Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Visitors come a-calling

LtoR: Kunthea, Sroy, Sokhom and myself
This is my pal Sokhom, his wife Sroy and his adorable daughter Kunthea. I've known them for many years now and regard Sokhom as one of my closest friends on the planet. He couldn't make it to the capital this week but his wife and daughter were here for a couple of days and last night, paid me a visit, to say hello and to see my flat. Just as they arrived, accompanied by Sroy's mother and two cousins, the electricity cut out and plunged my flat and the surrounding neighbourhood into complete darkness - a regular occurrence in recent weeks. It was great to see them and Kunthea gabbled away in her finely-tuned English, eager for the practice and to show me how much she has improved since our last meeting a few months ago. This girl has a great capacity for learning, is a very talented top-of-the-class student and I sincerely hope that she will be able to go onto further education, as if anyone deserves it, she does. Armed with candles and torches, we had a quick look around my flat, with Kunthea heading straight for my shelves of books, before they said their goodbyes and were gone, back into the darkness.
Hot on their tail, my brother Tim arrived at 9am this morning. Flying business class from Heathrow to Bangkok and then onto Phnom Penh, he looked relaxed and refreshed as I met him at Pochentong airport. Nonetheless, as soon as we got to my flat he headed for the bedroom and was asleep before his head hit the pillow. He's still fast asleep now. It's his second visit to Cambodia in eight months and after a few days in the capital, we will be flying to Laos on Sunday for a 14-night whirlwind tour of our close neighbours. It's my first-ever visit, it will be his second.

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