Getting dull

October 28, 2013

Well, we’ve just had three days of protests by the opposition CNRP, demanding recounts and an investigation into election irregularities. And frankly, I thought they were a bit of a disappointment. Despite a little hysteria before the demos (“As Opposition to the Regime Mounts, Cambodia’s Capital Braces for Bloodshed”, as Time magazine had it), nothing untoward happened. The government didn’t even put up its razor wire barricades, and they let the marchers wander around the city pretty much at will. So the CNRP gave great packages of thumbprints to various embassies, none of which were willing to comment on anything at all, and that was about it.

The general feeling in town now is that opposition leader Sam Rainsy should suck it up, take his 55 seats, and get on with being an effective opposition. Attitudes are hardening against the CNRP; businesses want to do business, people want to invest. Most of the protestors this time were poor rural people who had been bussed in; the young people of Phnom Penh, who had been so active in delivering the original substantial gains for the CNRP, were nowhere to be seen.

Blossom and I had been advised to stock up on food before the demos; I thought it was laughable, but Blossom went out and spent a large amount of money on various basics, all of which are now languishing in the freezer.

In other domestic matters, I discovered that the person who had stolen my shoes was the same tuk-tuk driver with whom I’d had the altercation earlier in the evening. It turns out that the security guard had let him into the building, told him which floor I lived on, and then let him back out, bearing my expensive shoes. I asked him what he thought he was doing, and he just shrugged. He’s since been fired, which is a shame, because he was a nice man, but since his only task was to stop people getting in and stealing stuff, I think he was a bit of a failure.

Another domestic tragedy occurred the other day, when our cleaner decided to wash a pile of laundry. This would have been fine, except we’d run out of washing powder, so she decided to use bleach instead, with predictably awful results. She meant well, and we haven’t fired her, but several of my shirts and a number of Blossom’s tops were ruined, although I guess we could wear them if we were going to a fancy dress party as aging hippies. Actually, seeing as we are ageing hippies, we could probably wear them normally. Ah, life in Cambodia … we love it.




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