Monday, November 20, 2006


Wednesday 15th

Today I saw 8 elephants. Elephants are big. Boy elephants are scarier than girl elephants.

I’ve had enough of reading about elephants for one afternoon. Not least of all because I am finding it hard to concentrate due to the VERY LOUD Khmer music coming from the wedding next door. It is unnecessarily loud and distorted. A minute ago someone seemed to be checking a microphone- interesting to hear him say “hello", the international mic-checking codeword apparently.
We at ELIE have all been invited to the wedding tomorrow- these affairs last for 3 days- so I am expecting an Uber headache from actually being in the same room as this offensively loud (through 2 walls) music. I hear it's free booze though so I might be able to drown out the sound with rice wine. I'm told that guests are expected not to bring a gift (few!) but we ARE expected to PAY $20! I don't remember ever buying a wedding gift due to my utter tightness, but it's hard to jump a queue at a wedding when there's a tax on the door. $20 is about a week’s wages out here, so they're not playing games. I have no idea what fifteen dollars worth of rice wine looks like but I am gonna have bash at getting value for money.
I'm afraid that the Khmer happy couple will have to make to with a pretty un-swanky Barang showing up at on their magical day (but then so has any couple who've invited me to their wedding). Though I reckon that for $20 I should be able to show up in an inflatable sumo-wrestler outfit should the fancy take me. As it happens I am going to leave the petulance in my guesthouse and I am even going to leave my beard there too. I bought a razor the other day ("super shave fancy panda- I kid you not!) And I reckon a wedding is as good occasion as any to break it out.

Coming soon: the aftermath of a Khmer wedding: earache, headache, bellyache, shaving cuts and memory lapses. Probably.


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