courtesy of rationalpreparedness

Yesterday, a truck on the way from Battambang to Siem Reap crashed into a power line carrying power from Thailand to much of northern Cambodia, especially Siem Reap. The result? Much of the city is without power. Unless you have a generator or are part of a lucky pocket of streets that have power, you have nothing — no electricity, sometimes no water, and the heat is incredible, as you can imagine.

So everyone is scurrying around trying to find working fans to sit under, if not a.c., and working internet connections. Many of the people staying in my guest house decided to leave for a few days, including me. Although I love it there, there is no cross ventilation to speak of in my room. Sleeping would be impossible. But the lovely proprietor walked around the neighbourhood with me in search of a free room in a hotel with a generator, and one that didn’t cost the price of one of the luxurious 5-stars. What we found is a very quirky place across the road with a generator which they use at night. So now I go back and forth between the two places in search of clothing, food, and a resigned smile.

Reports differ on how long this will last. Some say three days, others a week. The power may be turned on a bit at night, with different roads alternating between who will have power and who will not. The truck hit two poles, I think, but like dominoes, it caused eleven poles to drop, replacements for which must come from Thailand. So, I suppose this is me putting my money where my mouth is, and trying to be upbeat and sanguine about the whole thing. I seem to be having only intermittent success with that, I must admit.

This all also meant that the school has had to close. No flushing toilets makes for a very unsanitary place, as you can imagine. And so my workshop has had to finish a day early. Most of the work was completed and we still have to prepare for our reading on the 15th, but still, my heart breaks a bit to think that I am already so close to being done for this year. Yes, I still have a month in Cambodia where I’ll continue to help out as I can, but still….

Wish us all luck — especially we barangs (originally meaning French but now applied to all Westerners) as we get a real taste of life in Cambodia.