A common sight

Photos courtesy of H. Prytherch This is a common sight along the roads of Cambodia-- a patient riding on the back of a moto on the way home, hooked up to an IV. There's large demand for IVs and injections in the country, and people seek it out whether or not it is medically necessary. The problem of overuse of drugs/IVs is more prevalent in rural areas where educational levels are much lower. We asked some people in the communities when they typically get IVs, and we were told it's good for making the body strong again after many days out fishing or working in the fields. We're told they can be bought at any pharmacy or clinic, and the colored IVs are better because the medicine in it makes it more potent. (Unknown to them, oftentimes … [Read more...]

How to catch sparrows

A little bit of life in Phnom Penh.... I was sitting at a cafe overlooking Sisowath Quay (riverside), when I watched how they catch what's nicknamed in the birding world as LBJs (Little Brown Jobbies), or the ubiquitous common sparrows. Keith told me how he'd watch them do this but it seemed like such a tediously unrewarding way to catch birds so I didn't believe him.Small Khmer kids with long thin bamboo sticks patiently waited at some short bushes by the river. When a sparrow came along, they poked it with their stick. On the end of the stick is a blob of glue which, when it gets onto the bird's feathers, effectively renders them incapable of flying. As the bird hops away trying to get the glue off, the kids would poke it again with the … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Eat a Mango!

Typically existing in two races, the mango finds its roots in Burma and South India, and in Southeast Asia particularly the Philippines.Mango season is one of my favorite things about living in Asia! All the charm and sensuous sweetness that is the essence of the tropics-- in one fruit. Mangoes signal a reprieve from the hot season, heralding the summer monsoons. It kicks off the festive Khmer New Year and launches the summer fruit bounty: rambutan, lychee, mangosteen and durian. Long bamboo sticks with a cage-like trap at the end ensure reach into the highest cluster (these evergreen trees grow to 60 feet tall). Street vendors now walk their bicycle-loads of mangoes, and market sellers pile them on mats and in baskets. National roads are … [Read more...]

Streetlife: A Man’s World?

Finding a dependable, safe motorbike driver (motodup) is a difficult feat, even in Phnom Penh where an excess of drivers roam the streets, ranging from the unemployed college graduate to new migrants from the provinces. Oum Chanton, a familiar face in Boeng Keng Kang, has been getting her passengers safely to their destination for seven years.It is an unusual choice of vocation for a woman, but motodup-ing suits Oum Chanton just fine. Occasionally driving a moto as a side job in the year 2000, Chanton discovered that it offered steady wages and flexibility. As a single mother who is also supporting a younger sister and mother, it gradually became the main source of income for her family. She soon found herself driving even up to the day … [Read more...]

Things to See at Night in Phnom Penh

Back home the great outdoors is cast in a peaceful sheen after a good snow. Here in Phnom Penh the night-time glow of a few streetlights or the occasional passing vehicle blurs the rough edges. From K Kelly’s portfolio: Views of Sisowath Quay and the Tonle Sap River from the top of FCC, a bar-restaurant on the river. River-side seats at the top floor of this colonial-style establishment is a good place for happy hour. To the left of the 2nd photo, downriver, is the confluence of the Tonle with the Mekong. This beautiful old building on Sothearos is currently undergoing restoration efforts to become a hotel-restaurant with direct access to the FCC. Cyclos, perhaps around 300 left in Phnom Penh, round up for the night across … [Read more...]

Phnom Penh ranks in bottom 10th for livability

Phnom Penh ranked 125 out of 132 cities recently surveyed by The Economist for livability. Criteria include recreational and cultural activity, crime rate, risk of political instability. Just a few changes in the environment can make a big dent in that score, especially with growing interest on attracting foreign investments. People can be especially enthusiastic advocates of change when money is in the horizon. Let's start with joining the 21st century by improving the communications infrastructure ...Read it here: Where the Grass is Greener … [Read more...]