… and it kept on coming. It is the rainy season here, so it is not shocking that it was raining. However, it rained almost all day for several days last week, and the flooding was as bad as I have seen in the year that I have been here. The Cambodia Daily reported that the flooding caused about $70 million in damage. The drainage system in the city is just not built to handle a large volume of water, so water covered some of the streets for several days. Below are a few pictures from the flooding in the city.
This man was undeterred by water, but at least he decided to roll up his pants first.
I thought about driving though it too, but logic prevailed and I went a different way.
The rainy season has begun here and with it has come a welcomed break from the heat. But on the downside comes driving in the rain often and a great increase in the mosquito population. Mosquitoes must have water to lay their eggs in to complete their life cycle, and the rainy season offers an abundance of ideal places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Some species of mosquitoes can go from an egg to an adult in just 4 days.
A few weeks, ago I had stopped at a street side electric shop to see if I could find a bug light to buy to aid in keeping the mosquito population at a minimum inside my house. I didn’t know the exact name in Khmer, but I asked if the shop had mosquito lights. But all this inquiry received was a very puzzled look from the salesman, and I realized that I did not know the proper name for it in Khmer. I thought for a moment and then asked if they had a light for killing mosquitoes in Khmer. With this, the look of puzzlement left the salesman’s face, and I was led to a shelf with several bug lights on it. In Khmer, the name for the bug light literally means ‘machine electrocuting mosquitoes.’ Which is a fitting name, since the blue lights are only a lure to draw the mosquitoes in where they are electrocuted to death. It may sound cruel, but I have yet to meet anyone who is upset by the death of mosquitoes.
I recently bought another bug light at a shop along the road close to where I live. I had tried and failed to buy one a few months ago at this shop, and I thought that they just didn’t have them. However, this time knowing the proper name, when I told the store owner what I wanted, he quickly pulled one out from under the counter.
Inch by inch, I am moving forward in my ability to communicate. It is a slow process, but every so often a small but encouraging breakthrough occurs.
… in Khmer that is. A couple days ago in language class, our lesson was about the weather, and it came at a good time. The past couple weeks have been a transition from the hot season to the beginning of the rainy season. The hot season has drug on a bit longer than normal this year, but it is thankfully coming to an end now. The past several days have had at least a little rain each day. Our teacher is always good about giving us phrases to use that a typical Khmer person would use. I can now say, “It is so hot that I want to die” in Khmer, which would have been quite useful to know during the hot season.
Below is a page of the lesson about weather. As you look at the Khmer text below, you will notice that there are not spaces between every word. Instead, there are only spaces between each phrase. This is an added challenge to learning to read in Khmer. But as I have become more familiar with the words, I am finding that I can remember which group of letters make up a word.
Below is a very literal English translation of the above Khmer text.