Situated mercifully away from the dusty main road (The North Circular), it’s conveniently located for local amenities such as the sprinkling of fruit & bucket stalls (Oxford Street) and the temple by the water (St Paul’s).
Designer wares are a short tube ride to the new market (
My new home is a traditional-style Cambodian ‘house on stilts’, though thankfully the lower floor and outside area are occupied by my hosts, the Da family, not the usual cows, pigs and hens. The matriarch and business-lady is Chhean, supported by her husband Sophal, the commune chief. Their three smiley daughters, Sreyeam, Isean and Inan are already booked in as my future English language students.
Downstairs at the back is my kitchen. Whilst lacking the modern conveniences of a fridge, oven or washing machine, it does boast an ice box, gas ring and tap, plus a metal food cupboard – which comes complete with state of the art anti-ant protection system (the cupboard legs stand in water-filled plastic bottles).
The bathroom is also at ground level, so I descend bleary-eyed each morning to a step, step, crunch soundtrack - there is rarely electricity early on, so sadly various poor creatures are crushed daily by my unseeing feet.
Once there, flushing the toilet with the bucket is good morning exercise, and the cold shower is a bracing start (the water is chilly in the morning, though of course by the time you want cooling at the end of a hot day the sun has warmed it nicely). And I won’t run short of water – the bathroom comes complete with a special mosquito-breeding reserve, which also doubles as a water storage tank.
Upstairs is lovely – off the large wooden-floored lounge is my bedroom, a spare for visiting guests (form an orderly queue), and the best bit of all, my balcony. From here I watch the morning procession of tractors, monks and dogs, safe in my protective breakfast bubble of bread, bananas and BBC World Service. This would also be a great place to watch the sun go down, if it wasn’t for the noise - Thmar Pouk in the evening is super-woofer central, thanks to booming speakers or howling dogs (apparently tolerated as they scare off ghosts; this may explain the music as well).
Tempted? There’s no postal delivery system in
Look forward to seeing you soon!