Monday, November 9, 2009

The Difficultiy of Language

We have been in Siem Reap now for over a month and are starting to get settled into the routine, if you can call it a routine. We get up around 6 every morning, walk the dog, have breakfast and then head to the Museum. Sometimes I have to stay in town for meetings or to get things done at the printer, contacting people by computer, etc. but I try to get to the Museum 3 days a week minimum.

Then we are generally home by about 4pm. Jill's teaching schedule finishes up about 4 and it's a 45 - 60 minute tuk tuk ride back into town.

Mikki, our mix-breed Aussie, usually goes with us everywhere. She now knows that 'tuk tuk' (pronounced 'took took') means the same as '...go for a ride...' and if we're walking her and she sees a tuk tuk, she's as apt to jump in as walk past.

As to the language difficulties:

When you're walking your dog and you see people who are nervous about animals, you tell your dog to 'come here.' We say "Come Mikki"

Well it turns out 'come' in Khmer means 'bite'.

So for the first week or so we were in Cambodia people would see Mikki and we'd say "come Mikki" and they'd go screaming away. We couldn't figure it out.

Finally, a bi-lingual friend heard us call Mikki, borke into laughter and said "say something else when you want to call your dog."

The locals call Mikki 'ch'gai barrong'...foreign dog. We correct them and say 'ch'gai Siem Reap'...Siem Reap dog. They think that's hysterical. They all want to know how old she is and when we tell them 'braum mooi' (6) they are astounded. Dogs do NOT live to be 6 in Cambodia.

It was another holiday today. Independence Day (from France). Now it is back to work.

I'll probably go to Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Back on Friday. I need to go to a couple of Ministries and start some inquiries. You never finish them on your first visit. You only start them on your first visit. And I have GOT to buy a car. I can't rely on tuks tuks to get me around town. We'll probably wind up with a small SUV and a moto (scooter). We should be able to get a 10-12 year old Honda CRV for around $6-7,000. That's the plan anyway. And its not LMRF money. This is MY money.

Then Jill and I have to do a border run around the end of the month. We came in on a tourist visa and we need a business visa, so we have to leave the country and re-enter. Poipet is only about 2.5 hours away, so that will be our detination. Leave at 6am and get back around 2...we hope! Cambodia and Thailand are not happy with each other right now and Thailand keeps threatening to close the borders....I need to find a phone number....

That's all for now.


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