By a show of hands, who here enjoys a little something called “personal space”? You know, personal space, that invisible yet very real force field that surrounds us all. Whenever anything or anyone with it’s own capacity to move, eat, sleep or toot passes that force field doing any number of those things, a small alarm is sounded in our minds. Now let me see those hands!! Good good….. Ok, now, for those of you with firm intentions on coming here for a visit, please keep in mind that personal space invasions will become a part of your daily activities. Whether it’s the fishy breath burping oldie goldies getting nice and close to your face, little kids spinning crabs at the end of a string by your legs, or the very random extremely dreaded drip. The drip is an unknown substance falling from the buildings onto any number of places on your head. And by the way, yes, specifically your head, but any of the many places and parts that create your head. Drips never come installed with warning mechanisms, they are always juicy and are never right before you are heading home for a shower. Thank goodness right!? Wait a second Sarah….do I sense sarcasm??!!
Now since we are on the topic of personal space invasions, it brings up the matter of personal belongings. Here in Asia, helmets are a very personal piece in your life. At least mine is to me. We go everywhere together! Best friends! My helmet gives me protection and instant above average style, whereas I give my helmet the opportunity to flatten my humidity- frizzed hair into a new creation every time. Win win! So you can start to understand why SHARING helmets isn’t exactly customary. And of course it’s well worth reminding you that we enjoy a year round Sweat Fest here in Camp Bloat-ya. Even among family, it’s not exactly a common practice, let alone hygenic!
So with that in mind you might sympathize with me, when, at the very hottest part of the day and after a long morning in the sun,
I caught someone else wearing MY helmet. My younger sister Marcie and I had just come back from a quick stop at a store and I was getting ready to hop back onto the moto. My heart sank for a brief second when I couldn’t see my helmet at first glance. Was it stolen? Stealing helmets is a favorite sport for many here. But no, to my utter dispair I see Marcie rocking my precious blue helmet! Marcie, who might I add, is still acclimatizing and constantly complaining about her head sweating! “Ahhhh, get my helmet off, ewwww” is basically what my verbal reaction was. Along with trying to pull it off her head myself. Of course she had already done the strap up so it hardly budged and merely added to her uncontrollable laughter. Don’t get me wrong, I love her laugh and it’s extremely contagious. But, in this instance, it strictly meant the helmet remained on her head even longer, soaking in all that goodness. Of course, she found HER respective helmet and slipped it on as I had the slow, hardly tolerable task of putting the now saturated helmet on my head! NOT exactly my favorite sisterly moment as of yet!
I will say, at least I know Marcie. What about helmet sharing with strangers? Our friend Jordan told us how the other day he was in a store and through the window he saw the store parking guard holding Jordan’s helmet above his head while starring Jordan down. Looking him right in the eye Jordan clearly indicated to put the helmet down! After a battle of glances and slow motion threats of lowering the helmet, the guard went for it and quickly pulled the helmet completely on. By that time Jordan had just made it to the door in time to yell at him to take it off. The guy did so and I believe just cowardly sat in the corner. Confused and unfortunately really grossed out, Jordan had to use that helmet to get himself home. Like I said, at least I knew Marcie but still…..what’s going on here people!?
Speaking of “what’s going on here”, beyond the scary helmet sharing everything is going really well. We have been back for over a month already…wow time flies… and have thrown ourselves back into as much language learning as our brains can handle for the moment. Lots of fun people here which is nice because if you are going to live in a bizzare city like Phnom Penh, you might as well have some friends to laugh with about it! As usual I have a good mix of photos to share. In which you may notice my latest trend, black and white or sepia colored! Either way feel free to browse….but remember you break it YOU BUY IT!! Cash only by the way…
This next group of photos is PROOF Cambodian kids are just tooooo darn cute!! I love to take every opportunity to talk to them. Mind you they are usually correcting my Khmer, but that’s a good thing!! haha