Category Archives: teaching

The Phnom Penh Pyramid of Judgment

Cambodia Rolls Royce

People love to look down on each other. Even those at the lowest of the low finds someone else to judge. Hell, when I was addicted to heroin I looked down on the alcoholic who lived downstairs. “The poor bastard is destroying himself,” I’d think after waking up to find myself face down on my keyboard having typed 232 pages of “mmmmmmm.” Continue reading

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Four things you absolutely must do when living in a Cambodian village

group harvesting rice

I felt a little guilty after my last piece. It’s easy to sit back and pick holes in things for cheap laughs and it’s not too difficult, living among the privations of village life, to find foibles left, right and centre. So, to counter that and rebalance my kharmic merit, here are four awesome things about living in a Khmer village that you should definitely try if you get the chance. Continue reading

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Am I Wrong to Secretly Wish For A Chair Fight?

dickJamesChairFight

I teach two grades – grade six and kindergarten one. Whilst the kindergarten class keep me on my toes with their brilliantly un-developed sense of acceptable behaviour, my sixth grade class sometimes leaves me feeling a little flat. It is…

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For Weddings or a Funeral – Life in the Provinces

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There is no better time to witness the charms and mystery of Cambodia than the first hour of every morning. As the ever punctual sun rises, promising another day of scorching heat, there is a magic in the first rays…

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K440 Expat Interviews: ‘Horace’

Flag-Pins-Cambodia-Great-Britain

After stumbling into Cambodia 15 years ago, long-term expat Horace has made the country his home. Marissa Carruthers talks to him about the highs and the lows and how Cambodia has changed over the years. “I much preferred the Cambodia…

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Back to School, Past the River of Smell…

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After a pretty hectic December I now fall happily back into my happy, humdrum routine. It’s great to feel the warm but un-aggressive ‘cool season’ sun crawl up from behind during a 6am balcony coffee before embarking on a refreshingly…

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Running Away from Exhaustion in Cambodia

Angkor-Half-Marathon

Throughout the whole of October my dreams were bizarre, lucid and persistently awful – the kind of dreams that cling throughout the day and result in emails to loved ones back home: ‘Mum…all good? Just checking because I had a…

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No Arrival or Waiting for Moto

tuk-Tuk-Driver

“There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot I was sprawled out, wrinkled, rumpled, unbuckled, slouched out all over the carriage of a tuk-tuk. Informal pose, semi-formal wear….

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April is the cruelest month…..

Cambodia_Carrying_Ice

APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. — T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land They said it would be hot. April, that is. March was hot,…

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Conkers, Minnows and Elastic – Childhood Revisited in Cambodia

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Last Friday I sat on the edge of a desk, surrounded by the stench of half-eaten pizzas and sticky pools of splashed Fanta. It was the day of end-of-year parties. The bossiest girls from each class had collected a few…

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