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15 May 2011

Sports and Socialising

Kratie in May is a busy time with holidays coming thick and fast and families trying to squeeze in wedding before the rains begin in earnest.  It's hot, sticky and to give a flavour of all the action here are a few random happenings from the last couple of weeks.

 It's raining quite regularly now and this means that mosquitoes are breeding faster than we can swat them.  Have no fear, to the rescue is the 'Rechargable Electronic Mosquito Bat' at the bargain price of £2.50.  This device is surely worthy of an innovation or design award of some description.  Let's run through some of its features and benefits.

Pesky mosquitoes like to come out when the light starts to fade so an inbuilt torch to assist in sighting the bastards makes it advantage Sam.

The bat is used like a tennis racquet.  Search and, with a swift forehand, destroy blood-sucking parasites.  Not only am I protecting me and Gilly from being bitten but I get some exercise too.  Maybe it'll help keep my squash game at a reasonable level in the absence of any courts here.

Perhaps most satisfying is the sound of success.  Every malaria- and dengue fever-carrying blighter that passes through the 'net' of my racquet get a fatal electric shock.  This is accompanied by a noise that is just like the cartoon sound effect of an electrocution.  As the video above shows it's even enough to give a grown man a shock.  When you're really lucky the insect gets caught up in the racquet and sets up a ricochet of electrocution, with accompanying zapping sounds.  Put simply, this might be the best couple of quid I've ever spent in my life, match point!

 Perhaps less satisfying was the acquisition of some badminton racquets from a volunteer who recently left.  This wouldn't be noteworthy if it wasn't for the uplifting message on the case...

 Can't say fairer than that.  You may recall similarly positive words found on our rice cooker and other kitchen appliances...

Mosquitoes aren't the only animals that have been dying around the house lately.  After Gilly pointed out to me how cute the 'smallest gecko in the world' was, I later found it drowned to death in one of our many buckets used for managing our household water.

Geckos are actually great allies in the fight against mosquitoes so it was sad to see one kick the bucket (!) but later we saw this huge one on our balcony so all is not lost.

 Having been away for so long with her broken fingers Gilly was surprised to bump into her whole office at a volleyball tournament on a Saturday afternoon.  This is after not seeing them for over two months.  The full title of her employer is the Provincial Office for Education, Youth and Sport so maybe it shouldn't have been such a shock to find out they were organising the whole event.


The final was played out between the red and black team in front of the Governor of Kratie who arrived just in time in his huge Lexus.  Black won with some strong plays (above video) but not without a few points lost on the way (video below).

The teams then had to stand for about an hour while various important people gave rousing speeches which I couldn't understand and almost put me to sleep.  (At least I had a chair...)  This closing ceremony culminated with the awarding of various prizes and then a trophy to the black team.  It was all wrapped up in time for us to go and enjoy a post-tournament fruit shake by the river.

We've been enjoying having visitors this weekend, provoked by the three public holidays given over to the King's birthday.  (We should show some more respect to our UK monarchy through the process of granting bank holidays in their honour...)  Paul from Mondulkiri showed his respects by tucking into a foetus egg.  Those in the UK may be more familiar with this Cambodian delicacy following Gordon Ramsey's recent exploits.  Gilly and I have avoided them so far but it's a lottery and we could have one thrust upon at any moment...

John was also up from Phnom Penh where he has been known to dine on another less Cambodian delicacy, the quadruple-bypass burger.  True to form he ordered three dishes in one of our favourite restaurants, somewhere that it can be difficult to eat just one because of the never-ending supply of rice provided.  He only took away a small doggy bag having successfully polished off the (literally) lion's share of what's pictured.

Rain delayed play on Saturday as trips to the dolphins and a walking tour of Kratie town had to wait for an intense tropical storm to pass.  The rainy season is firmly in effect and watching it pour from the balcony could become a regular pass time.

All of the activity finally took it's toll on me and Gilly continues to photographically document my sleeping tendencies.

More socialising this week came in the form of a wedding.  (No-one we know, but when did that ever stop anyone!)  This means that Gilly gets to dress up in ridiculous sequinned outfits.  I think when she asked what I thought of it I found it difficult to muster up anything more complimentary than "absolutely disgusting".  Still, with Gilly riding pillion, I stepped out with her just in time to get a thorough soaking on the five minute ride to the wedding.  The rain started just after we set out and stopped the moment we arrived.

If you thought Gilly was bling, check out the bride in the middle.  She's the sister of out landlady, the lady in the red.  I'm smiling despite being soaked through.

I dried up in time for the dancing, here I'm learning some steps from our landlord and his son.

Gilly picks up some moves too.

So, a busy couple of weeks in Kratie Town.  Death (of animals), dancing, downpours and dropping off aplenty.


  1. Gilly - I think the pink number looks rather fetching and not at all disgusting!

  2. Makes me so homesick for Cambodia....

  3. I've been speaking to a lot of people lately Danny and the general consensus is that Cambodia is missing you too...