I'm Starting Here But It's Not The Begining-3
26th July 2008
Do you remember yesterday morning when the chair I was sitting on collapsed. Well I wish you’d been here to remind me. I’d forgotten all about it. This morning I made some coffee, so with mug in hand I plonked myself onto the chair, and whoops it fell apart, completely this time, as I dropped to the floor, most of the boiling coffee went a over my leg, the bit that was left, I aimed directly at the electric wires and plugs beside the computer. Very stupid but automatic reaction Well the pain in my leg was awful, but even though I didn’t cry, I’m sure I’ve got 84 per cent burns!
I had to stand under the cold shower for ten minutes to ease the pain!
The plugs and wires well I mopped them up, the adapter now shoots a flame every time I use it, but it works!
We have Election fever here in PP. The main parties are the Cambodian People Party the leader being Hun Sen, he’s the Prime Minister at the moment and there’s no doubt at all he will be again. The main opposite party is the Sam Rainsey Party. There’s been processions of the various Party’s through the streets of PP, for days now, cars, mainly Lexus, and open topped trucks full of people. Rumour has it if you join in a procession; you get a free cap, a free tee shirt, a free sandwich and two dollars! Say no more!
I limped, round to the shop this morning to, well listen to this, a while ago I bought Em a DVD player, got it home and it wouldn’t work basically because all the DVD’s here are fake, So took it back to the shop and the said they would sort it ( to play fakes) but it would cost fifteen dollars, but why, when it didn’t work when I bought it , couldn’t be bothered to argue so left it there, its been there ages, so this morning I decide to fetch it back. Got onto the main road where the shop was and hey ho the Sam Rainsey Party procession was right along the road it was fun to see it, the people in the trucks were shouting, singing waving and dancing the loud speakers were blaring out, goodness knows what they were saying, Oh maybe vote for us! . But how cool is this, I saw the man himself, Sam, driving down the road on a moto (motorbike). Nice!
Got the DVD player back they tested while I was in the shop and it worked fine.
This afternoon I rang Narim a Tuk Tuk driver I know, I asked him to pick me up, he didn’t know what he was letting himself in for! He took me to Bamboo Street, It’s just one street with around twenty shops all selling bamboo furniture. So of course I had to go in every shop even though they sell more or less the same items.. Narim slept in his Tuk Tuk while I did this! After a while I chose a chair, a bit more sturdy than the last one and decided also Id have some new padded cushions made for my easy chairs as someone had been putting muddy paw marks on my old ones. The new cushions would be ready I was told in a couple of days. Then I decided I needed a table.. I had to wake Narim and he loaded the table and chair, into his Tuk Tuk, remember they aren’t very big, just really suitable to take four passengers! Oh and I decide to buy a coffee table so that went in the Tuk Tuk as well. Well Narim seemed Ok, he was smiling, so off we went to ‘Lucky Supermarket,’ Narim hung around guarding the furniture while I did a food shop..I came out of the shop with four plastic bags full of food. So into the Tuk Tuk they went with me after them. Last but not least we then headed to the Garden Centre, well its just actually a row of plants by the roadside.. The owner was not in PP but in her Province in the country as she had to vote the next day, yes well you have to go to where you where born to vote,, I guess this is why polling day is on a Sunday, when people aren’t working, so the whole country can sort of move around! The lady at the newspaper stall next door telephoned the plant stall owner to check the prices of the plants, all very helpful. I chose two huge plants, one was honeysuckle for the lovely fragrance, and then two enormous pot, plant containers, they were heavy! Oh and I needed two bags of soil. So all loaded in the Tuk Tuk by Narim, I don’t know how I got in I had to sit sideways with my feet dangling out of it., we headed home, (well home as it is for now). Lovely Narim carried all the plants, pots, furniture, soil and shopping up the two flights of narrow stairs to my apartment, not all in one go of course, in relays, and then he went onto the balcony and started re potting the plants into to the new pots. This really goes beyond the duties of a Tuk Tuk driver! Well I gave him a fizzy drink he looked exhausted and paid him a few dollars extra for all his help. It was the least I could do!
Now I just want to tell you about Frank, I met him when I first arrived in Sniggers nearly three years ago now. A nice pleasant guy, bit on the large side, thinning hair. Quietly spoken, coming from the US, that’s pretty amazing! Well, when I moved in to my apartment here in PP guess who was my neighbour,. Frank. Our balconies where side by side just dived by ornate railings. It’s seemed I had inherited with my apartment a kitten share with Frank. (This was pre Pookie.) That was fine, the tortashell kitten hadn’t got a name so I called her Puddie, Frank and I sort of fed her between us. Not having a rota, some days she would get fed by both of us then maybe the next day nobody would feed her, bit hit and miss really, but that’s how it was.
That’s just reminded me of a recurring dream I used to have. In the dream I had a dog but kept forgetting to feed it, I wonder what that meant. Oh and the flying dream I bet we all have that one, in mine I just fly round the room, never outside, but it’s lovely. Oh I’m in dream mode now, there’s the one about the bodies under the bathroom floor, and the one about the guy breaking into my house and I could never dial 999, the phone would never work, to call the police.
Back to Frank, business didn’t seem to be going well for him. He was trying to sell a certain brand of jeans on the internet, not fake there’re made here, in the sweat shops. I know little about the label except it was the In’ label twenty years ago! So no–one was buying from him.
One morning he called me over the balcony railings (equivalent of Garden Fence in England) to say he was planning to leave Cambo.
‘Oh I’m sorry Frank I’ll miss you where are you going’, I asked
‘Well he’, said ‘either Indonesia or Afghanistan’
My ears pricked up at Afghanistan I had this urge to go there as well, whenever I see the news on TV and the problems, I want to be there. My bookshelves at the minute are full of books about Kabul. And actually when I mentioned this to Em she says the same thing, she has this desire to go there too, and my best friend also, she feels the same. Are we mad? Anyway Frank was checking out work there, if nothing was forthcoming he would go to Indonesia. But his problem he said was the kitten,
‘Could I take her full time’, he asked.
‘I am sorry Frank’, I said, Í can’t now I’ve got Pookie here, they don’t get on (they fight like cat and dog, amazing, but they do.) Em had by this time join us at the railings and she said maybe Aiden would have the cat (he had actually borrowed her a few days previous to catch a rat in his apartment, she didn’t catch it but the rat did seem to have disappeared.) Oh and Aiden is in the apartment directly above me. Nice boy from England.
So Em text Aiden to ask, and immediately he text back to yes no problem he’d have Puddie, so sorted,( though I wasn’t sure about it, ever the doubting Thomas!!) anyway Frank was happy that he could now get on with his plans to leave. Daily I’d find gifts my side of the railings that Frank was passing over mainly food like seven jars of peanut butter obviously bought on special offer from ‘Lucky supermarket ’ and luckily for me I’m addicted to peanut butter and there were pots and pans and books. So nice! Three or four days after Puddie was sorted we had a text from Auden, sorry, he’d changed his mind couldn’t take the kitten after all.
What did I tell you!
So we told Frank, he said tell Aiden he would throw in a microwave oven and heap of cat food, I mean really, why did we have to be the go between don’t know why they couldn’t sort themselves anyway another text to Aiden with the bait, and yes of course he would take the microwave oven, oh and yes the cat! I wasn’t happy!
For some reason Frank thought Em and I should take on his apartment and give ours up ‘Come and look at it’, he said, ‘it’s great you’d be much better here.’ I don’t why he was saying this, I was ok in mine and so was Em but anyway we went to look. Yes it was much bigger with two bedrooms, a large kitchen and the bonus of a roof terrace which stretched from the back to the front of the building. It was open sided but with a roof, I know what Em was think the same as me, how many Marijuana plants could we grow here, but no not sensible, too many eyes around!
Well yes Frank it’s very nice, but No Frank, we’re happy as we are was the consensus.
So departure day came for Frank in the end to Indonesia, the microwave the cat food and the kitten, I’m prioritizing now, were handed over to Aiden, and they did it between then without us being there we had no part in the handover. Goodbye and good luck said to my neighbour he left.
A couple of nights after Frank had left we found Puddie in the corridor of our building crying, we fed her but we were concerned. We text Aiden to find out what was happening, he didn’t get back to us. The next evening we text Aiden again to enquire about the kitten and ask if he wanted some food we had for her as we were leaving for Sniggers the next day, again he didn’t text back
I never saw Puddie again.
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