Countries, Languages & Weather

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Diziet Sma, May 28, 2016.

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    In my hometown, around 15 years ago, arrived a big wave of eastern european citizens, in particular polish and Ukrainian. Very warm people and hard working. They usually adapt really quickly to our life style and learn spanish without much trouble. Nor surprisingly, they all seem to enjoy the 320 days/year of sunshine we have over there, plus gorgeous food, plus fun, plus wonderful beaches, art, shopping... Good God! Sigh...!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    Sparrow likes this.
  2. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I currently live in Cambodia. It's hot all year round and rains for about a third of that time. It's not rain in the traditional, boring sense of just having water coming out of the sky. It's like huge, powerful shotgun-pellets being fired from the sky.
    The language is difficult. They don't talk through their mouth as much as through their nose. I hear them speak their native language and switch to English and the entire tone of their voice changes completely. I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who can master other languages but my brain just doesn't work that way. I have a mate, Swedish, speaks three languages already and picked up the local in a year. Amazing, but it's not for me.
    Also, the food kind of sucks. Hygiene is non-existent and the national dish is rice with pork on it. Not an imaginative place.
    Still, beer is 50c a glass, the rules are essentially non-existent and I'm stuck here for now making the best of it.
     
  3. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Talking of Cambodia, I had a pretty bad day today. Sometimes this place gets to me. When I first arrived, I came in from Thailand. I had a girlfriend there but it went a bit wrong one night when I made the mistake of getting engaged. Her drunken brother beat up his girlfriend, nearly shot himself in the face and then tried to steal my bike. Her mum demanded $30k and I sort of gave up on the whole thing. Eventually, I moved to Cambodia. I've got a pretty good life. I'm well known in town now and have a good reputation in terms of bikes and as a decent guy. My partner used to be a hairdresser in a bar, the kind of bar where the girls are priced only slightly higher than the drinks. Consequently I know half the prostitutes in town. You can't help them. I have a friend who's a missionary worker. His charity bought a girl out of her factory contract. Her family sold her to the garment industry. His charity buys a lot of the girls out, they're trained and given support to get on their feet. They usually follow the money and end up in the bars. This particular one he employed as a cleaner while she studied language. She ended up going back to her family who sold her again into a marriage to a very much older man. He's almost given up now. He set up a business for them to run but they prefer to beg, it makes more money. Female abuse is commonplace. I was with my partner one evening, after a few drinks she started telling me how lucky she was to have me. I thought it was drunk talk but she explained that she meant because of the way women are treated. Rape, murder, child abuse is all very common. She's one of the lucky ones, her family are ok.
    Yesterday a young boy, aged around 5 was collecting old plastic bottles outside my home. I thought it was odd because he was throwing away the bottles and just keeping the lids. My partner told me he was making a meth pipe. That was depressing.
    We have a baby, he's 3 months now and a fast developer. He's a bit of a local celebrity since he's half 'Barang' (it's what they call us). The locals are impressed since he's massive and can just about manage to say 'mum' now. One of our neighbours came round and was worried since his is around 8 months and still isn't even looking around. She went out to buy some milk powder tonight. When she got back, our neighbour came round to ask which one we're using. She asked how much it was and slumped when she found out. She just doesn't have the money to look after her kid. That felt pretty bad, and was a reminder that 90% of the children in this country aren't looked after and most won't even see the inside of a school. We've helped them out when we can but that's not a solution. The country runs on NGOs and handouts. The people that run them steal most of the money. I had a friend who worked for an NGO giving out milk powder to the people who really have nothing. She gave up, the people they were handing it too were all selling the powder to buy beer and cigarettes. It's a constant kick in the teeth here. You help and it just makes them more lazy, less likely to stand on their own feet. Most of them are beyond help. Autism is projected at 1 in 10 and I see it in class daily. Most of the kids can barely function and have no future to look forward to. I teach highschool in one of the best schools in the country. They all think they're going to be businessmen but don't know what business or how. I asked one and he literally didn't know what day it was. China pays to dump toxic waste which poisons the fish and the water, couple that with other sources of heavy metals and you see why.
    I've tried to help, handed out food, even motorcycles a couple of times to try and turn a family around. It never works. You just end up with crowds coming round asking to borrow money for beer. One of my neighbours ate my dog. I loved that dog but he went missing one morning. It's common here, two other of my friends had their taken, you don't see old dogs.
    So sometimes this place really gets to me. I have a kid now so I'm stuck here for now. I'm making the best of it but sometimes you get days where the reality of life just gets you down.
     
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I don't know what to say. I was going to be a little flippant at first, but that would have been crass after the proper grimdark scenario you described. I've got nothing but valueless, clich├ęd adages up my sleeve. Maybe you should expunge any frustrations through journalistic writings?
     
  5. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    There are days when it really gets to you and days when it all makes a kind of sense. The worst thing was losing my dog. He was given to me by some Khmer guy who couldn't look after him. He was still too young to be away from his mum, starved, infested with fleas and seriously ill. I nursed him to health and he just became my literal best friend. I still miss him.
    Sometimes you make a connection and it doesn't feel so bad. The ex-pat community here is mostly pretty solid too. Everyone largely gets on with everyone. It sound bad but it's not that awful. Today we went through some Siddhartha in class. I explained Jungian philosophy and some of them are really understanding it. It makes a lot of things worthwhile when you see kids who don't even want to be there nodding along and even asking if they can read next.
     
  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    Harsh and tough world. One forgets how easy we have it...
     
    Jack Brewhouse likes this.
  7. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's true.
     

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