Saturday, March 12, 2011

chaus felix

Felix chaus oeps!!
a month or two ago I went to the computer place (yes this miserable outpost has something akin to that these days).
On a table sat a beautiful little kitten playing with a not so empty ink cartridge with predictable results. You can have that one growled the shop owner and trust the inky fur ball at me. never one to say no to a cat, especially as our last one got eaten by a snake i took the little fellow home: he who turned out to be a she- is still very young I realized soon, about 8 weeks not more, although a bit big for her age. Pretty she is,slightly cross eyed as some of my guests pointed out, not quite as bad as Clarence of daktari fame but enough to make her miss a jump or two of the more ambitious kind. Eusje as I called her -then vanished. Gone, I thought and missed the most affectionate though extremely vocal little fellow somehow terribly After about a week when I had just about given up hope there she was again: dusty hungry but with an air of; so here I am home, and does a cat get fed hereabouts or what?. She ate two cans of mackerel., slept for about three days, ate more mackerel, hissed murderously at the dogs who were not impressed at all, fell through a weak part in the restaurant's roof onto and into the dinner of several mortified guests, pissed on my bed, when admonished took to pissing under it, sent all the rats and other vermin packing in a panicked frenzy that has not been seen since the last cobra hit my kitchen,- In short , she did all the kitten things to be expected...only more so, just a bit well .. more savagely so, it seemed... then she vanished again....for about four days: just to arrive back 'guiding' some new guests down the garden path...and seemed to have grown to about twice as big. Could she be older than I had thought, I wondered, but no, she still has her milk teeth she is just. Very very big for her age, taller than even a dutch 'model tea cozy' cat.
Then she bloodied Elvis's nose- unprovoked I might add.
When I found her cavorting in the river, with the bulldogs, who hate water in any form looking on in wonder, I had to admit to myself, that this is ,not, well, quite a household variety of cat.
Then I remembered vaguely there is such a thing, referred to by a friend from wwf as bad ass cat:the off spring of a wild jungle cat and a domestic one....a quick look in my wildlife guide of Cambodia sent me running to the internet: sure enough, a half/ chaus Felix, or chaussie as they are known, I have from the internet:

..and that is Eusje
am curious how this will work out, to say the least!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

pp:1- the colonel..:.0 kinda

ooh Shap if you ever read this you gonna love it:
..about 2 years ago Cambo got kentucky fried chicken as  the first 'real' fast food chain. it is too expensive for anybody here (kinda defies the general idea of fast food, of course, but so it be) sooo, only the children of the rich are the only ones who go there: unpredictable and worse at the best of times, they are-all the way to downright dangerous as they get seldom held responsible for their actions due to their well, 'status'.
now on many a street corner in Phnom penh, there are little wagons, and stalls that sell"CP"  (can't call it cpp as that is the reigning party  in cambo and would cause confusion and probably worse than that....)-so chicken phnom, it is... a perfect and better version of the fried Kentucky one...cheaper  too... ( i even saw one shop in the Chinese section of Monivong boulevard  where : buy one kg get one free was advertised...

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Monkeys are probably my least favorite animals: creepy little fellows that steal, bite and crap all over (how an animal supposedly intelligent has so little ability to control its bowel movements is beyond me).
Granted, monkeys belong in the wild.. which bears the question ; what is wild? Take the monkeys (common lesser macaques) of Wat Phmon: mean, fat ,big monsters that are wild in as far as that they can go wherever they want to go, and do whatever they want to do, even leave phnom penh should they be so inclined. They are not so inclined, and no matter how we view them, they certainly do not view themselves as` nature's wild children in the jungle sense. They happily terrorize the entire neighborhood around the temple: attack little old ladies on pilgrimage, steal tourists cameras and bite children, break and enter into the surounding houses to ransack interiors and defecate on beds; should one dare to interrupt on gets attacked and severely bitten if not worse.. the monkeys disengage the pipes from water tanks, drinks their fill and leave while the entire building gets flooded by the slowly emptying tank.,they pelt pedestrians with mangoes and debris and so on. Every few years the police -(protests by WWI non withstanding- everybody else thinks that it is a good idea)- the police shoots the worst offenders: gangster monkeys they call them- but within weeks a few new leading monkeys will have emerged and the terror begins again...
long suffering friends who live in the neighborhood visited our outpost a few weeks ago. When I asked about the wat phnom monkeys, they sighed and said they are even worse. If you can believe it: see, phnom penh's youth have taken to sniffing glue around wat phnom,when sufficiently stoned they wander off and leave their paraphernalia behind. And well monkey see, monkey do, now the monkeys have taken to sniffing glue too and are all stoned out of their monkey sculls ....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

this rainy season is a wimp!

..oh yes, it does rain, but not the copious amounts that we have grown accustomed to in the last years: every few days and sometimes even every day the sky will give a half hearted rumble, the clouds seem to sigh wearily  and let fly a rather stingy amount of rain- and that will be that, an hour at most, and clear skies again. about once every two weeks or so it will drizzle for almost a whole night- then it will stop. Though why these sorry excuses for rain always come down when i have guests and they decide to sit in the garden is beyond me; when we flee inside the restaurant- it stops- but by now the garden furniture  is soaked- it rains just enough for that.
 August has not been a bad month at all:now that the road is ready we get a steady trickle of tourists. so, once the real season will start we will all be very busy indeed and probably not know what hit us.
As for now; it is the dreary September when  it is off off off season...all one gets are dreadlocked- and cheap backpackers if that
Another month of this then we should be off. that does not make it any easier right now of course: everybody is whining- including me- that it is so quiet and will it ever get any better...
the strange weather makes for an abundance of snakes; poisonous an other... a few days ago i went to close the window for the night and came face to face with a pit viper trying to move in; i pelted it with the first thing that was handy, -a jar of candle stubs- it got the message and left.
there are also a few old acquaintance who have moved into town, that is quite fun. Let's see how long they can stand it here; the first one- from sihanoukville- a vague character who has  an uneasy relationship with reality at best- already threw in the towel and left.- after less than three month.
two other old friends who came here a hardier- or so i hope....they moved into town with their girlfriends,
dirt bikes and a champagne colored poodle ( of all things) who quite enjoys being driven around throning on the tank of a motorbike.
of course i am more than curious who will be the next people to move into town: we sorely need ex-pats, we got too many NGO"s already....

Sunday, August 8, 2010


now that i do have the internet back and it actually works - surfing- started and in an attempt to catch up with what's happening in the world i looked on a site in america- got to another and another and there you go; before i knew it i was knee deep in white supremacist crap, mixed with so called christian and  'family' (heaven help us!) values...- women against gun laws- for one and then it got worse.... when i tried to find information from the other side.. there was precious little...
reminds me of a nice american kid who had a beer in the restaurant a few month ago: he claimed he was part of the new 'left' of america: when i- ( naive child of the sixties that i am ) asked him what kind- marxist leninist- maoist , socialist etc- i drew a blank ; when i asked him what left wing meant to him he said:free health care... oooh boy


Friday, August 6, 2010

are there any French left in France?

the rains have finally caught up with the season- a bit, not as fanatical as last year though- the new 'road is holding up wonderfully well and the buses arrive almost on time and the summer holidays in the west have given us quite a good little season in this outpost: but.... most tourists are French - very French....and they speak the French - and nothing besides. ( and they are cheap and drive the local guides and restaurant owners to distraction- me too.). the other day i sat in a cafe and listened to two French guys bitch as how uncivilised everybody here was as not to speak French. after listening to them for a while i asked them (in French) how it came that if the French were that highly educated and intelligent they had soooo much trouble learning English. ( they did not like that one)
last week i had two older ladies from (zee France ) no English whatsoever, nor any other language'. what the khmers thought of the french- they asked...( am i gonna lie? i wondered, then decided they deserved the truth) and told them they hate them . why they asked: because many French are rude and cheap- i said. ooh but not us they said and then told me how they bought a lot of stuff at some charity in Seam Reap and bargained them down 20%....outch!!

today was one of those days from third world hell that are ' fun for later as the dutch would say:
 it actually did start yesterday: no electricity; now to be fair i had neglected to pay my bill- as had most of the village- so i stormed to the office of electrique du sen monorom- just to find the majority of the town already in line to pay their equally overdue bills- just to find out; no we had not been shut down; the town generator was broken.
being at the office already we all did pay our bills anyways and went home assured that by 5pm the electricity would be back' an lo and behold it was. it was. mine was also for about 20 minutes; a neighbor sold me some high quality chickens - to be killed and cooked for the week end and when he left me the screaching load of young roosters in a wire cage crapping like there was no tomorrow (the roosters- not the neighbor)- and of course there was none for them- there was a kaboum! sound and:
 no more lights and night falling; electrique was phoned and came just to tell me that my main cable was fried and they would be back they were too afraid of snakes to work on the problem in the dark...
so i closed the joint- albeit grumbling - and went for a few cold ones to town where lo and behold a few nice french were met and they would come to dinner tonight- but;
 this morning no electrique du cambodge. and no electric eihter. bong serrei and me proceeded to kill the four roosters: quite a bit of a chore as there was one that we had left for dead already  took off in the classic chicken without head fashion: man, i never knew they could run that far. quite a pursuit through the wild rainy season greenery!  in the midst of this mayhem a few moto dops arrived to help me move some of my signs in town. they called the electric company just to find out that the generator is down again and they can't test for faults in the cable- after a long telephone fight that i follow through a mist of feathers while plucking the fowl, the electrician arrives anyways. and they find the problem. meanwhile still no electicity of course.
 we truss the birds put them in the cool box, move the signs to more visible points in town and wait for the ( 2!) buses that arrive every day from phnom penh , the first one nets 6  French, the next one 12 French and four israelis.why not some nice dutch or germans. no, not today...french and israelis it is...
when i finally make it home lo and behold there is electricity!great!! i plug in the garden lights and: kaboum!  the electric is still there, but now  the cable for the garden lights a is fried! so: how are my customers gonna find me in this dark town. not. i realize: let it be. after seeing what arrived in town today it probably saves me a lot of aggravation! and tomorrow is another day!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

there 's a snake inna kitchen what am i gonna.....

 .. various internet and computer troubles have kept me from posting.
the season is over, it was not good and not bad, decent is the best way to describe it. now the rains are  supposed to be here but they are only very moderately so; the odd thunderstorm and a drizzle or two and that's it so far. Cambo is in the claws of a heatwave, temperatures of 45 c seem to be the order of the day in PP. even up here in the mountains we do sweat.
 the tedium, boredom and absence of cash that go with the off season are no real fun at all.
the strange weather  makes for loads of great fruit on the trees and a variety of less appreciated wildlife. bugs, spiders millipedes (oh how i hate those) and - yes- snakes abound.
yesterday, i was sitting at the computer getting ready to blog, when Elvis snarled, growled and barked: when i looked up he was face to face with a rearing spitting cobra.. while stamping my feet and making the wood floor vibrate (snakes are deaf but hate vibration)s and ordering back elvis- who listened for once i was able to defuse the situation. the snake vanished under the freezer.. aaw. spitting cobras are mean and aggressive and i hate those in my kitchen.... i took the dogs and went to get help. bon serrei, her nephew and moni came  immediately, the snake was gone. into the wall, a hollow `space, there was no one under the freezer. moni went and got a special kind of lime in the market, seems snakes hate that smell and won't cross it ever, they rather starve. let's hope he is right. i do not scare easy, but that one did it. lucky break that elvis did not get bitten, and what a great dog he is!
 well where did that beast come from. fro m under the bar we decide; and today bon serrei and me had to  make sure there were no more reptilian surprises under the bar; moni's delightfully khmer  parting remark was; when sit at bar maybe not put feet under bar. maybe more snake.
so this morning, to work we went, with a stick and a flashlight and that was most likely the most scary job i ever did, but in the end:
there was no snake under the bar- not anymore but we found the shedded skin of a beastly specimen that must have been at least 5 meters long. aww god only knows how long it roosted there! (as the life snake i saw was only about two meters- or less, it seems i did not live with one but two cobras for i do not know how long). on second thought there have been no rats around for quite a`while....( rats, they tend to move when there are snakes around)
 pity we did not get to kill the spitting cobra: i always wanted a pair of snake skin flip flops!!