Our first day of work was postponed as all directors were out for a meeting so Chris and I purchased bikes! Our office is too close for tuk tuks and motos, so now we’re each on our own two wheels- which is both liberating and terrifying. As previously mentioned, Cambodian traffic goes every which way all time. In order to turn left, you must check both ways and pray oncoming traffic doesn’t plow into you. Thus far though, I’ve had no problems maneuvering other travelers. However, I did not take me long after purchasing my bike, to get miserably lost. On the way home from the bike store I was right behind Chris- until I wasn’t, as he quickly disappeared around the turn that I missed. Eventually, I pulled off and tried to ask for directions. Cambodians, even when they understand no English or my broken Khmer, do everything to try to help. When I pulled over, one man lead me to another who spoke a bit of English who kindly offered me a seat in the shade of his food cart. He then talked to Savuth, my host father, on the phone who came and lead me back to the house, over 3 km away… oops. Drenched in sweat and entirely grateful for the kindness of my neighbors, I took a beautiful shower and passed out in bed.
At night, we accompanied our housemates and some of their Khmer friends to see the American/Khmer band Dengue Fever play at Diamond Island. The music was nice, though I felt conflicted as two small girls came around to collect empty cans from dancing tourists.
The last notable detail: Germans can drink. I mean really drink. I had very little and sat in amazement with how much my housemate Leo and his fellow German friend could effortlessly put away. While Khmer women have traditionally not drank with men, in my experience in Cambodia, females from the younger generations feel comfortable, though few kept up with their male counterparts.
Hopefully tomorrow we will start working- can’t wait!