Independence Day

Today (9 November) is the Independence Day of Cambodia.

Every weekend, I have to come to Phnom Penh because there is no one in the campus (most of the staff either live in Phnom Penh or in the town near the college so they all go back home during the weekend).  Accommodation for me? Usually, it’s provided by the college but this weekend, the accommodation they provide me is full so I have to book my own.  And I won’t get any reimbursement.  Anyway, …

If the college wants me to continue to work for them after my assignment is finished, working online is an option.

I hold private online tutorials too. (You can contact me here regarding the private tutorials.)

This is a long weekend for the staff and a holiday for me. I knew the Water Festival was coming (after the Independence Day) so I actually was prepared for this. I was supposed to leave the college on Friday but was told on Wednesday night that the management of the school changed the plan – the school would close on Friday so I had to leave on Thursday afternoon.

The reason? It’s a very serious matter. I’m not kidding.

Sam Rainsy, the self-exiled leader of Cambodia’s Opposition Party, planned to return to Cambodia on 9 November.  This news went viral.  Cambodians that I know including the staff in the college (and some youths I know in Phnom Penh) are worried that something may happen so the management of the school decided to close the school on 8 November instead so that staff could go back home (village or Phnom Penh) to join their families.  In case anything happens, they will still be with their families. One of the staff told me Sam Rainsy actually has quite a lot of supporters, probably 50% of the population, in the country.

I asked one of the staff, ‘what could happen?’

She answered, ‘I don’t think anything will happen. I don’t think he can get into the country because the government is doing everything to block him from entering into the country.’

Anyway, so now, I am sitting in an air conditioned room located right in the heart of the city writing this blog. If anything happens, I will know.

(I just Googled about Sam Rainsy. He is now detained in Malaysia.)

I saw people prepare for the celebration of Independence Day yesterday.  There was music and DJ in a park testing the sound system and the lighting.  People continued to do their jobs as usual. The clock is still ticking. Time doesn’t wait for anyone. And yes, it’ll soon be dinner time for me.  LOL!

A kid was dancing in the spotlight.

Speaking of dinner, all the staff including me were invited to have seafood dinner with the boss the other night. I was told that the seafood restaurant we went to sells the best seafood in Cambodia. The restaurant also has a history. The family who owns the restaurant built the entire restaurant on the river. We were literally eating on the river. We were not on a boat. The whole thing is concrete. Amazing! My colleague also showed me the big prawns swimming in the fish tanks. Other than prawns, we (I mean, they) also ate frogs and insects. I didn’t touch those two at all. LOL! There were things I could eat of course, like fish, chicken, vegetables, etc. It was such a sumptuous dinner! The best thing was, the boss distributed ‘lucky money’ to everyone before we left. WOW! That was a surprise for me. It’s like the red packets you receive in Chinese new year. But instead of putting the money in a red packet, he put it in an envelope.

The staff love their boss a lot.  I can imagine.

Yes, they are still alive.
Feast with colleagues from the college.

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