Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Journal: Monday 22 June 2009

The day started with breakfast at Soup Dragon. Our regular of chicken noodle soup and an iced coffee for me. We had some errands to run with a first stop at the post office to pay a very delinquent post office box fee. It’s $15 / year and Da hadn’t paid for 2 years.

Following the post office was a visit to the bank to deposit my money and make sure my account was ok. I first tried using my ATM card but it was taken by the machine since it had expired in November 2008. So, I went into the main area to get it all sorted out. Of course it was not without a lecture by the bank worker about an expired card and why didn’t I pick up my new card. She started to tell me that I would have to pay $5 for a new card since I hadn’t picked up my re-issued card within 2 months. I politely told her that that was preposterous since I never received a phone call, nor was I here to pick it up. I should not have to pay for a new card simply because they didn’t contact me. It all worked out just fine, except that there was another admonishment about not leaving my account untouched for more than a year or they would be charging fees, etc.

After all that, I managed to deposit some of my money into my account with the promise that I wouldn’t let it lapse again. We’ll see if my new card is ready on the following Monday when she promised. I have little hopes since last year I waited 2 months for a new pin which never arrived.

Our final stop before lunch was the Old Market to do a little shopping. I had to pick up some soap, shampoo, toilet paper and postcards. The woman who I used purchase those things from in the past still remembered me. Next was to buy postcards. The aim was to get them for 50 cents. The women we went to originally started at 3,000 Riel, but because I was going to buy 10 packages, she agreed to our offer. 100 postcards for $5: such a deal.

We continued on to buy some fruit and eggs. The woman who I used to buy my vegetables from (a former student’s mother) was now only selling fruit, so buying from her was natural. The eggs were just opposite her, too.

We took our prizes home for a home cooked lunch of steamed rice, hard-boiled eggs and beef jerky. Yum! Not really something I would choose to eat every day, but if necessary I think I could do it. Maybe.

We spent our afternoon at Common Grounds Cafe to use the internet in an air-conditioned location out of the heat and humidity. Dinner was out one of my favorite places to go, Da's friend's restaurant, where we get really great Cambodian food for decent prices. Though now they've raised their prices to 7,000 Riel ($1.75) per dish, but that's still 2 dishes for the price of one cheap dish in a tourist place plus we get rice and iced tea included.

My favorite is the Samlor Majou Groen, a sour sour made with morning glory plants and beef. We also like to order fried ginger with pork, a fish paste & pork omelette or pork spare ribs.

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