Saturday, January 8, 2011

Party time

Confetti time for the happy couple as they walk past their guests
I'm in Siem Reap right now, arriving yesterday afternoon in time to attend Kim's wedding party and after 1 night in Kompong Thom, where I managed to watch Phnom Penh Crown's Hun Sen Cup game against Neak Khiev from Kompong Cham, which Crown won 4-0. The game kicked off at 8am in the morning, a ridiculous time for a football match, but the Victory over Genocide Day holiday celebrations and the Cup competition launch were taking place at the sports ground in the early afternoon, hence why the game kicked off so early in the day. The group games in the Hun Sen Cup are played in the provinces and that's the reason why Crown had to travel to play this and two other matches. The problem with playing in the provinces is that the pitches are not up to standard, and so it proved in Kompong Thom. There was more mud and sand than grass on the surface and the game suffered as a result. Kouch Sokumpheak scored all 4 of Crown's goals to win the tie, but they will hope to be more convincing in their remaining two matches, tomorrow (Sunday) and on Tuesday. Catching the bus, I made it to Siem Reap in time to shower and get along to the Apollo Plaza outside of town for Kim's wedding to Joshua. Kim is the daughter of the owners of the Shadow of Angkor guesthouse, longtime friends of mine. She met her hubby during her studies in Australia and they returned to tie the knot. Over 1,200 guests attended last night's traditional style party and I must say Kim's parents did her proud. To be honest I was gob-smacked at the size of the party and yes, it must've cost a pretty penny, but when it's your only daughter's wedding, there are standards to maintain. Everyone had a ball, including my date for the evening, my pal Nov. Later tonight, we're off to another wedding, Phyrun, the sisiter-in-law of another close friend, Kim Rieng, is getting hitched today though I expect the affair to be much more low-key. I've known Phyrun for a few years now and it'll be a great day for her, especially away from the heat of the Old Market, where she can usually be found selling vegetables. I head back to the capital on Sunday, stopping en route for another Phnom Penh Crown game in Kompong Thom in mid-afternoon tomorrow.

7 Days, the Phnom Penh Post's weekly magazine, came up trumps with a 2-page article/review of To Cambodia With Love, on Friday and even gave the story a cover photo. Though the pictures weren't from the book, the text was as the writer Sarah Macklin included quite a few small passages from the book to highlight her story. You can click on a zoom version of the article here. The story is perfectly timed as we have the book launch party at Monument Books this coming Thursday (13 January) at 6pm on Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh. All are welcome.
Now with the wedding cake before it was quickly consumed
Kim and Joshua thanking their parents for making it all possible
Now with three of the younger guests at last night's wedding party
An Apsara wishing dance was conducted on stage
As I didn't get a good shot of Kim and Joshua together, this large photo outside the venue will suffice

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