Cambodia Jotter

I brought along a small notebook with me to Cambodia to write down various things – sights I wanted to see, things I bought and their costs, thoughts, etc. It got pretty ravaged by my constant digging for it in my pocket and consultation in rain, wind, drunkenness, this, that.

Before I go to Taiwan and and before I get carried away by a sudden mania for buying atomisers, I thought I’d put up some stuff from in the notebook here.

Siem Reap Temple Trail (in chronology)

Day 1
Chong Khneas Floating Village (not a temple)
Angkor Wat (sunset)

Day 2
Kbal Spean (technically not a temple)
Banteay Srey
Landmine Museum (also not a temple. I realise this list heading is misleading)
Pre Rup
Ta Prohm

Day 3
Angkor Wat (sunrise)
Preah Khan
Angkor Thom area

Phnom Penh Expenditure – Day 1 (30/10/09)

USD 24 — Accomodation – Capitol Guesthouse- 3 nights
USD 3 — Tuktuk
USD 3 — Tuktuk
USD 3.5 — Dinner (pho + beer. I walked maybe 2 hours for this. That should be factored into cost)
1.3 USD — Water
7.65 USG — Supper (white wine + calamari. FCC Cambodia. It seemed fitting to have a glass of wine there. Had the calamari for a laugh)
USD 1.5 — Drinks (carrot juice + a Beerlao. Provision shop near the guesthouse)
500 Riels — Rice Vegetable Pancake which is probably more a Chive Ricecake (streetside after confusing exchange with ricecake seller)

Prayer to Cambodia That I Wrote While On the Plane There

Cambodia I am yours for the week. Hold me safe. I am a reverent visitor and guest who does not wish to offend but live as you do as much as I am able to for the short time I am yours. I am a passerby who would like to know you. I chose you quickly but I promise not flippantly. I want to shelter in the majesty of your Wats, see the sunrises and sets you ignore. Receive me Cambodia for I am a lowly fly wishing to crawl along your carved walls. I promise to leave no harm and hopefully only good feelings as you fill me with good feelings of my own. Cambodia I am you wandering child hold me safe.



Bit of a gap since my last post. Some stuff has happened and the most recent thing that happened is that I had a week’s leave and nothing planned so a week before my leave started I bought myself an air ticket to Cambodia and then legged it all over Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for 3 days each.

What a week it was. If there is anything to be said about travelling solo, it’s that the fear from being overseas alone is a large part of why it’s so dang fun.

Sort of an extended photo essay of my romp in Cambodia here.


Truth is – I thought I’d write this post maybe 1 or 2 months ago. And while those 1 or 2 months disappeared by me, I thought it would be somewhat redundant soon to mention the financial crisis. But in the strange contained and open financial ecosystem of this sunny island, the lack of everyman concern regarding the crisis makes it even more mentionable. Really, what crisis? Nothing I see around me everyday makes it seem like there’s a crisis. The crisis belongs in newspapers and the internet.

I should mention though that I haven’t been spending extravagantly. But I hardly do. The last big ticket item I bought was this iMac I’m using. And it was high time I ditched the gummy old laptop. Other than that, I’m still using second/third-hand handphones (I’ve never had my own actually new handphone) and my twice-exchanged iPod shuffle – both being ‘problems’ that can be solved with a purchase of an iPhone. What? Financial crisis? What financial crisis?


Yes, this has been a recurring theme around heres, I do like to provide a bit of schadenfreude for yous who glimpse these self-indulgent cyberpages: Work. Work makes me feeI sometimes that I am grasping at the idiomic tether being pulled away from me. I need to embark on some sort of vacation. C’mon Cartesian Devil, where is the deception of a comfortable existence my senses are supposed to be clouded by. Your moustache was always of more interest to me than your philosophy, Descartes. I always thought you looked a bit like William Shakespeare.


I try to reconcile myself to this. This white elephant that stays out of sight for periods of time, but comes within cognition time and time again to remind me that my coiffure will soon (or already. I am my own Cartesian Devil) resemble that of an elephant’s – sparse – and with non of the elephantine wrinkles that can point to old age as a reasonable cause. Hereditariness, I aim my rapier sight squarely on you. And when I get a little cross-eyed, I view Work as a culprit as well. O Work, how you are the scapegoat of my life’s bane.

In more escapist moments, I make believe that I have the same mutant power as Professor Charles Xavier – baldness. (And what with my recent strangely sharply hurting leg of recent months, I might acquire his mutant wheelchair skills as well)


I won’t pretend. I admit that the recent rejuvenation of my Twitter account (due to the recent juvenation of twitter locally) has made me neglect this blog. Twitter was the perfect excuse to be pithy without seeming stoic. And it resulted in a total blog silence except for the updating of the stuff on the right column. I thought well that suits me since I sort of like being simple, concise and all those other similar adjectives (Short? Lacking? Insubstantial? Enough). But of course looking at this ramble now, I have failed miserably. You could work out a logarithm that divides the length of this post over the average consistency and length of the posts on this blog over the period of time I wasn’t blogging. The logarithm would include those things, but most probably not in that order. I don’t have a degree in accounting to substantiate my claim. So I guess I am insubstantial.


This has nothing to do with recessions whatsoever, unless I want to belabour the point and explain that the slab of pork below shrank in size whilst in the oven. But let’s not try to infuse this roast with meaning. Herbs with salt and pepper are enough.


This was the meat part of a birthday cook-in dinner thing we had over the weekend. Everything else was vegetables, I swear. Apparently, the slab still had nipples on it which my friend claimed he ‘sawed’ off. Wonder what that would have tasted like roasted. There was no cake involved so this cake of pork had to play the part. It was certainly harder to slice than cake. That red band across the top did not proclaim something festive-appropriate like ‘Happy Birthday’ but instead read ‘SINGAPORE APPROVED’.

And to give a better sense of size: it was the size of a brownie tray before it was roasted, after which it shrank maybe an inch on all sides. How do I know it was as large as a brownie tray? Because that’s what was used to catch the drippings.

Actually, a slab of roast pork like this is quite gruesome to me. I often think that this is what a slab of human might look like after being roasted nicely, what with pork being the closest taste comparison to human meat (I remember reading that somewhere – an interview with a cannibal, something, I can’t remember exactly what); it was delicious anyhow.

my first setlist




OK it’s technically my cousin’s so what it’s a family heirloom now.

That’s Bryan’s foot by the way.

of montreal and singapore



of Montreal was hilarious, game, and awesome today at library@esplanade. They straight up played Beware Our Nubile Miscreants, Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse after a quick absurd interview session which left Jack & Rai pretty much speechless, and ended the whole thing with The Party’s Crashing Us Now after sportingly attempting to sing Chan Mali Chan. Dude, what? But that was a pretty hilarious segment as well.

While heading off they were mobbed and I said ‘You guys are awesome!’ and Kevin looked around to say thanks while Davey smiled. Bryan was being accosted by ladies and Dottie and Jamie had disappeared.

Tomorrow’s shows should be killer.

where were the sirens?

From my Twitter:

a huge 2 unit fire just broke out opp my block. fire travelled from lower unit to one above. its out now, after about an hour. light beams jerking through burnt blackness. broken windows splintering into ground about 16 stoerys [sic] below.

There was some business with the fire ladder but the fire engine was parked pretty far from the block on the main road and the ladder wasn’t tall enough anyway.

Two guys clapped the firedude on the fire ladder. Okay, maybe it was one guy. But he had a friend with him.

For some reason the crowd control unit was called in.

They’ve got some machine going in one of the units now. I guess maybe it’s to get rid of the poisonous fumes or something? It is a loud machine.

We have returned to our rooms and beds but now we are fearful.

update: pictures





it has only been a month

But it has been trying. I will not mince my words. It has been trying. These past few months have been trying. Perhaps even the past year, but that is perhaps leaving my words a little too unminced, a bit too hard to swallow, a tad bu shuang kou. You will consider returning your food, think of not returning to this place, vowing never to submit yourself to such an ordeal again, but you might return, sometime in the future, when you have sufficiently forgotten, when you are feeling charitable, then you will remember.

As I said, it has been trying.

There was a reunion at the beginning of December. Some of these guys I’ve been hanging out with regularly. Most of them I haven’t seen since secondary school. I didn’t help organise the reunion. It was just as well for I was busy anyway. It was a trying time. I am repeating myself.

I met old friends, many old friends, and acquaintances. We said hi. how’ve you been? What are you doing now? Wow, really? That’s interesting. No, of course. Yes. Sure, of course, yes. Ah, ah! Oh, noooo no noo. Haha! Yes, haha! It was a riot.

There were shoulder slaps, arm squeezes, belly laughs, conspirational whispers, incredulous looks, commiserating nods, comments about excess of weight and lack of hair, the whole shindig. It was a degustation of ten year’s worth of about a hundred guy’s lives. We ate it all up. Then we forgot the tastes, furrowed our brows at remnants of flavours. Was that sweet tang a specific fantastic success in some area? Was that sourness someone else griping about the success? Was that bitter aftertaste a weird vibe from that group of guys? It was a good meal. It wasn’t exceptional, but we could go for another serving, maybe sometime down the road, say, if we happen to be in the neighbourhood, sure. Maybe we will.

There were also weddings, oh, were there weddings. Pairs of people my age, around my age got married, got hitched, got chained to balls around their ankles, got a life, got together, professedly forever, all in the course of 5 weeks. There were preparations, practices, mullings, considerations, decisions, changed decisions, reverted decisions. Of course, there was also happiness, and love. Lots of love. I was involved in various ways, and to various degrees in the weddings, mostly to some substantial degree, more than I’ve ever been for any wedding in any case. Many were involved, troops were rallied, plans made, fretted over, executed. Results were savoured, enjoyed, appreciated. It was quite an adventure.

And the love, oh the love, there was an abundance of it. There also was relief, such is the toil of Chinese weddings. But, yes, there was love through it all. The weddings were extravagant, sweet, fun, sharing, happy, so happy, and over-filled with love, tears trailing as overflow. Oh there was love. And happiness. Much, much happiness.

But still, anyway, as I said, it has been trying. I have not even mentioned reservist. The First Ever Reservist that tainted the preceding weeks with so much dread and fear for the worst that turned out to be not so bad after all. I even enjoyed myself maybe almost half the time, the most enjoyable time turning out to be the not very long and not very arduous trek through the jungle. It was nice to be out in the not-so-wild, and interesting to have my First Ever Supernatural Army Experience while sitting awake alone in the claustrophobic darkness of the early morning (unless it so happened to be the case that an elderly Malay man was actually having a brisk early morning amble through the jungle and singing his wordless melody somewhere perhaps 20 metres away from where I was seated, picking his way so quickly and silently through the vegetation in almost absolute darkness that all I could hear was a sung melody fading in from somewhere behind me on my left and fading out somewhere behind me on my right within approximately 10 seconds. That could happen, even in the middle of the jungle away from habitation on an offshore island. Things happen). And the old friends, more meeting of old friends again but from another period in my life. It was good seeing them, knowing them again. It was not so trying after all. Too bad I failed my IPPT. I saw it coming, but too bad for me anyway. It does not bode well for my near future. It shall be trying, but I shall embrace it, love it, be one with it. The alternatives are imaginedly worse.

This is a picture of the new pan my mother bought today:


It is called a jumbo cooker and is made in korea. It is not really that jumbo and ‘cooker’ is too general a noun (adjective? noun? It feels like an adjective. But it should be a noun. I should know this. This should be easy for me. I should be reaping dividends from on-the-job training by now). It is a pan. It is two pans. One of the pans is a griddle pan. That excites me.

Onward to the rest of the year.


recently twought

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the eyes have it:

A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Moahammed Hanif
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing - Richard Dawkins (ed)
That one issue of Monocle I'm taking over a year to read (where it is now I don't even know)
Not the newspaper
And too many work emails

head musik:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Best Coast - Crazy For You
M.I.A. - /\/\/\Y/\
Ratatat - LP4
Menomena - Mines
盧廣仲 | Crowd Lu - Various
The Dirty Projectors - Various
Wavves - King Of The Beach
The-Dream - Various
Wolf Parade - Expo 86
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