August 24, 2010

Smells like burnt...

That's because the rituals of offering are BIG in Cambodia, and in all Asia for that matter. Whatever religion or creed around, there will always be offerings. In the Buddhist one in Cambodia, offerings are made in the form of fruits, burned incense sticks and money in pagodas, in front of the Buddha statues, or in the little genie houses in each one’s home. Oh, but do not worry, I forgot to mention that the money is not real. You can buy fake money to offer or burn:-)..
Yes, in religions like the Taoist one, the offerings are burned..Traditionally, it was joss paper made from bamboo, also known as ghost money, that was burned in traditional Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies to ensure that deities or the spirits of the deceased have lots of good things in the afterlife. People think that money can be used in the afterlife as well, and that the ancestors can influence the fortune of the living. For me it is weird to notice this emphasis on the material side… But then again, I have to admit I don’t know much about the Asian religions and creeds, am only discovering now..
To illustrate the materialism behind it: nowadays people have modernized and burn from paper credit cards, cheques, to papier-mâché clothes, houses, cars, toiletries, and servants. And even more extreme, they burn paper MP3 players, planes, boats and even paper condoms (staying safe in the afterlife), paper prostitutes and Viagra
Many temples have large furnaces outside the main gate to burn these offerings. Burning actual money is considered to be nonsensical (obviously!!) and unlucky in Asian cultures. These offerings can also be burned in front of ones house --> hence the strong smell of burnt on the streets.
The most interesting form of paper note that is burned in these rituals is the Hell Bank Note, which has a funny story. “Hell money notes is a modern form of spirit money. The word "hell" was said to be introduced to the Chinese by Christian missionaries. The missionaries told the Chinese that non-Christians go to hell when they die. The Chinese, not understanding what the missionaries were implying, translated the word "hell" to match the pre-existing Chinese concept of "underground hold/court," which in Taoist cosmology had been considered the initial destination of the soul of the dead regardless of his or her virtue during life. Hell money notes are known for their outrageous denominations ranging from $10,000 to $5,000,000,000. The bills feature an image of the Jade Emperor on the front and the "headquarters" of the Bank of Hell on the back.”(Wiki)

For me this is taking the bribe to another level .. :-)

August 23, 2010

Oh noooo, it's a funeral...

If you ever go to Cambodia, you might experience a funeral on your street, or a wedding for that matter..It's kinda the same, just the intonation of the music differs. It's a 3 days and 3 nights "fiesta", that takes place on the streets or if the family can afford renting it, in a garden. They decorate it properly as for a party, with tables and chairs covered in silk cloth, with flower arrangements and "la piece de resistance": loud, loud, incredibly loud SPEAKERS. You might notice the frustration in my words.. that is because I have experienced this wonderful event this weekend, the first weekend in the Penh when I really wanted to get some SLEEP...consideration and respect for neighbors? what???!? well, the neighbors are more than happy to be woken up in the beautiful sounds of the drums (no rhythm whatsoever just banging, loud banging, continuously) at 5 am, continued by someone singing or saying its speeches, or mourning or whatever they were doing...that went on from 5 am until 11 pm, with small, but very small breaks...when u thought they quiet down, and u could get a quick nap, they started again... I passed through various stages of thoughts and feelings, and compassion very quickly turned into hate the second day, I was extremely curious to see what is going on in that garden, and as the door was open, I had a quick glance inside... there were about 10-15 tables as I told u arranged with white silk cloth, with colorful flower arrangements and offerings, and people were dressed in white. By the sound of it, I was expecting to see thousands of people, well, there were maximum 10.... maybe the agglomeration of people depended on the hour of the day... but the sound did not depend on the hour, nor the number of people present..

A friend of mine told me when I arrived in PP that I will experience IT, but I thought oh, he is exaggerating, he has no idea how loud gypsies weddings in Romania are...well, I can tell you that after 3 days and 3 nights of this, I was missing the "fara numar" dedications of our gypsies' colorful street weddings...

PS: I hope my neighbors will stay healthy and have a long life!!

August 20, 2010


There are 900 Entertainment Establishments in Phnom Penh, with 21,000 Entertainment Workers

14% of all EWs in Cambodia (30,000) are HIV positive.

"A sad bird got feather broken"

"I should be to die because I have transmitted your demand to others topic is opposite your remind but I would like to admit a fault you that will be research which some topic as follow ensure of your demanded . right now if you want to kill me in trusty I have no powerful to find to the .. topic on my sight. Because I have a lot of task the supervision to the team technical."


"X will not present on the topic, because he has no enough time to prepare it. He said, he needs more time to prepare it. "

PS: the title is the subject of the mail

August 19, 2010

you got to love this ...

"I’m not hesitate to congratulate you for your generosity .

Because this is the first time as I seen your gentles letters were wrote from your

Self to me. a staying for knowledge beggar I would like to supplicate you go on

Artily of sharing for providing of your capacity building to me

I would like to admit a fault to you that I want to improve of English language."

August 16, 2010

Long time..

It has been a long time since I didn't update my life in the Kingdom... well, I had guests for one month, they are leaving this week ..It's going to be sad cause I got used to them around..We did many things, went to the seaside here in Cambodia where we went on an island from where I thought we will get back only when the rainy season ends; went to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor temples-AMAZING!!!- and last week went to Vietnam, in Saigon, Hanoi and Halong Bay- AMAZING!!!
Vietnam was interesting as we never expected to find it soooo developed compared to its neighbor Cambodia.. I mean I knew it was more developed but I never expected such development.. Not only did u see that in the big brand shops and huge luxurious hotels, cause you can find those in less developed countries as well, but you could notice it in the Vietnamese people behavior.. In Cambodia, you will rarely see groups of young men and women in bars/restaurants/clubs, you will only see men in beer gardens and restaurants, or women in nightclubs, for a specific purpose as you may guess. Well, in Vietnam people go out like back home. The girls dress up to go out, very cool I have to say, and go out in groups to bars/restaurants/clubs and what have you... it's full of people on the streets at night, compared to Cambodia where life stops around 8pm; people ride on motos only in 2s, and both wear helmets, unlike Cambodia where the number of persons can reach 5/6 and no helmets, except the driver; there are no tuk tuks, only taxis; when you walk on the street you don't hear: ladyyyyyyy/siiiiiir moto, moto? , as you do in Cambodia...; girls smoke and drink beer too...and so on and so forth...
it seems that the Communism that they have works for them. when you talk to Vietnamese you feel they are a bit too rigid, and strict, maybe Communist thinking, but whatever works for them i guess... however, used to the Cambodian big smile, we were a bit shocked when we got there, cause people are very cold and indifferent...maybe they are too used to tourists, or too developed... strange anyway, and because people were so aggressive we felt very strange... it was an extra boost of cultural shock i suppose...
However, the highlight of the trip was Halong Bay which was amazing!!!
We cruised around the rocks, we visited caves, and we kayak-ed a lot!! Most amazing was kayaking in a cave with no source of natural lighting, so very dark and spooky, we only had a torch with us; very nice! we managed to sink the kayak as well, because George and the boys thought they would like to play a game of who splashes the water better? and so it seems the boys won, and I got stuck in the kayak, panicked a bit cause I couldn't get my feet out of it..but in the end succeeded..we became the stars of Halong Bay- the brothers who sank the kayak- the second day we managed not to sink it again...mind you, it's not like they taught us anything they just gave us lifevests, a kayak and 2 paddles- on the kayak there was a big sign of CAUTION saying that you cannot kayak, if you have not been properly trained before :-))) we jumped from the roof of the boat, which was 10-15 metres high I suppose...anywhere in Europe they would not let you do that hahah but there it was possible :-) we hurt our behinds and backs... i thought I didnt have a swimming suit anymore when I hit the water..but it was good fun :-D
Hanoi is a beautiful city, especially the old quarter, has some nice architecture; but it;s extremely busy, tiring and aggressive; whereas Saigon, is much more relaxed, and streets are broad, and there is space to breathe...maybe because it's in the South, closer to Cambodia (used to be a part of Cambodia), people are different, they seem nicer.. did not have time for central Vietnam this time, but to be honest don't feel like going back there, at least not for a while now... was happy to be back to the smiley Cambodians..

August 05, 2010

Ganduri exprimate cu voce tare

Mergand sa vizitez Muzeul Tuol Sleng din Phnom Penh, cel mai mare centru de tortura din vremea Khmerilor Rosii, am realizat ca eu nu am vizitat niciun muzeu care sa aminteasca de torturile din vremea comunismului in Romania, spre rusinea mea. Mai ales ca bunicul meu a murit intr-o astfel de inchisoare. Mi-am propus sa fac asta cand ma intorc... Dar nu pot sa nu ma intreb de ce la noi nu se stie de aceste muzee de comemorare asa cum se stie aici. Aici sunt un punct turistic, la noi sunt ceva dat ce? cu totii ar trebui sa stim de unde venim si prin ce am trecut pentru a intelege ce traim...
spre exemplu experimentul Pitesti --->

August 04, 2010

A new adventure every day...

Did you ever think that crossing the road can be an adventure? Or printing a document, when you have a deadline? Or getting into your own house when you have the keys, but have to climb the gates??? Or explaining to someone where you live when they don't know how to read a map or the number of the road, nor understand any word of what you say?? For all of these there is Cambodia, for the rest there is MasterCard...