. We are heading back over to Mum’s house on Friday for 5 days and I can’t wait.