great that all the books are available! Jon swain is also the book i recomend to my guests as first read.
the fotographer is a friend. I am not allowed to introduce him to anybody, as he says he can not relive that day. and of course, people always ask him.. sometimes he will tell us something by himself, not often though.
Pictures of snookyville, have not figured out yet how to post any myself, and have to wait a little till my eyes get a bit better to take good ones.
In august- looks like everything is gooing to happen in august, when i move from my beloved shack in the country to spend at least a year at the new guesthouse to get things moving.
Computer and interrnet will follow, and there will be some guest who can help me there i' m sure, if not bob will figure out a way.
Ratthana prefers to be called Bob, as he dislikes his name mispronounced and preffers bob anyway.
I met him first in the nineties. he had just started to work for friends of mine who had a guesthouse in snookyvillde then. he hardly spoke a word of english and was slow- all khmers work slow- just a kid he was then.
a year later he spoke some english, and ran the kitchen effortlesly, together with PC, their indian chef.
two years later i had bought my guesthouse on the Hill, and bob had some kind of falling out with my friends who gladly let him go.(stupid guys).
so he started working for me.
we got a move on, found some more staff and builders, within weeks we had ourselves a running guesthouse. turned out ol' bob spoke much better english than he let on. self taught, he had finished school, but english is only taught in private classes. he did not have his diploma, his parents could not get enough money together to pay the fees for the exams.
you never get the full story at once here, it takes years,at least.
Bob started fixing electrical and plumbing problems effortlessly.
Turned out he is highly intelligent, could have been anything he wanted, but no exams, and he has five brothers and sisters, who will get their exams and ther studies,that' s why he is working for ' the westerner'.
But, in order to be effecive he explained clearly that he and the rest of the staff had to learn first 'what the westerner want'
he explained that we have a diffrent way of thinking and that our wishes and expectaions are
fairly uncomprehenssible to khmers,so always explain why something should be done in a certain way. turned out to be a great idea, rarely do i have staff problems on the khmer side, the westerners well that' s another story.
then i send bob to english school, where he gleefully beat slimebal ( acctually the name is slimbal, but of course we cannot promouce that)the cop who is the greediest when it comes to bribes)), in each and every exam. slimeball lost so much faCE THAT HE DOES NOT COLLECT BRIBES FROM US ANY MORE.
One day, bob came to me, and told me he would not go to that school anymore had found himself a khmer teacher much cheaper anyway... bob hates to spend my money, but turned out that was not the reason: those people they want to make me american, make me think american, i' m khmr, i just want to learn the language, and ok when i work, i will be work good, but when not i want to make up my own mind what right and wrong.'
So he went to his teacher and to computerschool with the money that was saved.
he has a sense of humor that is dry and deadpan.
when elvis, my bulldog was spurned by each and every lady dog on the block he claimed the culture differences were to big.
(don' t get me gooing about the things that happened when my friendanneke send him a book with simle, comprehenssible explanations, like how does atomenergy work..
PC, you're lucky anneke din't add a chemistry set as well, hed have built a nuclear power plant by now. bob, no not nuclear, we building big windmill at home.
and he built a box for breeding, bought some fertilized eggs,and got two roosters out of that experiment.they roamed our wild west steet, and chased and attacked anything male , fully grown roosters cam be formidable enemies: it was great fun to see a fat sextourist beeing chased down the street by two enraged roosters, but it got too dangerous in the end, we had to remove them to the provinces. bob :maybe like more remove sextourist,but maybe not want to go the province)
Then he met vibol. she started working for us, they fell in love and there was hell to pay:
grandma in Kandal province had already found him a future wife.(arranged marriages are- sadly- the norm here). the war raged for the better part of a year, until pa gave in: grandma can bust! i' ve had it beeing blamed for marriages that don't work,because they were arranged. now they can blame themselves and each other.'
they got married, and it works fine so far, they have a little son, Buon, 5 month now.
In bangkok i bought all kinds of safe babystuff, crib etc. and lugged them back to cambo.
Buon protested the crib, from day one and persited, until i picked up one if those cheap hammock things in Phnom Penh. That did the job.
two days ago he fell through, drama of course but no dammage , just safe crib gain . protest, until the neighbours beggd us to do something about it,
so bob sighed took the broken pieces to town, had them welded back together, buon happy.
now why do i suspect the little one is just as headstrong as his parents?
have to run, take care
don't judge book by the movie