Warning: the text below may be stating the obvious.
Some people have their bucket list, I have a list of buckets. The big blue one in my spare bathroom, the big red one under the kitchen sink and various other small ones scattered throughout the apartment. Full of water in case the power goes off and there is not a trickle to wash the sweat off or rinse off dishes before the ants beat me to it.
It’s that time of year again when insanity hangs in the thick air, slowly swirling in the rhythm of lazy fans, cicadas are screaming (because they too are hot??) and power bills reach new astronomical heights. My a/c pony gets a good run for his money - hang on, MY money! While my family on the other side of the globe are slipping on ice and counting the days to see the first blade of grass appear from under the snow, I am slowly losing my will to live and the only acceptable way of cooling down the system is an ice cold beer or two.
Cold showers are no longer possible and sometimes showers alone are not possible due to power cuts and hence the buckets. Only recently I discovered that my landlord, for reasons unknown, removed the water tank from the roof so when power goes off so does my water supply. The same water tank I fought so hard for three hot seasons ago.
When we do have water, it’s the hot variety of the liquid of life. And I mean almost scolding hot. It’s “town water” running through the veins of my house. Before it hits my taps it sits in a silver tank on the roof below in the sweltering heat. Then it travels through sun exposed pipes reaching dangerously high temperatures. Luke warm is the coolest on the “Vanna house water scale” and there is nothing that can be done about it.
In the town of million and one hotels there is always the possibility to dip into one of the pools but that too resembles floating in a womb so not much refreshment there. Can somebody give me a giant ice bucket? Or maybe I should hang out with the ice delivery man every morning, he has the coolest job in the country.
With my holiday looming, the arrival into a country where current temperature doesn’t even reach double digits is a very sweet promise of good days ahead. On the other hand, having searched my wardrobe high and low I can only find a few items with long sleeves so there is a slight worry that my extremities may freeze off in about two weeks’ time. Let’s see.
But at least there won’t be ants. Not like here where I am certain I in fact live in a giant ant nest around which Vanna carefully constructed his apartment block. They come from every crack in the tiles, walls and through gaps in doors and windows. I have tried mechanical barriers (blue tack - in the long run ineffective and also unsightly), chemical warfare with questionable results, weapons of mass destruction but I think I am fighting a losing battle here.
I block them from one end and they come back from the other. They don’t even come for food, although the cat drops plenty. Once I have found a floating ant nest in one of my buckets. The big red one under the kitchen sink. Explain that to me. Is it all on purpose?
So, as mother nature starts to tease us with fluffy cloud formations, wind picking up speed and light changing colour, we long for the rains already having forgotten how much we wanted them to stop last year. Or something like that. Greener grass on the other side of the fence and all that jazz. Please, just pretty please, make it rain! Everything will be just a bit more bearable. The dust from the thousands of building sites in town needs to be washed away and we need to start afresh. But we still have at least another dry month to go, temperatures will rise a little more to keep us dripping, celebrations of Khmer New Year will commence shortly with decibels out of control and all of the above were precisely the deciding factors for my (return) ticket to freedom, cold air, misty mornings, cold rain, fog, cheese and beer. Happy holidays to me!
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.