|View from the Corner 33 Cafe|
The holiday is over, and it's time to get our heads down and start looking for a place to live and work.
As it turns out, there's a golden rule about moving to Cambodia without a pre-ordered job; It will take you three months to get one. Of course, no-one told us this before we came, and with the logical deduction that 'living in a third world country = cheap living', we're happy to go about networking and living our lives comfortably and as relaxed as possible.
Having spent our time in Prek Leap with Aimee and Fred, we realise that if we plan on getting anything done, we need to move to the city. After visiting only a few apartments, we find our incredible place in Sangkat Veal Vong, on the east side of the Olympic Stadium. We meet our landlords Max (Australian) and Sophea (Cambodian), an awesome pair that have since become good friends of ours. In a wild coincidence, we find out that Sophea actually designed the house Fred and Aimee live in. It's fate from thereon in, and we move in days later.
|Our rooftop terrace being put to good use|
One of the great things about job hunting in Phnom Penh – and working freelance, I guess – is choosing where to work. From air-conditioned cafes with a view of the Tonle Sap/Mekong rivers to secluded gardens with swimming pools, the city offers some great spots to get your work done... or be easily distracted. Poolside soon loses its charm when we realise a couple of weeks has gone by and all we have is a tan and a wet towel and still no job.
If you do find yourself needing to work and are looking to do so in cafe, I've got a few recommendations. First, Java Cafe is pretty cool, has great staff and comfortable couches. There's also Corner 33, which is really quiet and has a cheap menu. Despite being tourist traps, check out FCC and Fresco – but the one in BKK, not at Riverside.
|'Working' at The Pavillion|
And now you really want to know about the pools, don't you.
Well, my personal favorite is the Blue Lime, a secluded little oasis not too far from riverside. There's also The Pavilion which is very similar, Villa Langka and The 252. As for nighttime drinking and swimming with your clothes on, you can always rely on Elsewhere, but watch out! It's a very touristy street so keep an eye on your stuff when heading home.
Eleswhere is one of the first places we hang out with our new friends in Phnom Penh. We were very lucky to know Aimee before arriving, which came with the added bonus of meeting her mates, a fantastic bunch of people we've become quite fond of.
|Foot soak at Elsewhere|
First we have Erin and Marion. Erin is one of the sweetest, loveliest and tallest women around, and lives with Marion, who is mad. Marion's also awesomeness in the form of a little New Zealand farmer. I'm only saying this because I think it's going to make her come back and kill me – she recently left us for Buda and Pest, and will soon be joined by Dr Mad Kavenagh.
Then you've got Sam and Mari, our New York pair (although Mari is from Norway, and coincidentally also mad) that work in film and development, respectfully. Sam is actually famous, and possibly mad, but I'm not sure.
|I honestly don't know|
Next up are Luke and Clare. Luke is actually a primitive huntsmen from 1,000 B.C., but he's slightly barmy so passes for a modern man quite well, and Clare is mad. As mad as Dom and Marnie. No, sorry, actually Dom and Marnie and completely bonkers, to an immeasurable extent. My bad.
Aaron gets to join us every once in a while, but only because he lives out in butt-fuck nowhere, and Caitlin joined us for a short stint but has returned to... I actually don't know.
Last but not least there Bek. She's is also, as you may have rightly assumed, mad.
In case you think I'm pulling your leg as to how mad we all are, here's a little glimpse into the future...
|Sober. I swear|
After only knowing these great loons for nought but a few days, we head out for a really cool night: Bowling and a concert with the brilliant San Francisco/Phnom Penh band Dengue Fever....