February 6, 2010

Easy Saturday

I'm perched on a plastic chair at the end of my bed, using my mattress as a desk of sorts. Fiona is doing the same, as we reflect on how our blogs are never what we imagine, but somehow they turn out right. I am thinking about the day—a hot, but easy Saturday. I didn't have to leave my pillow until 8 o'clock this morning, a welcome change from my usual 5:15 wake up alarm.

Fiona and I tuk tuked to Orussei market to pick up our investments at the tailor. I've now assembled something of a uniform for life in Phnom Penh. I challenged the tailor to make me some over-the-knee cargo/safari shorts, and he has delivered. Two pair, one in a thick, navy cotton (with anchor buttons!) and the other in a rugged avocado fabric. A little less feminine than my clothes at home, but functional, durable and modest enough for this city. The tailor also supplied me three button-up shirts. Complete with sleeves, a longer than usual length, and lovely fabric, I think these shirts will be ideal to scribble on a white board for several hours each day. Made-to-measure and cheaper than I could buy them in the market (shirts $3 each and shorts $9 a pop), I'm satisfied with my pre-semester purchases.

Post-tailor, another volunteer and I rode bicycles to the Sport Club swimming pool. Being underwater is decidedly the best way to spend the hottest hours of the day. The best thing about being in the house so early is that I can pick up on tips and tricks the others have figured out over the course of the semester. For example, my swimming buddy introduced me to the “hard beauty cloth” on sale at the mini-mart to help scrub away the dust and grime of Phnom Penh; and the hole-in-the-wall (that's all they've got here) noodle shop just down the street.

Tonight I'm feeling more like a part of the group. I am so pleased that some of the volunteers have asked me to accompany them on various missions—I've been needing that friendship element in my life. The group here is diverse, but they are a great bunch with big hearts.