It was nice of HRH to finally Knight Brucie to mark our one month anniversary in Cambodia. Below are some unique insights into our first month.
1. Banks. We have finally succeeded in transferring funds from the UK to our Cambodian bank account. We sent $500 as a test but only received $470 into our account! $5 charge here $5 charge there and a so far unexplained mystery $20 charge. No-one inside our outside the bank are able to explain these charges, although I suspect that the intermediary bank has helped themselves to a chunk of my money. Next time we'll try to transfer without using the intermediary bank! Bankers eh?
2. Passport sized photos. In this country you need a (or multiple) passport photo(s) to do amost everything. Visa application (2), Drivers license (3), Open bank account (1), get a mobile phone sim card (1!). It seems everyone here wants to have a photo of us!
3. Astroturf. Jonny went to play football last week and was stunned to find a good 3rd generation astrotuft 5-a-side pitch in Phnom Penh. He was less stunned to find 3 chaps relieving themselves on the pitch prior to the match starting. Needless to say Jonny's Khmer doesn't yet stretch to explaining that it wasn't real grass!
4. Leaky roofs. We have been told that the leak in our roof depends on the direction of the rain. There does appear to be some truth in this as when the rain comes down our roof leaks, I don't expect that it will leak if the rain goes up!
5. Time. It seems that time is a flexible commodity in Cambodia. Irish timekeeping (which has a bad reputation itself) has nothing on Khmer timekeeping. Trying to embrace it rather than fight it.