Monday, April 16, 2007

Greener Pastures
Some of you might have noticed the changing colours of our blog. Green has always been my favourite colour (except for perhaps a pink period in '85) so I find the new hue rather pleasing to the eye.

But I am wondering...have Ben and I taken it too far in our hallway?

I assure you this is not trick photography, we actually have a fluorescent green light bulb(purchased unintentionally of course).

I half expect slime to run down the walls.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Khmer New Year!!!

"Junpoh chnam thmei"....(wishing you a happy new year)

It's that time of year again...a time to get out your water bombs and talcom powder and wish your fellow neighbour a happy new year. Although if you are not in Cambodia (or Thailand & Myanmar, as it's their new year also) then it may seem a bit strange to cover your neighbour's face in talcom powder and throw a water bomb at them when they're not looking. Could be fun if you're bored though.

As for Ben and I, we are enjoying a very long weekend and a deserted Phnom Penh. We have stocked our fridge with an abundance of food so that there is very little reason to leave the house...and we have settled in to celebrate our anniversary...not of our relationship but of having arrived in Cambodia. I'm not sure if it feels like two years... or more...or less...but two years ago it was that Ben and I arrived in this fine country...and two years ago it was that Steph took us to Wat Phnom and I got caked in talcom powder, as I watched Khmer youth play games and "court" one another. What an initiation!!!

So with two years having passed one might expect Ben and I to reflect on such times and note what has changed and what hasn't...perhaps even what we have learnt from being here...

What has changed?....Shopping malls are quickly emerging across the city...
What hasn't changed?....It's freakin hot in April!
What have we learnt?....(well not Khmer that's for sure)...perhaps that it's always freakin hot in April.
Congratulations Leigh and Kara!!!
A week ago, in eager anticipation we posted a congratulations to Leigh and Kara on their wedding day. This was before realising how premature we were in this. Now we are a day late (we clearly are not good with time)...but that's not to say we didn't think of you both yesterday and make a toast in your honour, because we did.

So Leigh and Kara, congratulations on your special day...may you have a lifetime of happiness together. We wish we could have been there to share and celebrate the day with you.

Our love and best wishes,

Bec and Ben xx

PS. Any chance we can see some photos?
Malaysia, Truly Asia?
Last weekend Bec and I went to Kuala Lumpur to watch "the pinnacle of motorsport that is formula one." We stayed in a hotel that was very near two very tall and very identical buildings. These cloned structures looked especially amazing at night when viewed from a taxi with your head tilted at a 45 degree angle.
The hotel was full of the english and assorted northern europeans who we guessed had also come for the race. The hotel also offered a very nice buffet breakfast that i made more than appropriate use of.

The Sepang racing circuit is located (you guessed it) in Sepang. Sepang is also where the airport is located. The airport is 70km's from the city. Therefore (once again you guessed it) the Grand Prix actually billed to be hosted in KL is found well beyond the defined city limit. Now in Asia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, this would probably make you expect some challenges and a deal of planning, time and cost to reach the desired destination.

And there was, but we are happy to say not as much as we had expected...

There is a very fast train that runs between KL and the airport. I dont know if it is as fast as the very very fast bullet trains you see on documentaries in europe or Japan but it sure was quick. This made the whole journey quite pleasant, the only additional hassle being 2 buses we were required to catch to actually get near the entry gate to the grand prix.

Owing to work commitments and the like we could only attend the race day itself and none of the days preceeding. We made the most of it however and secured some fine seats at the end of the main straight. Our granstand afforded a very close view of corners one and two that would promise some hot racing action.

Hot was the word of the day, in our grandstand we sweated a lot whilst eagerly awaiting the race. After the cultural spectacle, sorry after the planned cultural spectacle (there were plenty of unplanned cultural spectacles to see on the day), cars finally came around to line up on the grid. I have seen F1 cars a few times before but you still get that tingle up the spine when you hear the sound they make, well at least I do.

From then on everything happened very quickly - suddenly they had started and well if you want to know the details of the race click here - details of the race.

Here are some photos Bec took...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Welcome to planet earth Atticus Patterson!
Yesterday morning at 10:05am (Australian EST), Sean and Cheryl welcomed the long awaited Atticus into this world. At 8 pounds 13oz, we are told he is every bit as beautiful as his Mum (and you too Sean).

To his parents, Ben and I would like to say a huge congratulations and how delighted we are. We send you all our love and hope to see photos of little Atti soon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The real reason they invented the internet (By Ben)

The world beard & moustache championships (WBMC) have updated their website.

Beard Team USA really is something to behold and I find it hard to see how traditional world-bearders Germany will overcome this all star line up. The perfect mix of youth, experience and facial hair.

Best address on the net bar none.

Join my campaign to have soul patches granted competition status.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Vespa Rally (by Benna)

I attended my first ever Vespa rally today. It was really fun. I met a lot of people and most of them owned Vespas. Neat. We stood around initially and offered rather obvious compliments "oh, I really love those mirrors" "Yeah Ive seen this bike around, really cool". None of us had the appearance of seasoned rally goers and Im pretty sure we did not know what we were supposed to do.

After a while we hit the streets. It also happened to be an election day in Cambodia so most things were shut and the streets were even quieter than they normally are on a Sunday. I have never ridden in a pack of anything before but i found the whole thing refreshing. We rode all around town honking our horns and causing general confusion. At one stage we did three circuits of the Independence Monument, lacking a strong leader none of us wanted to turn Alpha and demand we press on.

All in all it was fun. The coolest moment came when an old couple just happened to be passing on their Vespa and decided to cruise with us until the turn off for the market they were headed. Some khmer do like Vespas despite what people may say.

Heres some photos. I was riding Bob, he is the one in the foreground on the first photo.

Some guy decided to trump us all by bringing this really cool BMW bike.