Living in Phnom Penh: 2012 is Half Over

If others have their year-end reports, then I’m sure its also good to have a half-year report, right? My excuse is that if I do this I could have a look at the bigger picture, of things I have done and have not done, things that happened etc. But really, I just want something to post. Haha!

Phnom Penh Afternoon Thunderstorm Clouds

forming thunderclouds are now a usual sight specially during afternoons.

It’s July already, and were half-past 2012 already. Phnom Penh is not too hot anymore and we’ve been having occasional thunderstorms and of course the city gets flooded after just a few minutes of rain. I know some expats are complaining about this, but as for me, I’m used to it. The same is the case in Manila. If there is rain lasting more than a few minutes then prepare to wade through water with your rain boots.

The past few months, I think for once we didn’t go out much from Phnom Penh. We just had short trips to Kampot, Kep, Kampong Som, Siem Reap. I think the farthest trip we took here in Cambo was in Mondulkiri last February.

I’m really hoping we’d get to make a trip to another place here where I haven’t been yet. I’m rooting for Ratanakiri to be on our Cambodia travel list but I guess for now it had to be shelved. It’s a bit far and were always pressed for time. Hopefully, I could grab some more vacation days soon so we could push through with that Ratanakiri trip. For now, we have our sights on a Koh Kong trip come August or early September.

The past few months have also seen Cambodia on a lot of international news. I’m sure you all have heard or read about the mystery illness (but not really very mysterious) that killed dozens of children here. The media had an extensive (albeit sensationalized imho) coverage of that. This incident really shook me, especially since I have a young daughter. When I read news or watched TV, I always end up in a panicky mode. What scared me more is that I don’t really have much trust in medical facilities and medical ‘professionals’ practicing here. Also pharmacies here are known to be unreliable and most just out to make a quick buck┬áthan with actually helping the sick.

Sometimes the media could be a big help but sensationalized coverage like these just incites panic. All the more so since not much was known or information about symptoms, treatment was not provided on those reports. Lack of knowledge just exacerbates panic. When my family in the Philippines heard of the news from local TV networks there, they were extremely worried for us, since the news sounded like all people here were sick. That’s frustrating, I could understand their worry, but the thing is, things were still pretty calm here. And of course, we’ve been taking a lot of precautions to prevent getting the virus.

It took a lot of explaining on my part before they actually believed we were safe here. Sigh. Thankfully, there was no huge outbreak and not much reported new cases now. Still, its always best if we all practice good hygiene and have proper nutrition. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

On another note, we also got the chance to squeeze in a week-long vacation in the Philippines and that made me happy to see my mom and a couple of friends. Since there is now a direct flight from Siem Reap to Manila, I’m hoping I could go visit her a few more times per year.

1 Comment

  1. Nathan

    July 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I totally agree with you. The panic created by the sensationalism has been worse than the disease itself.

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