I am proud of my efforts as I am finishing off a bowl of hot self-home-made-freshly-thawed potato cauliflower soup. The steam is rising back-lit by the candlelight, the cicadas are screaming outside and I am trying to keep calm sipping on a drink at the same time and unconsciously tapping my foot to the "music" decibels blasting from my close neighbourhood.
The topic of no power boils my brain – literally. Not only having a hot soup on a hot day is not a very smart idea, it is also very hard to see the croutons in the candlelight. But I have successfully finished the last of my perishable frozen items in the big white box we used to call refrigerator/freezer in times of power….. Last batch of lasagna fed me and my friend for lunch.
These days it seems that I am more into worship of some kind. My candlelit gifted Mexican doll seems to look at me with approving and a tad scary expression in her eyes. My neighbours either have a generator or special powers – Gangnam style….and thank you for sharing. I opt to have another drink convincing myself it is all in aid of saving the ice I made days earlier in a sustainable way. Of course it is.
The story of sweaty and grumpy Siem Reap town and whole lot of other towns, villages and provinces starts with a truck driver who managed to wipe out 11 – that is ELEVEN – electricity poles near Poipet carrying the main power supply from the neighbouring Thailand. Then, as is customary, he fled the scene. He better not put this on his CV and nor did this incident win him many friends – perhaps only the generator selling businesses…
Flick……. flick… swear….one more flick… just in case…. no power. No light. No toast, no fresh fruit shake, no computer, no e-mails, no water, no washing machine, no air con, no heater, no nothing – imagine your world without power, wherever you may be. A new day with no coffee ain’t a good one, tea addicts suffer a similar nightmare and I am both….We absolutely 100% depend on electricity and I know this is not a new discovery, but scary nonetheless.
This power business had better be fixed before the whole population of Siem Reap goes mad – or before I move to the Kulen Mountain. There… time stood still or so it seems. The modern amenities amount to mobile phones and a TV in the one and only local shop (with several satellite channels of course), worshiped but dispensable and depending on generator power... Water comes from the well or the river, rice gets cooked in a pot over fire, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks and other creatures are counting their lucky days and life is simple, bananas available! If the world came to an end, this is where I would like to be because I am pretty sure I would not notice and nor would the locals. The night is not young here, off to bed with the chickens.
Curiosity, boredom and ……. yes, desperation, bring out all sorts of results on “can candles make your house warmer?” search I am conducting with my remaining limited smart phone power and sweating. Almost the end of the world and yet 3G network is still available. Thank god. I sweat more reading on how to insulate one’s house or how to sustainably heat one’s property with only candles…. Really? I kill my phone. Wrong continent and dreams of winter. Anticipating another night of hot sleepless nightmare I consider my friend’s suggestion of happiness: Vodka and Valium. Tempting.
Our hopes are up. Apparently one pole remains to be fixed. It will be a journey to a temporary office tomorrow – grumpy and underslept but with a lesson to harden the &&&& up. A thought of how the world would / could be a different place if we all used only what we needed - not talking just about power.
Power to the people? Right on.
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.