A Brief Guide to Moving into your Khmer Girlfriend’s CondoJune 2, 2013
So, your girlfriend has been living with you for the past 6 months, ever since you seriously injured your knee in an unexpected and traumatic sleep walking accident. Aren’t they always unexpected and traumatic?
Well, her condo is finally ready for you to move into. You are anxious about the unanticipated “costs” of rent free living. You may also be concerned because you don’t know what to expect. Don’t worry, this is a terribly common situation.
First, you must sell all of your plebeian furniture. There’s no way she will let you move any of it into her posh abode. You will spend many weekends looking at overpriced furniture. Put your foot down, let her know that she has to use her own money to buy that $800 bed. Don’t worry, if she truly wants it she will use her own cash. Remember to forbid her from using tong-teen money.
Two weeks prior to moving in, you are going to go to the condo regularly and argue with the construction workers. Your girlfriend dropped her life savings into the condo, so you have to protect her investment.
Create a list of 32 problems with the condo and go over it with the construction workers. They will be perplexed as to why you are troubled that paint is spilled on tile, grout is missing from portions of the wall, knobs are installed upside down, lizard turd is on the expensive wallpaper, electrical outlets are hazardously installed, etc. If you are persistent 2/3 of the problems will be fixed by move-in day.
Of course, you will not move in on that day. No, the fortune teller from “stung man chai” will inform sister-in-law that Friday is an inauspicious day and that you must move in on the following Monday.
When you check into the now necessary hotel on Friday, you will learn that they do not want to honor the online advertised price of $20 per night. Rooms actually cost $25 a night. If you persevere they will lower it to $20. Unfortunately, both the bed and room are small. All you want to do is grab a beer and crash in the bathtub, so you will settle for the hotel.
Rather than rely on a moving truck to conveniently transport yourself and your property, your girlfriend will hire a small caravan of tuk-tuks to haul everything in waves. That saves money, apparently.
By Monday morning, the condo is finally clean and almost everything is moved in. Stay in the hotel, lie in bed and watch CNN/BBC, while the girlfriend participates in an exorcism ceremony for the condo with her family and a bevy of monks (groups of monks are always referred to as a bevy).
When they leave, have the gf pick you up and bring you to the condo. Now you can wait for older sister to bring her thoughtful gift of 3 ghost houses (one for the living room, another for the kitchen and a third for the balcony). Why do we need one, let alone 3? As girlfriend explains, older sister’s wealth not only abides but expands, so we should follow her lead. Who are you to criticize such inoffensive customs? Especially when you consider Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar two douche bags that deserve to die in a fire.
In the evening, friends and family will arrive for the house warming party. Don’t worry about the food: girlfriend’s mother will handle that. As the guests saunter in (Khmers love to saunter), be sure to put your hands together, smile, and say “chum ripe sewer” to the elders, and say “sucks to die” to siblings/peers.
Also, distribute plenty of high fives to the kids. I find it repellent when Khmer children “Sam pay yah” me. I think they should be broken of this habit, at least in regard to barang. Anyway, you will worry that there are too many guests for the one-bedroom condo. Don’t. Khmers have the whole clown car routine down. There is ample room for all.
Time to choose a soundtrack for the party. Rock of any sub-genre will be forbidden: no Beatles, Pink Floyd, Ministry, Iron Maiden, Tool, Sonic youth, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. Keep in mind, you have no hope of pleasing the adults: they actually love gangnam style! The kids are the target audience – their plastic minds have yet to be molded into any musical preferences.
I began with Daftpunk, The Chemical Brothers, and The Crystal Method. I met with success. Yet, I changed the music, because I wanted to see what I could get away with. That’s when I made the discovery. Assuming that these kids are an adequate sample of the overall population, then it is an absolute fact that Khmer children love dubstep; in fact, they went bat-shit crazy.
All the while, the kitchen and balcony will be employed for food prep by most of the women. In contrast, the men will sit on mats in the living room talking, eating and drinking. They will want you to sit, socialize and share libations.
Explain that you are too fat and physically awkward to comfortably lounge on the floor with them. They will have no idea what you are saying. Smile and “jewel moo-e” with them every time they initiate it. Meanwhile, the kids will be in the bedroom twitching, bouncing and generally freaking out to the enchanting throbs of dubstep.
Drink copious amounts of beer and watch the hours pass at a moderate pace. Eventually, all of the guests will leave, save younger sister, her husband and 7 nieces and nephews. Don’t ya know? The kids will want to sleep over. You will protest with, “we have only one bedroom”. As with the Borg collective, so too here: resistance is futile. They will all crash on the living room floor. It will have taken all of your effort during the evening to be an attentive, polite and pleasant barang host. You will immediately fall asleep from exhaustion.
You will awaken with a hangover to 7 unnecessarily energetic Khmer children at 5:34 a.m. You will want to use the bathroom: forget about it! You will wait as each guest must shower before you and your girlfriend. After all the morning ablutions, unjustifiable noise, and irrational disputes between children, you will finally find yourself alone with your Khmer girlfriend in her condo. At this point it is best to find pen and paper and try to list the virtues of domesticity.