Category Archives: Uncategorized

Straight To the Point

pretty

Procrastination– NOUN-  the action of delaying or postponing something.

Sarah– PROPER NOUN- the person whose picture is next to the word procrastination in most modern dictionaries.

Boring – ADJECTIVE- when you realize your brain is turning into soup.  Might define this blog post.  Consider yourself warned.

Ok guys, I won’t bombard you with too many more definitions.  Though I was tempted to write the entire blog in dictionary form but quickly realized that would take time and effort and I almost put it off to another day!  Let’s just see what comes out of these finger tips tapping the keys shall we!!??

Not so long ago Abby decided she needs another hobby beyond cooking me food and cutting my hair! HAHA  She decided she would try sewing.  A good friend of ours lent Abby her sewing machine.  We had bought some material so Abby was well on her way to make a couple new pillows for our couch.  I guess I should mention this isn’t Abby’s first trial at sewing.  She used to make herself some really beautiful floral high waist lady suits back in the day.  Styles have changed a bit….fortunately.  By the way I am going off of memory so maybe she didn’t make those outfits when she was younger but she definitely wore them.  At least this provided a good opportunity to share with you guys my fond memories of Abby and of course  Amber’s as well, business woman teenage fashion phase.  It was all the rage!  Me?  Well not me I was probably just IN a rage because I couldn’t buy enough tee shirts with snowboard logos on them.  Okay this has gone WAY off the rails.  Lets get back to the story…..

Just a nice flower to distract you from the poor writing.

So while Abby was sewing her heart away the needle in the machine bent.  Thankfully here in Phnom Penh there is a street devoted to selling sewing machines and sewing machine thingys.  No joke.  So we hopped on the ol’ moto and drove on over.  We brought the bent needle to make sure we bought the correct sized needle and also as a guide for the shop keep to find us what we wanted quickly.  We saw a guy standing in front of the first shop so we pulled up, and handed him the bent needle.  Abby asked him if he has a new one we could buy.  He looked at Abby very strangely and pondered.  He turned around and started talking to the guy sitting just off to the side and showed him the needle.  They literally had a conversation about the needle obviously wondering what to tell us.  Again, this was at a shop absolutely filled to the brim with sewing machines.  He clearly would have known what we handed him and Abby asked for a new one in Khmer so it couldn’t have been a language thing.  Back to the story…. So a couple minutes pass by and then he returns back to Abby and hands her the needle back.  He then says, “I’m sorry, we only sell straight ones!”

Does anyone have a mic close by that I can drop?  I feel like that was close to the best punch line of a story I’ve ever been able to write.  Seriously!  Am I right? Anyways guys, it was a healthy reminder to always always always be very specific for everything, even when something might seem extremely obvious. HAHA

So in conclusion to this short but sweet blog I want to conclude by sharing an observation of mine.

Randomness is chillaxing isn’t it??

A week ago I realized that Asia has changed my style of waving.  Not so long ago I would only give the high single handed wave farewell to people.  I might even have done the cool guy wave where you actually stop waving mid wave and just kind of palm people, confidently of course, instead of actually waving.  Well, I am sad to say, gone are the normal days of normal waving and palming.  Unknowingly I have now officially resorted to the mid torso two handed frantic wave goodbye.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Someone save me!

The end *No waves included thankfully because this is a blog not a video!

PS.  I DID happen to go back to Canada and the states for a while so there are a couple random photos in there. WHAT no home stories??  Nope, sorry guys…so MYSTERIOUS!!!  haha

Tip of the Day :  Don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead, just sweat all the time like I do because I live on the surface of the sun.

 

 

 

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Tum Tums and Hobo Shoes

It is May and I am in Cambodia.  That can mean one obvious complaint.  It’s been hot!  Oddly though, it doesn’t feel as hot as I remember all the other dry seasons I have managed to survive.  Nonetheless I have taken my health into my own hands so I am starting what I call the Intense Water Program.  Simply put, it involves me actually drinking water and more than the typical small glass per day.  Anyways, I don’t want to come across as one of those fancy health people and start using too much of their crazy lingo or anything.  But what I will say, is that I do feel rather hydrated these days.  I know that sounds technical but, it is the truth!

Anyways,  just the same as every other human being on this planet can observe, time seems to being flying by.  It feels like just yesterday my parents were here in Cambodia as well as my buddy Anne who visited us from the states.  Obviously when people visit a slew of stories are created.  Stories??  Exactly…..let’s begin.

So as I mentioned my friend Anne who we like to call Pervert Anne came to visit for a few weeks.  I should mention Pervert Anne isn’t actually a pervert but the name makes her feel uncomfortable and being the amazing friend that I am, of course, enjoy watching her feel uncomfortable or annoyed.  Maybe this is why I don’t have many friends…hmm…anyways that is far from important.  Back to the story telling.  So it was a Friday morning that Abby goes to the translation office to cook and Anne was heading off with her early so that she could get a tour mid

This is what she does to pics of me so I think I have the right to give her amazing Nicknames!

morning.  I had been feeling a bit under the weather so I stayed at home and tried to rest.  I ended up sleeping in a bit and hanging out in the living room for a while.  Probably around 10:30 or 11:00am I had texted Abby about needing to borrow something of hers.  She said it was in her bathroom.  I immediately went to Abby’s room, opened the door and thought to myself, “Those two idiots!”  Here they had gone off all morning and left Abby’s bathroom light on…..argh! Waste power much ladies!?  So I go and open the door to the bathroom and then proceeded to nearly have a heart attack!  Why?  Mostly because Pervert Anne was sitting on the toilet!!  “ANNE!!!” I yelled.  She frantically says, ” I have diarrhea!”  And so while closing the door of course my response was ” NO JOKE, it REEKS in here!” ( Which was the rest of the reason I just about had a heart attack! )  The two of us then continued the awkward conversation through the door.  Come to find out that poor little Pervert Anne’s tum tum didn’t do so well with some of the Indian food we had the night before.  Doesn’t get more cliche than that now does it!?  What I still find crazy to this day is why no one thought they should inform me that there was still someone in the house.  Pervert Anne had been sleeping in ALSO and didn’t leave Abby’s room.  All I can say is good thing I wasn’t preparing for any upcoming lip sync battles!

Another part of Pervert Anne’s elegant vacation was our little road trip down to Takeo to visit our friends Kyle and Glori.  We took two motos on what should have been a smooth non-issue-ridden trip.  Well it started off great until we made it about 3/4 of the way.  It started to rain a little bit so we pulled over to put our beautiful ponchos on.  That isn’t the bad part, at all, rain is normal.  The bad part was that Abby’s moto wouldn’t start up again.  The macho lady that I am managed to kick start her moto and get it going again.  As I started to walk back to my moto I noticed something sticking to the bottom of my shoe.  Come to find out it wasn’t something sticking to my shoe it was

Stupid shoes!

something falling off.  The rubber on the bottom of my sole peeled off one of my shoes.  Are you kidding me!!!  Talk about feeling like a hobo.  (  Actually I think that the heat had messed with the glue and the shoe just said…I’m OUT guys )  So we get back on the road, ” Here we come Takeo!”  Oh wait, hold on….Abby’s moto stops again and this time there was no amount of kick starting to get her going again.  Fortunately there was a random mechanic RIGHT there! haha  Long story short, it was her battery.  While we were there we found out that this same mechanic was Kyle and Glori’s old mechanic when he lived in town.  We were in good hands.  THEN when we made it to Kyle and Glori’s  to find out that he was a terrible mechanic so we weren’t in good hands.  Fortunately he only needed to change the battery though so it was an ok deal.  When we finally had to head back to Phnom Penh, everything fun started happening again.  First off,  the rubber on my second shoe also threw its hands in the air.  We made it about 10 minutes out of town when it started raining extremely heavy.  Tropical storm heavy if you know what that means.  Pervert Anne was having the time of her life though.  She rides motorcyles of her own back home so this was just amazing and she was riding my moto as I was with Abby.  It was really amazing until she was going through the single most scariest roundabout outside of Phnom Penh that always has massive semi trucks and gravel everywhere.  In the

Balloon man….not even the rain keeps him from spreading joy!

absolute middle of it she braked a tiny bit and it locked up and dumped the moto.  Not a huge dump, she caught it thankfully, but enough that if there was a passenger they would have fallen off.  Also enough that if I had still been the driver my stupid smooth hobo shoes wouldn’t have helped me one bit!  So as I look back and see poor Anne in the middle of the roundabout stopping huge trucks and they are honking at her she is up in a flash and stops behind Abby and I.  The back brakes were shot!  We then began our very slow trek back to our place with Pervert Anne following behind with only her front brakes in working order.  We ended up making it back to the apartment safe and sound, filthy, but safe!  And that is the abrupt end to that story!

Well guys that about wraps up this edition of SezKapow. I would keep writing but I should go drink some water!   Enjoy the few photos I have for this post.  You might notice we took Pervert Anne down to the beach again….it was painful but we had to!

*Extra note for the people that worry.  We are not stupid girls on motos, we would have tried to fix the brake and or not used it if that was an option.  We are super safe and there is nothing to be alarmed about. The end

Tip of the Season: Drink some water guys.  Sip don’t gulp…hahaha

OK….I WILL!!

Never get tired of seeing cuties like this….

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For Four Years

Little Island we went to with Mum and Dad

Can you believe it? Four years in this crazy country and I am not dead yet! WOW!  The craziest part of having lived here in the vast grossness of a big dirty city is that…..( pause for dramatic emphasis) I love it here!  That is really strange isn’t it?  It isn’t rare to meet people who often really dislike the city of Phnom Penh, minus all of its amazing luxuries of course. *Insert sarcastic tone and eye roll*  Don’t get me wrong there are many things about this city I would change if I could.  Traffic, the heat, the gross, the noise…..but there is just something so unique and basically indescribable that warms me inside when I think about it.  Come to think of it, the warm core might be because I am overheated.  That or I am really tired and need a nap.  In which case…win win guys!  Sometimes the best reads you get out of this blog are when I am not entirely thinking straight!  (Don’t you dare ask yourself in a comedic way if I am ever thinking straight….shame on you! HAHA)  Everything I know about this city is what I see as normal now and a person has to make the best of where ever you are.  True I could leave, but if I left now I would miss it so much it hurts!  Okay okay…..bla bla, lets not get too emotional here.  In a nutshell, what I really mean to say is that after 4 interesting years here I can confidently conclude: things are good, I feel good and that’s good!

Needless to mention, yet I will anyways, I have been rather busy.  Since my last post, I had a whirlwind trip back to Canada and my parents came to Cambodia.  Canada was really nice.  I haven’t experienced a “cold snap”  in a few years.  When I got off the plane in Calgary and stepped outside it was -38’C./-36.4’F  HELLO!!!  Good thing I have the most amazing parents who brought me my ol’ stash of winter gear.  Turns out I came not only during the coldest

This is GOLD

time of year, but the longest, coldest, as well as snowiest time southern Alberta had experienced in many years.  Is this me complaining….nope!!!  I wasn’t working this round, so I got to spend many mornings drinking coffee in my jamms with a cat or dog (sometimes both) sitting on my lap (or head) keeping me toasty warm.  I had awesome visits with my family at home and with my relatives up north.  Once we were walking through a mall and there was a guy looking very very chill chatting on the phone.  I had to take a second look because for a moment his level of comfort in a public place really reeked of Cambodia.  I couldn’t give up such a photo opportunity so I went and sat next to him.  This guy, he didn’t even FLINCH!  Thankfully too, because it made for this amazing photo!

As I mentioned previously my parents came for a few weeks to finally see what this Cambodia is all about.  They had a great time.  At least that is what they told us.  We were able to take them sight seeing and introduce them to all our cool friends. ( Yes they were all paid appropriately!  If you are reading this and are

Dad came but we kept him at a distance. That’s him waving for help.

wondering where your money is.  Maybe you were confused, I said ‘Cool Friends’ haha)  Had some really good laughs too.  For example I can’t not relate the story about my Mum when she came into our place and was looking around.  Abby said to her, ” Oh did you notice the mirror I had made?”  Mum turns herself completely around and looks up at the tiny lamps on the wall ( that came with the place ) and said ” OH, look those mirrors are so nice!”  The already ugly lamps also have diamond shaped mirrors behind them and are mounted on the wall.  She thought Abby had taken the time to add mirrors to them.  What she didn’t notice was the gigantic full length mirror she was standing in front of that is so big we can’t even mount it on the wall!  ( Mum, I know you are reading this rolling your eyes and planning my discipline….and thats all.  Just acknowledging that I know you will feel this way! hehe )

Other ridiculous things that have happened don’t necessarily need long winded novels written about them.

I imagine this is what she looked like.

They are funny in general as facts.  For example, Abby literally slipped on a banana peel.  WHO slips on banana peels….Abby does.  Such a Cambo experience though.  In fact we were talking about it and to be honest, there is an oddly high amount of random fruit peels, seeds or the whole fruit all thrown aimlessly on the roads and alleys.  I would say sidewalks but those don’t exist here.

Random funny fact number two is Abby made butter tarts (Canadian Classic of course) and forgot the butter.  It gets better, she also made carrot cake and yup….forgot the carrots!  Don’t worry guys, she is an amazing chef/baker but yes, I have sent her for some therapy!

Random fact number three….. you can not get rid of “old” money here.  Even if it is in pristine condition, no store, no restaurant, no spa, no nothing will accept a bill/note that is not of the latest print.  Please see exhibit A:

This is Exhibit A

I am ashamed to admit how many arguments I entered into because no one would accept my Dad’s crisp $20 bill!  Why you ask?  Well they say that they can’t get rid of it themselves.  So the problem is created within them.  If they took it to a bank it is fine, but if you try to give it to a money changer or any service provider they won’t take it.  Also if your money has tiny rips, marks or anything that makes it “not beautiful”  you are in for it. So tip for those traveling here, bring NEW clean unmarked money only.   By the way this is not a new issue, it has been this way for years.  Yet, every time I have to deal with it, it is freshly annoying! Hmmm

Ok, its time for my Camboversary: “List of things Sarah learned in 2016 List”

1.  Stupid shows like Master Chef hold the power to make me cry!  It is a cooking show for goodness sake and still when the contestants get booted off they use this majestical music and close ups to people crying….toys with my emotions.

2. Daddy Long Legs are NOT Dandy Long Legs…..seriously, my entire life!!  I honestly thought to myself every time I saw them….”My those are some Dandy long legs!”  I thought it was the perfect name.

3.  Fun Fact!  Latvia is a country in Europe.  In fact, you will be interested to know it is NOT a poor and little known country in Africa.  Nor is it an exotic island off the coast of South America somewhere, which was my second guess!  One more fun fact, in googling how to spell it….there is no “E” in the name.  Well, geography….BOOM!

4.  This isn’t ground breaking, but I still really dislike olives.  Even since my post entitled “One Olive”, I have tried to like them more. Nope, don’t.

5.  You can survive a 6 hour bus ride in Cambodia with an extreme case of diarrhea but you will have your life flash before you eyes during both stops along the road at facilities that are far below par!  Keep in mind you need to have headphones and not move a millimeter along the way beyond the body shakes that are completely out of fear!

6.  Never promise to photograph your friend’s visit to historical monuments like Angkor Wat in +40’C/104’F weather in the middle of the day with an already high fever.  Again folks, this is important, you might die.

7.  If you laugh enough and put on a good show, taxi drivers in Thailand give you a discount!

8.  I am allergic to the Khmer potato flour that is used in basically all baked goods here.  Win win, not!

9.  When you are lazy and don’t take the time to study a new language, even if you live in a society that speaks that language, opposite to what the Simpsons may have taught you, you don’t magically become fluent one day. Osmosis plays a very very VERY small role in language learning,  but a very high role in the process of solvents equalizing between a semipermeable membrane!

10.  My phone constantly auto corrects the word ‘think’ into ‘honk’.  ex. Let me honk about it first!  I honk so!  Completely ridiculous!

Alright, well that officially wraps it up. Enjoy the pics or at least try to.  They sorta suck this round! I realize there is a strong lack of cartoons to go along with the stories.  Its called ‘I didn’t feel like it, sorry!’

Till next time…

Tip of the Day:  Don’t blog about all the things you learned recently because these things might be the equivalent learning of a 4 year old and people will think you aren’t smart!  If you happen to do so anyways, be sure to throw in a scientific term and its definition. Key is to play it off like you commonly talk about it over breakfast.

Amber and I created this meme with a picture of our crazy dog 🙂

 

 

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Get Outta Here

Moments before.....

Moments before…..

How about I don’t dilly dally with a pointless introduction and lets get into the goods!  Not so long ago our amazing friend Wendy came for a whirl-wind visit.  She only had so much time away from her family in Canada so we squeezed as many shenanigans into 10 days as we could.  Straight off the bat after she arrived we flew to Bangkok, Thailand to catch part of the English Regional convention.  And “straight off the bat” things were insane.  The flight itself is less than an hour long from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, but for some crazy reason it took us about 6 hours to actually arrive at our hotel.  The taxi services in Bangkok are extremely frustrating for starters.  There was a line up within the airport that we stood in for a while and then realized it hadn’t move an inch!  We decided to go outside the airport and flag a taxi down off the highway before it reached the airport.  Genius right!?  Actually it was….usually I might ask a question like that to lead you into thinking it actually wasn’t a good idea.  Hold up, why am I explaining myself to you!?  Ok, so our good idea was in fact good.  The frustrating part was getting a taxi that would actually agree to taking us!  I am not kidding around with this, so many times they would look at us and say no.  Finally one of the guys Abby flagged down actually agreed to take us.  Thank goodness!  She popped her head through the passenger side window one last time to ask him a final question.  When all of the sudden we see her aggressively pointing away and using her classic “Armageddon Voice”  and told the guy, “GET OUTTA HERE!!!”  The taxi then sped away.  Obviously Wendy and I wanted to know exactly what happened, for example, did he ask her to flash him or something really offensive!?  She said he was just charging to much money.  SoOoOOOOoo, I took over that task and thankfully the next taxi that stopped was our ticket to the hotel!  We were on our way!!

I took a picture of the sky mooning me! #supermoon

I took a picture of the sky mooning me! #supermoon

So here is the tricky part about traveling in Asia, every place speaks a different language.  All the little countries that make up Asia all speak their own language.  So, even though I do know some pleasantries in Thai, neither myself nor Abby are capable of giving directions in Thai without a map, let alone in the craziest of cities, Bangkok. “Hello”, “thank you”, smiling, charades and dancing only gets you so far when there is a language barrier.  So of course our driver didn’t speak a lick of English  (three cheers of joy)  so we relied on our map.  Unfortunately this guy also didn’t have GPS and our cell phone SIM cards didn’t work because we were not longer in Kansas…sorry Cambodia!  Either way we were on our way.  Realistically the hotel was roughly 30mins from the airport but by the time we finally arrived we had been driving for 1.5 hours!  Thankfully we brought some dried fruit and nuts.  The funny part about that is when we finally cracked those babies open Wendy had just put a fishermans friend in her mouth so she said no thanks!  She was sitting in the middle though, so we had to pass the packages across her over and over again. haha! *crinkle crinkle* Basically added to the on going joke that we never fed her while she was here!

Ok, so  f i n a l l y  we arrived!  There was a funny little office that we waited in while the lady checked us in.  Abby pointed to the cooler and said, “Grab those 2 mini containers of milk for our coffee tomorrow.”  So we paid for those and then we were led to our little suite.  Of course it was a long walk in a separate building but we arrived to our room.  We stepped inside and it was very clean.  Thank goodness.  BUT, we quickly realized that though it was clean it was extra small and not the room we had booked.  So, here we go again.  Abby went down to the office while Wendy and I stayed with the luggage in case our real room was close by, but of course…..it wasn’t.  Big surprise.  Off we went to yet to a completely different building and yes, had the correct room.  As we set our bags down and flopped on to the chairs my heart sank! I realized that I had put the milk in the

This captures some what how much fun we had. It was literally laughing for 10 days straight!! This picture was taken on a dinner boat cruise through the center of Bangkok.

This captures how much fun we had. It was literally laughing for 10 days straight!! (This is Abby and Wendy on the dinner boat cruise through the center of Bangkok.)

fridge in the original room.  I was SO irritated with myself and exhausted but told the girls I would handle it.  So I grabbed some money and headed back down to the office.  The office lady that was helping us was really nice but again, only minimal English.  I tried to explain my best that the milk we bought was in the original room.  She pointed to the cooler so I took two more.  I started getting frustrated though because I didn’t feel we should have to pay for them again since they could grab those original ones and restock the cooler.  (PS.  Maybe when I get tired and desperate I also get cheap?…er? ha)  I asked the lady if she understood what I was trying to explain and she nodded yes.  But hey, I KNEW she didn’t understand so I explained again. Actually I explained it 3 more times.  Finally I left feeling sooooo angry that we were being ripped off.  I went upstairs and told the girls about it.  Abby just looked at me and pointed to my hand that had the money still in it, which means I never paid for it anyways.  Which also means the office lady never asked for me to pay for it in the first place which means YES she understood me the first time and didn’t need me to rehash my idea FOUR TIMES! Talk about embarrassing!  And good grief how crazy must I have come across!

So this happened after the milk juice incident....poured half the bottle of pepper on my eggs. The day only got better as you can see!

….poured half the bottle of pepper on my eggs. The day only got better as you can see!

I bet you are thinking the story is complete….or wishing??  Well it isn’t.  So after a horrendous sleep as I developed a cold with an extremely stuffy nose and headache it was time to get ready for the day.  Abby was so kind to boil water and make three cups of coffee with our little travel coffee maker that might at first sound cute, but is actually a pain to use.  So truly a kindness on her part.  Abby drinks her coffee black but both Wendy and I like to add a bit of milk.  I was puttering around while Wendy was pouring milk into her coffee.  She made a strange observation like, “Wow, is milk clear here in Asia?” or something.  Then she tasted it and almost spit it out!  I thought to myself, there is no way the milk is bad!  So what do I do?  What any other genius would do and pour the “milk” into my coffee too!  And indeed it had a horrifying taste!  Turns out the milk wasn’t milk, it was juice!  Also turns out Abby had no idea in the first place if it was milk or not.  She assumed it was because it was in a white container with blue Thai writing. *insert eye roll*  I had assumed she knew it was milk because she had just been in Thailand a couple weeks prior and would have been sooooo milk savvy by now!  In the end, we were all a big bunch of idiots.  If you are wondering if I drank the juice/milk….of course I drank it.  I PAID FOR IT DIDN’T I!!??  Plus it was tasty, on its own that is!

The rest of our brief trip to Thailand ran a bit more smooth.  Most of our taxi drivers gave us discounts after taking us places because we were all laughing so hard and they found us very entertaining.  So crazy.

Alright, well a big sigh of relief outta me because it is finally done!  Writing this post since the day it happened and I knew some of you might have been wondering when the latest SezKapow was going to hit your inbox.  Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed the stories.  Keep in mind that was only one day into Wendy’s trip here so you can imagine how many more crazy things happened.  This blog couldn’t handle them all though.  I also have to keep things PG….Oh come on, I am joking!

Tip of the day: Don’t steal or yell.

Yelling Match

Yelling Match

Enjoy the pics guys. They are a random assortment of places….Bangkok, Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh.  Leave me a comment if you like 🙂

 

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When Things Start Heatin’ Up!

I bet you think the story is about hot food! It isn't, these are just delicious chilies!

I bet you think the story is about hot food! It isn’t, these are just delicious chilies!

I am going to cut to the chase.  I have what I think is a pretty funny story and I honestly couldn’t be bothered to wait around to collect more stories and photos to put together some fancy blog post.  So instead, I am going to just tell you the story and be done with it.  More importantly, if you don’t judge me, well I won’t judge you.  Actually, in all truthfulness I have already individually judged each of you.  Don’t worry though, it is entirely based on a particular personal choice in reading material you have made.  I am going to let that one soak for a bit as you READ the rest of THIS BLOG.  Soaking, saturated…DING DING, you got it now didn’t you!? Ok nerds, story time!  (Segue:  anyone notice how even though I said I was going to get to the point and tell the story I still managed to write an introduction to bring you up to speed and prepare your mind for a story?  Clever clever! wink wink)

THE STORY:

So not too long ago Abby and I were working out at home.  Abby usually uses the living room and does her

This cat legit scared me! I mean LOOK at it!

This cat also has nothing to add to the plot.  It is just scary looking and in a stairwell!

thing and I go in my room and do my thing.  Now don’t get too carried away thinking I don’t actually work out and just have personal lip sync battles in the mirror for an hour, because that is not the case.  The lip syncing only lasts 20 minutes tops and then straight to seated stretches similar to the ones done on some airlines.  It is pretty exhausting let me tell you!  So, while all this was happening Abby started to smell a strong burning odor.  She said it was quite strong for a moment but very quickly disappeared so she didn’t think anymore about it figuring it was obviously one of the small BBQ pots being lit or something.  Not too much long after there was a frantic knock on the door.  Abby didn’t know who it was so she quickly grabbed a different top and yelled out “just wait!”  Well they continued to pound so, obviously, for those of you who know Abby she yelled again with her Armageddon voice, “WAaaaiT!”  Anyways, she gets to the door and there was no one there.  She did hear someone running down the stairwell yelling FIRE!  All the meanwhile I was still in my room with my headphones on.  Abby came into my room and yelled at me, but of course I didn’t hear her so she decided to hit me on the back of the shoulder.  So I used my Armageddon voice to say “what the heck!?”  And in my defense, I had my headphones on so was is it really fair that I get hit because I couldn’t hear her?  Anywho, Abby only mumbled “fire bla bla, fire something something,” and she ran out the door.  My next reaction shows my extreme lack of urgency because I stood there and then began to consider which clothes I wanted to keep.  Which I should mention is almost none, my cambo clothes are the worst.  After making my way to our front door I started hearing a bit of a commotion in the stairwell, so I stood, watched and listened.

This picture has nothing to do with the story, it is a filler!

This picture is what I like to call a filler!

Abby, didn’t want to just assume fire, which is smart, so she ran up the stairwell to the rooftop.  There are a few people renting a room up there that has a small space outside for a make shift kitchen, cambo styles.  As she had predicted earlier, someone had been cooking all this time.  So she only just popped her head up there enough to see a guy sitting on the floor scrubbing his clothes in a big bowl, so she quietly started walking down the stairs so that she didn’t bother the guy.  Well, as she was coming down she passed two people frantically running up the stairs to check out the FIRE!  Abby informed them it was nothing though they needed to see for themselves.  Not far behind was our security guard following with the largest fire extinguisher in hand.  He had a small message in his eyes as he passed me, and it was, “I HATE STAIRS, but it’s okay because I am going to be a HERO!”  So after a moment of him hauling the gigantic extinguisher up many flights of stairs I saw two more random guys I had never seen before running upstairs also.  Their eyes said “I HATE STAIRS, but who cares, this is so exciting!”  By this time Abby had almost made it all the way back to our apartment.

There is a chance you aren’t finding this story quite as funny as advertised.  You have to envision the situation more closely.  In your minds eye,  imagine a guy after a long days work comes home to his comfortable new little place and starts to make dinner.  Unfortunately though, burns the meal and smokes up the place for a few minutes.  Moments later he has 5 strangers with an elephant extinguisher pointed in his direction, standing in his kitchen with fear in their eyes.  He probably felt awesome.  In fact, he probably wished he had kept his shorts on as he was only in his tiny undies throughout the whole experience.

Tip of the day: Calm down!

Enjoy the photos I managed to scrape together…haha.  Hope you enjoyed the read. 🙂

 

One Olive

At the car wash!!   He was helping his dad clean the moto... #babybumsfordays

Helping dad clean the moto… #babybumsfordays #atthecarwash

There is something to be said about pushing yourself past your comfort levels.  And I am not only talking about picking up and moving to a new country, as some crazy people do. No, I am referring to the subtle things in life.  Perfect example for me: Eating Olives!  I know that I am not the only person on earth that hates olives.  Plenty of people would agree that they are stinky and taste like formaldehyde.  NO I haven’t tasted formaldehyde, but I can tell you, when you are dissecting frogs and pigs in high school, the smell is so potent it might as well have been in one’s mouth.  And the concept is similar too. Think about it,  you pull out a rubber-esk type thingy out of a stinky liquid.  Case closed, in my mind anyways.  Sure I haven’t convinced you to join Team No Olives but what I am about to tell you might surprise you.  I hate olives, but I SO want to love them.  I do, truly.  I envy all you stuck up olive loving people out there.  All fancy with your crackers and OLIVES, making life look so good and luxurious.  So, for a long time now, when olives are on the menu I will always take one, but only one!  I pop that sucker in my mouth hoping that the magical taste of olives changes me to a new person. I can assure you though, the first bite is sorta OK….but the after taste….BARF and PUKE! I just can’t do it. So groaty!  The point?  I TRY!!!  I sincerely try and that has to be worth something!  So what is your “one olive“?  What is it that would seem enhances the existence of those around you, but you just can’t seem to grasp.  Maybe it’s mushrooms?  Do you hate coffee?  Let’s think outside the box here, perhaps your “one olive” is camping, leggings or going to water parks? Every time you try it you can’t understand why others love it?  For the record I  generally like those things.  Also for the record, if you thought combing your hair, washing your clothes or brushing your teeth were your “one olives” I can assure you that you are not normal and you clearly are not picking up what I am throwing down.  As well, I should mention, subscribing or reading this blog does not count as your one olive.  Let’s be honest,  this blog is more along the lumpy gravy lines.  No one likes lumpy gravy.  Or wait, I have a better example, you know that gross hard blob of lotion that comes out first when you haven’t used your lotion in a while.  THAT’S this blog.  You try to embrace it and rub it in, but there is no getting past the fact that it is completely useless. ( haha )

This guy barks like a crazy person, but he at least posed for this picture.

This guy barks like a crazy person, but he at least posed for this picture.

As I am sure you would guess, Cambodian life is full of things you have to push yourself to get used to.  Even getting used to the fact that crazy things will happen to you constantly can be a struggle.  The other day I was sitting with a friend in her little shop and I literally was almost knocked on the back of the head by an old dirty toilet that some random person decided to carry through the store.  I am not kidding, it was completely out of nowhere and thankfully I had leaned forward just in time.  So weird.  I really feel that I have pushed myself to accept strange music more openly too.  It used to drive me nuts, but now, I embrace it.  Went for a massage a while ago and the entire time they played the broadest spectrum of music, all played on some Asian flute.  We’re talking songs like “Careless Whisper”, ” Time to say Good-Bye” and the oldie goldie “Love is blue”.  (If you don’t know those songs you can YouTube em.)  I have to push myself to not laugh at people too. Isn’t that terrible, but it is true.  I met a young guy who had clearly just bought a brand new hoodie.  I asked him if he understood English and he said no. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that his new hoodie had in huge letters “I am pregnant! I am uncomfortable! I am crabby!”  If I told him what it said he would never wear it again and I didn’t want to crush his coolness.  So instead I told him it was totes dope yo! Jokes, I didn’t say that.  I did pinch his cheeks though.  Haha, na, I didn’t do that either.

There will always be some things in life that I just won’t be able to try or simply doesn’t appeal to me.  I am sure you agree with that. Lesson here though, push yourself to try “some” things you don’t like.  No one likes a stick in the mud.  Another personal example is that I would say for a certainty I love being around people.  Not 100% of the time of course but in a general sense of the meaning, I love people.  Abby recently went to Bangkok for a week without me.  It was my big test of being alone.  I had to do everything on my own.  Shop, cook, clean etc. I even had to brush my own teeth and argue with myself for goodness sakes. (That’s clearly a joke for the people who have the questionable “one olives” as mentioned before.)   Apparently though, I am a pretty industrious sorta person and organized.  Thank goodness she will be back and I don’t have to fill that description for much longer! haha But again, bit out of my comfort zone, but turned out really good!

Well that’s it guys.  Now you can go enjoy your fancy pants jar of olives, happiness and foo foo lives!  I will get there….one day!  Just remember,  try something new!  *NOTE* This is about as inspirational as I will get so….

TIP: If you think there is a booger on your face, there is probably a booger on your face.

You don't get much cuter than this!

You don’t get much cuter than this!

 

Word For Word

Life...it finds a way! (wow Sarah, So deep)

Life…it finds a way! (wow Sarah, So deep)

Yesterday Abby and I were on our way to a store and were having a conversation.  Part way through she changed the subject and told me to remind her to buy “Pin Boil”.  I said, “OKAY”, literally sat on the back of the moto and whispered to myself, “pin boil? What the?”  I tried to figure out what on earth she was saying without asking her again, but I had to ask again. “Sorry Abby, what did you need to get?”  We were stopped at an intersection at this point so she was actually  able to turn to me this time, and I won’t pretend there wasn’t a definite pinch of older sister annoyed elevated loudness to her words as she enunciated “PIG OIL!”  I was even more confused at this point but also didn’t want to be the most annoying person on the planet.  So I waited a even little bit more  and then asked her, “What is Pig Oil?”  Her simple, and yes even louder response was, “TIN FOIL!  Goodness its like Marcie never left!”  The saddest part of the  whole story is for a few moments in the store I couldn’t find her.  I was looking down isles, I was holding my breath dodging the bad B.O. from the stock boys and I just couldn’t find her anywhere UNTIL low and behold I found her.  Where was she you ask?  She was buying tin foil!

So apart from my apparent loss of hearing I think I am losing my memory too.

A beauty....the flower and Abby's eye!

A beauty….the flower and Abby’s eye!

I recently was talking with some friends when I went into describing the time I had that flu that went around called HDMI.  No, don’t worry, you read that correctly I was infected with standard cables for high definition video streaming.  Haha, What I meant to say was H1N1.  Seriously, I think I am losing it!

I am always thankful to see that I am not the only one who has word issues.  There is a Khmer lady that has a shop near us who I talk to fairly often. She is always trying to learn small new English words so I help her when I can.  Mind you I am sure you are all questioning my qualifications by now, but anyways.  In one particular discussion she asked me to translate a word from Khmer to English.  The word was “introduce.”  So she sat back in her tiny chair, looks at me and slowly says “eat-some-roots.”  I tried not to laugh too hard and I helped her again…”IN-TRO-DUCE.”  Her reply, again with elevated volume “EAT-SOME-ROOTS”  All I could say was, “um, yup….close.”  She is a gem though.  The worst pronunciation I have ever heard, but a gem.  If I ever tell her a joke she says I am “c’jute!”  The first time I heard it I asked her what the meaning of the word was.  She was practicing her English again and was trying to say “Cute!”  I stretched the word out for her, ” Cuuuuuuuute”  Her reply, “Caaaaaaa-Juuuuuuuuute!”  HAHA, Love it!

Language mishaps are so funny though.  Abby was having a discussion with some people who were learning English a few weeks ago.  They were talking about Samsung vs Apple products.  There was one person in the group who clearly wasn’t following because when Abby asked them which they like better, the answer she got was “I like peaches and mangos.”  I do laugh at these mix ups but I do realize that most likely more often than not I am doing the exact same thing trying to speak clear Khmer.  Usually I am corrected easily but there are definitely moments where I am left with a head spin.  The worst is when I ask for someone to speak slower and all they do is speak louder.  Actually I think they usually start speaking faster too!  It is the exact same situation in Canada though too.  Not to throw you under the bus Dad but I think anytime you ever encountered someone who didn’t have great English skills there was a definite volume increase.  haha

SEE THE FACE!!?

SEE THE FACE!!?

Thankfully I am the editor of this blog and choose to include one last tidbit.  A tidbit that no one else thinks is interesting, but I DO! So the past while I have been craving pizza.  Of course being celiac means I have to make my own. (Or Abby might make it..haha)  Well, that takes time and effort so I have patiently waited.  In the meantime, for over a month now I changed my wallpaper on my iPad to a gorgeous GF pizza we made back in Canada last summer.  As I stared at it…as you do, and discovered a face in the cheese.  No it isn’t anyone famous but it definitely is a scary face.  It stares at me from behind the YouTube icon.  Since I have found it I haven’t changed it either, not yet…..I am letting it fuel my fear of cheese. It isn’t working though, I still love cheese.  Even if it stares at me with the eyes of a clown with shattered dreams!

TIP OF THE DAY: Never leave the house without your rain poncho during the wet season…..enough said!

Enjoy yet again another weird collaboration of photos.  Some of them are from our trip down to Sihanoukville.  One of the beach towns of Cambodia.  It rained everyday! THE END!

I can't make this stuff up guys!!

I can’t make this stuff up guys!!

 

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Throw a big Stink!

Always being watched by someone :)

So I have given it quite a bit of thought and I would like to do a piece on, aromas.  You know, nothing to obscure of course.  Tasteful, but packs some punch.  I also will point out to those who maybe haven’t already noticed the upscale tone of my writing so far.  Please take note of my reference to a blog post as a piece. That’s correct!  This blog isn’t just words on a screen….IT’S ART!!  Actually, I just wanted to write that so I could feel like an important journalist or something.

Ok, so guys lets talk aromas! Aromas..haha.. who am I kidding here, lets talk stinks and stenches!  As any long time SezKapow reader already would be well aware of, Cambodia is not entirely known for being filled with the best smells.  Unfortunately the open sewer rivers don’t help the overall situation but definitely the heat and the majestic nature of the human body tends to escalate matters as well.  No no, I know you think I am shooting straight towards a poop story but actually, I meant more of a body odor story.

I just like these...they are everywhere.

Picture of flowers to offset the overall mood here!

Still with me, ok good. So not too long ago, Marcie was packing for a trip home to Canada. That day it was only her and myself hanging out at the apartment.  Well, from the get go there was certainly a smell happening that was NOT agreeing with my comfort levels.  OBVIOUSLY it must have been Marcie.  I mean, come on right!  So as the kind and gentle sister that I am, in the most sensitive manner possible I addressed the issue.  Well, I was redirected with some again, kind and thoughtful words, that the smell was coming from the living room where I sit.  I was pretty confident it wasn’t, but then again, I don’t always shower the second I feel sweat pouring down my back so…..perhaps!?  Well, thank goodness it wasn’t my chair.  It had to have been MARCIE’S chair, right?  I am sure you are catching onto what this all turned into.  It was the great search for the stink in the house.  I think Marcie and I smelt every single piece of fabric in our entire living room and found nothing!  The only thing we found was the two of us standing in the middle of the room wondering what the smell could be?  “Are you SURE it isn’t YOU Marcie!? Smell your pits!”  So she lifts her arms and……wait for it….nothing. It was fine.  Yup, I even lifted the back of my hair thinking….hmmm you never know!?  Well, admittedly we didn’t smell like a big bag of flowers but the crippling smell was thankfully not coming from either of us.  Nor was it coming from a place we may have left stink behind at. Ok, I won’t drag this story on much further but near the END of the afternoon I was going to grab an onion. Well my fingers sunk into the onion.  “I FOUND THE STINK!!”  Yup, it was an onion that had gone off and was totally gross.  I think it must have had something wrong from the inside though because we haven’t ever had our food rot like that……we aren’t animals people! “Smell your pits!!” Sorry, random flashback quote. Back to the story, anyways, made me laugh that instead of thinking a terrible rotting onion smell was coming from say…an onion perhaps, my first reaction was to blame Marcie! haha What are sisters for right!?

This just makes me think of a story from years ago at

PRETTY AND SMELLS NICE!

PRETTY AND SMELLS NICE!

my house back in Canada.  I remember I was sitting at the computer and suddenly I caught a whiff of my breath and was like,  “WHAT on earth, I am going to die!”  Seriously I couldn’t get over how terrible it was! And THEN, I realized that it was not my breath but that an un-named loved one had just destroyed the bathroom which was next door to the office.  It made me shutter that I would have ever second guessed that a smell with that sheer…velocity, came from my mouth!  Anyways….real stories here guys.  Its just life, so take it or leave it!  I am sure we all have similar stories….right?? haha

Speaking of life, seems to be moving along.  I know my blogs seem few and far between these days, sorry about that.  But a girls gotta keep busy! You know, I have things to do, places to go….smells to find!  Honestly though, hope this hasn’t bored you too much.  And as far as apologizing for the nature of this “piece”, I am far beyond that.  If you haven’t figured this blog out by now…..I can’t help ya! haha  Thanks for reading everyone, drop me a comment if you like!

TIP:  When something smells bad, save yourself some dignity and check all the food in the house first!

Just outside this woman's home she was cooking some fish so I got a chance to show her a video.

Just outside this woman’s home she was cooking some fish so we got a chance to show her a video.

 

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Camboversary

Cambo 3 years hand

Straight up now tell me do you really wanna read these forever…oh oh oh! Just kidding, just had to break the ice you know!! And what better way, than with a throw back Paula Abdul smash hit pop single!?

Now it certainly is not a secret that I am very lazy, so this 3 year Camboversary blog-o-Rama is number 1: A couple weeks late and number 2: probably not going to live up to my usual extravaganza style celebration of words and circle people. Can you sense the normality of life in Cambodia slipping in so subtlety that even these blog posts are slowly getting more and more lamo! Don’t worry though, I won’t stop writing them. I gain too much inner peace in the sheer knowledge that I am wasting your time, forcing you to read and read and read! Sorry, that’s terrible….but I am only being honest and I respect honesty! I say, who doesn’t respect honesty!? Ahhh….you sir, well pack your bags, you are no longer welcome here!!

Having a little chat with my buddy Pinh. She was such a sweetie, looking forward to meeting up soon :)

Having a little chat with my buddy Pinh. She was such a sweetie, looking forward to meeting up soon 🙂

So I have considered reminiscing over the past couple years and sharing deep thoughts of how much my opinion has changed and how my personality has and continues to be shaped to hopefully something better than what I started with. But, meh… Instead I am going to tell you a naked falling story! Thank goodness I am not involved in this anecdote, by the way, or it probably wouldn’t be surfacing here. Anyways, it was Marcie….she had just showered and was wrapped in her towel. Abby and Marcie’s bathroom has a small step to a tiled bedroom floor. Well apparently she had not dried off her feet what so ever and as soon as her foot hit the tile, she was swept away landing flat on her butt!! Abby was in the room sitting on the bed but fortunately had her eyes closed anyways as she was saying a prayer before bed. As Marcie fell her towel of course became more of a sail revealing her true colours! All she screamed was “DON’T LOOK!!!”, followed by an obvious “slap slap BOOM BOOM” sound. Well as I said Abby’s eyes were already closed but she was holding back laughter as she wrapped up her prayer! You can only imagine the laughs that were had and the big bruise on poor bitty baby Marcie’s bottom! Lol and that’s that story…just a plain old naked falling story, but a funny one….haha “DON’T LOOK…slap, slap BOOM BOOM!”

When I started writing this I also considered going into some realities

THE FACE!! Too much!

THE FACE!! Too much!

of the gross things we see…smell…and more so lately what we hear too! Even in the comfort of our own home! ( from outside, not the toilet ya sickos). My angle on those tidbits would have been to gain sheer sympathy….but again. Naaa….I have a different story, short and sweet. A couple weeks ago my good friend Amy and her roomie Mackenzie visited. They are living in Thailand which is where we met. Anyways, Amy came out into the living room one morning, and described to me what would be one of the grossest, completely unexpected happenings of a morning ritual. She said she was brushing her teeth when her toothbrush all of the sudden completely fell apart in her mouth! So yeah, all the individually binded bristles all came apart in a sudsy mouth bath…..barf, how gross would that feel. Anyways, I laughed so hard. I suspect it was a cheap one she picked up from a hotel. That or she could use some funding for her need greating experience..lol just kidding!!

Now I could pull the old “I hate the heat” card but I will spare you. I will spare you because folks, it is time for my annual LIST OF THINGS SARAH LEARNED IN 2015 * props on the stage are shifted, quick wardrobe change and the scene is left with one single light above Sarah as she reads*

1. The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know! I am talking LIFE, LANGUAGE, CULTURE….you name it. And this is some thing any one of us realizes when they put the effort towards something new or a change of any sort! So stay humble people, but keep learning too, because all the rest of these humble people know how dumb you are!!
2. TREAT YOURSELF!!!! But this goes to people who are pushing for the simplistic life already but not giving themselves a break here and there. All you other splurgers need to CALM DOWN!! Haha just kidding…..naaa, mostly I mean…take care of yourself and now and again….TREAT YOURSELF!! (PS. Yes I love that show)
3. Not that I questioned it years before, but seriously, I can not handle people snorting!!! People are obsessed with SNORTING here….people, this is so nasty. Dear World, please STOP snorting!!!
4. If it tastes like dog food, it probably is dog food. And when I say dog food…..I mean, dog in yo food foo!! Stop eating it, you will not feel well later! ( more of a lesson Abby learned but by example I learned this as well)
5. Stop worrying about it! Everything…..just stop worrying about it! ( this is an ongoing lesson in my life!)
6. Marcie never properly learned the head and shoulders, knees and toes song…….apparently it’s shoulders, elbows head….yeeeeeeah, no that’s very wrong Marcie!!!!
7. We can officially celebrate three years life in Cambodia having not pooped our pants!!! Obviously been some close calls but according to all our friends here, we are reigning champions!!!
8. Abby makes great crepes…..thus a crepe-ist! What!!! Come on it’s funny… Calm down, I don’t make these things up for nothing, it’s my job!
9. Deal with it! There are a lot bigger issues in this universe than the small and the what seems as large problems we deal with individually. Crippling yourself in sorrow is useless, so as I say, deal with it and move on.
10. Last but not least….learned a bit of patience! But I will be honest, there is a slight tiny baby chance I am still working on that one! *wink wink, nudge nudge…..high five, pinch pinch….* we’ll stop there how bout! Haha

Alright, well….that’s it for this round. You are prob finished your coffee now or your slice of sloppy meat loaf. Not sure what you kids eat while reading these days, so feel free to clean up the mess you made of your face while glancing through these make shift photos.

Ps. No extra tips….. My list exhausted my mind of all excess practical wisdom. But I will give a shout out to my buddies Dos and Steph for the awesome title idea!! Thanks guys!

Every sunday morning we walk through this guys kitchen to get to Abby's study. Pretty different world here....

Every sunday morning we walk through this guys kitchen to get to Abby’s study. Pretty different world here….

 

Beef Belt Buckets

Thailand....Soak it in

Thailand….Soak it in

It honestly feels like I JUST updated this blog, but when I checked…its been a while.  Sorry.  But good news, I have lots of photos to share.  We recently took a trip to Thailand and stayed with friends in a town called Krabi.  Everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at.  What a contrast to living in Phnom Penh, where every turn you take you see someone picking their nose!   Sorry guys, I know that is gross and I have held back from bringing it up for a while, but as real as it was a couple years ago when I first moved here, the reality has remained stable! Nose pickers power through let me tell ya! Anyways, back to my original train of thought….Krabi was awesome and such a great break.  It was raining lots but it actually enhanced the trip.  We rented motos

Abby's hand crafted poncho! LOL

Abby’s hand crafted poncho! LOL

there and on one occasion we were caught in a massive downpour.  We pulled over to put on our little plastic ponchos but realized we were one short for the group.  The guys working in the store we stopped in front of tried to solve the issue for us, by constructing Abby a tailored poncho made of old sign canvas. It was so hilarious.  She couldn’t bend in it, and said it was super sharp, and so unfortunately couldn’t use it.  But we all got a good laugh out of it all.

Speaking of having a good laugh, I find myself laughing AT Marcie a lot these days.  (No I am not a bully, sometimes I laugh WITH her too!) I have always known she is a conversation misinterpreter but perhaps I didn’t realize she was such a hardcore misinterpreter! In fact, “I am not even mad, I am impressed!”  For example, some friends were staying with us and after they left I just said to the girls “Kyle and Glori are my favs”….. which was immediately followed by Marcie’s questioning voice, ” Kyle and Glori are BABES?”  Lol  I mean, yeah…yes, they are but no, that’s not exactly what I said! *DISCLAIMER* I have many FAVS by the way, and yes, all you FAVS are all babes as well. Though saying I have many favs discredits the meaning so maybe what I mean is I equally enjoy the company of many friends to different

Out in the Kayak on Oa Nang beach I took this shot.  Love the contrast of colors.

Oa Nang Beach, Thailand

degrees????? YIKES….Moving on.  The other time that cracked me up, was during a conversation I said something plain like “elevator”.  Anyways, I said “elevator” and again from the outskirts of the conversation comes Marcie’s questioning voice, “Sarah what? Beef Belt Buckets??” Are you kidding me Marcie, beef belt buckets??  It didn’t even slightly resemble “elevator” or whichever word I said. And no it wasn’t a “B” word.  I give it to her for creativity though. Seriously, has the universe known that word combo ever before?? I highly doubt it.  And I also give her credit for giving me an awesome title for this post!

Anyways guys, things have been just moving along here in Cambodia.  If I wasn’t able to develop some sense of normality I would feel pretty unsettled.  Though I doubt not too many of you are often woke up by the garbage truck workers in the middle of the night singing at the top of their lungs as they collect the trash.  Cambodia…..Thank you! haha

Well please enjoy the photos of this, that and the other thing.  I will also leave you with this tip:

Smile…while you still have teeth 🙂

Sunrise in Takeo.

Sunrise in Takeo.

Gotta post the good pics big...or at least the pics I attempted to be artsy in! haha

Gotta post the good pics big…or at least the pics I attempted to be artsy in! haha

And now….your beloved mosaic of photos 🙂