...thirty-six waking hours later I found myself spat by the metal tube at Vaclav Havel International Airport - formerly known as Ruzynē, and bewilderedly joined my brother, my dad and my niece to fall in the car and tackle the last hour on four wheels via one much needed coffee stop which made me less of a zombie for the remainder of the journey home.
When I said I wanted to be cold my wish was heard and granted. Thoughts do become things, so choose the good ones - a well meant piece of advice by the Universe. The lazy mercury in my parent’s old outdoor thermometer doesn’t like to climb much over zero in the mornings and by the evening, having traveled to maybe 8 or 10 during the day, it’s down to zero again and falling. It’s absolutely brilliant. I can see my breath and the air is so crisp that it cuts right through to my bones. Newly emerging leaves shiver all the way down to their chlorophyll and my ears hurt. I find that it’s hard to speak as my face is frozen and although there is a glimmer of hope in the eyes of the locals that spring is already here, I think they are crazy! But it’s the greatest thing not to be sweating at all!
spring flowers shivering in the cold
Living in constant heat can leave a mark on your sanity. There are temporary (and expensive) measures to cool yourself down but in the end the heat always wins. It is true that old bones creak a fair bit less in hot and humid climates, but it is also true that one sweats like a piggie, there is no point making any effort appearance-wise as your face will melt and hair become one cluttered mess sticking to your neck and all in all, mentally, it’s just plain exhausting.
The cold can also get to you but carefully stacked and thought out layers make all the difference. You can wrap up warm and keep warm by moving, drinking mulled wine (not both at the same time advisably) or sleeping under several blankets.
Ehrm.... yes, I do take photos of other people's laundry....
But what does Karma Laundry got to do with it? What IS this Karma Laundry???
Well, as the name suggests, using Karma Laundry - you get what you deserve! In Cambodia, as we know, it’s pretty normal not owning a washing machine but instead drop off dirty laundry nearby and support the local economy by providing jobs to our neighbours, sweet little ladies who do a pretty decent job cleaning our garments and linen for little money. Mostly I get back what I drop off, only occasionally, despite their sophisticated tagging and labelling system using coloured strings, an item arrives which leaves me baffled. If I get back tiny little shorts big enough to cover only part of one leg, should I take it that sliming down is advised by the laundry committee? I never bought this towel with bright green dinosaur on it! And, wait a minute, where is my favourite purple top? I return the items which I have not purchased and sometimes I get back other bits and pieces returned by others so mostly it works pretty well. Let’s face it, despite lamenting that “I have nothing to wear” my wardrobe is pretty full (of mainly black things) and I can hardly track if an item or two have gone missing.
Having said that, I did notice that I was missing some items in the course of the last year. Randomly I would think of my blue speckled singlet or the light cotton shirt I remember having and being ideal for hot tropical days. I assumed that Karma Laundry took them away from me and it was too late to do anything about it. Damn you, Karma Laundry!
Then I climbed up a chair and took a cardboard box full of my clothing leftovers from my mum’s cupboard, the same box we stored up there when I was leaving their place almost two years ago at the end of a hot summer. Out kept coming items I immediately recognised and there were many of them! Some I didn’t even recognise! Why did I even bother to come with a suitcase full of things at all? I could have easily turned up with a toothbrush and a credit card! To my delight I found enough clothes never to have to go shopping again, and to my horror I found underwear - previously discarded as unsightly and “use in emergency situations only!", being in much better shape than the items still residing in my current wardrobe. I think I will go shopping after all.
I am so sorry, Karma Laundry, you did not deserve my assumption that you retained my items! Please forgive me and let’s be friends again, OK?
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.