Monday, January 29, 2007

Back to Cambodia!

I've been busy packing for my trip back to Phnom Penh tomorrow morning (my cheapie flight is at 7am! argh!). My luggage will be overweight, because I went on a shopping spree in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (the Singapore dollar is twice that of the Malaysian ringgit, so it makes things really affordable.)

Jetstar, the budget airline I am flying, allows 20kg check in, and every additional kilogramme costs SGD8 (USD5). DHL's Jumbo Box (up to 25kg) to Cambodia costs around SGD200 and that's door-to-door delivery. The cheapest way to send things appears to be via Singapore Post--SGD100 for 20kg. But, as Singpost does not have a branch in Cambodia, there is no guarantee it will arrive. Sigh. So for the moment I am lugging things with me on the plane. Thankfully my dad has offered to come to PP--just to help me carry the bags!

What's in my bags? Beautiful lace and other ornate trimmings (to add on to our bags), embroidered organza cloth (I think they'd make beautiful table runners), and many other accessories. One challenge in running Bloom is accessories are hard to find here in Cambodia. I buy cloth from Orussey Market but even then the variety is limited. Oh yes, I even bought cloth from Chinatown in Singapore to bring back to PP!

We're lucky in Singapore in that we have a dedicated art supplies store that sells anything you could possibly need to make craft. In Phnom Penh, the closest we get is IBC (International Book Centre). I will miss also Singapore's excellent libraries--in fact the library was the first place I visited when I arrived! I think it's such a privilege to have a place where we can just read for free, and read about anything under the sun. And then there are the bookstores: Borders and Kinokuniya and Times (Monument Books is expensive and does not carry any of the books I'm interested in).

What else will I miss? The food! Really, the best thing about Singapore is the food. I lost 5 kgs since moving to Cambodia, but put on 2 kgs in only 2 weeks back home! Food is fantastic in Singapore--it's a mixture of Malay, Indian, Chinese, Eurasian and Western. And I had to eat them all! I've got to get recipes from mom for the cafe. I'm thinking Bloom's signature dish could be a Singaporean one. Hmm, maybe Laksa.

Of course I'm going to miss my wonderful family and friends incredibly. But the much lauded public transport system? Well, while waiting for a bus the other day, I thought, if this was Cambodia, I would not have to wait, just hop onto a moto and away we go.

I'm excited about going back to Phnom Penh and seeing Alan and our dogs again. I also can't wait to show Bloom's workers all the stuff I bought and see their excitement. We're always excited when we can make things that no one else is making in Cambodia.

1 comment:

king said...
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