Thursday June 6th was our first day as a resident in Battambang, Cambodia. And it was a busy day setting up our new home.
At 5:30 I was woken up by the monks chanting next door, so I just laid in bed and watched the sun come up as they chanted for another hour. So much more melodic than roosters! As always, a coffee kick-start then we crossed the Battambang Sangkae river by ferry to get to our new home. The crossing costs a huge 500 Cambodian Riel or about 12 cents, but you need a steady stand. Did the guy in the background fall overboard???
First stop was Psar Taom, Battambang’s central market, a deco masterpiece. Here, we had bor bor, a congee-like breakfast of chicken and rice.
On to our new home to see how things were progressing. I discovered one of the workmen had popped some graffiti on one of the raw cement walls of a centipede saying ‘I Love You.’ We absconded with the ladder from one of the workmen to use it as a towel rack. I’m wondering what he’s thinking of these crazy foreigners. Our new roof is up and the view of the river and the colonial skyline is spectacular. Little wonder Battambang is up for Unesco heritage listing! We don’t have any chars to sit on, so we may source today. We met all the neighbours and none speak english. One of them did say, ‘I no understand.’ A great introductory start. The owners at the electric shop next door are fun.. lots of laughs, but mostly about my poor Khmer language skills. But the neighbours on the other side speak Thai, so I am happy I can communicate to someone.
Our meetings with the plumber, electrician and masonry guys went well and we should have things completed in a few weeks. As if… Our first request is for a western toilet, and that should be installed early next week. Im am so glad to be staying across the river in the hotel until we get the toilet. For showers, we’ll go to the local sauna/spa, and there are several in town, despite the consistently hot weather.
For the electrical, we have a choice of blue pastic conduit, or plastic blue conduit. This is a big choice for Battambang. But shock shock, we are NOT having the plastic smurf tube for the exposed electrical wires. We’ve scored metal piping for the electrics, so it will look very industrial. Thus, one visit today was to the metal workers where I came across this wonderful old policeman’s hat, just thrown up on a shelf and it has been collecting dust for many years. I should have offered to buy it. Maybe I will when we return to pick up the piping. The visit to the post office was also easy, and a new postal address is always a good sea change. Mail us at P.O. Box 299, Battambang, Cambodia. We pick up the keys up next week.