Happy Khmer New Year.
Here I am in the Kingdom of Wonder and it’s the New Year celebrations. My sleepy town has been transformed. On street Number 1 there are lights and tinsel and stalls selling everything from spicy, deep fried monosodium glutamate to essential oils that are more synthetic than my nylon sheets.
The stalls may be trashy but the evening streets are thronged with happy Cambodians, ex pats, and tourists. It’s the height of the hot season here and the combination of holiday and heat has reversed life for a few days. Not that the nights are cool but they are cooler. The streets and markets are deadened by the merciless afternoon but after sunset it becomes more bearable to be out than in.
By Saturday there will be dancing in the streets and my often shy and reserved fellow citizens will be loud and gregarious. On Saturday I plan to get wet. The road to angkorian temple of Ek Phnom will full of revellers celebrating with a joyous mix of water and talcum powder. I will be heading out as the sun cools with my water gun and baby powder and returning at sunset, wet and white, to freshen up before the bass of the speakers pounds into the river banks of Battambang. I am going to let the techno shake my tail feathers and party like this year has only just begun. I may have celebrated once in Sydney on December 31 and again in January in Phnom Penh for Chinese New Year but I love an excuse to dance.
One me, two countries, three New Years, four cities and five days off. I’m loving 2017. And new or not it’s been a happy year so far.