Modesty runs rampant in my health club’s locker room

MichelangeloDavidCensored_zps0bf756d0A stocky Asian  strode through the relatively empty locker room of my gym one afternoon not long ago.  He was nude.  Because of his nonchalance, I knew that he could not be from Cambodia.

At my former gym in the States, he would not have drawn a second glance. Few members were present at my current gym that time of day, and those changing clothes also paid no discernible attention.

But the locker room attendant certainly noticed.  A look of horror, or possibly disgust, crossed his countenance.

I asked him if the sight disturbed him. The memory of what he had just witnessed caused him to scowl deeply, making me wonder whether perhaps he was joking.

When I told him how it was at my old gym in New York, Continue reading

Advertisements

Efficient waste management, recycling elude Cambodia

thumb_IMG_0982_1024

These men and teenagers are not merely dumping trash into the truck. They are sorting it as well.

The problems that Phnom Penh faces with trash disposal are evident on virtually every corner.

Although there seem to be laws on the books mandating proper handling of recyclables and other commercial and residential waste, there appears to be virtually no enforcement.

Cintri — the company that enjoys a sweetheart contract in its monopoly for the collection of garbage in Phnom Penh — is pictured here with one of its green trucks.  You can see that the enterprise is no more exempt from overlooked child labor than are building contractors. You also can see in the photo below with one of the company’s yellow trucks that waste is separated by gloveless hands as the vehicles creep along the city’s blocks. Continue reading

Not the worst, but friends’ travel ordeal nears extreme

airplane

Up, up and away doesn’t quite describe my friends’ vacation saga.

Pat and Sandy much enjoyed their recent cruise, and then began their problems.  They didn’t suffer a hijacking or a deadly crash, but suffer they did on their way home to Australia from the Baltic states and the final leg of their cruise.

On their cruise to Amsterdam from Norway, the weather was bad and the sea so rough that the ship had to divert to Rotterdam.  So far, not so bad.  So far.
 
Wth minimal editing on my part, Pat gives the following account in a jet-lagged e-mail written in the middle of the night of one disastrous event after another, thankfully none involving violence:
 
Luckily, the ship supplied buses to the terminal in Amsterdam, but we lost nearly a whole day in Amsterdam.

Continue reading

I digress: Some Americans respond selfishly to election

american-flag-3Consider this post from an expat I do not know in response to a rant on Facebook today:

So happy I’m living in France. So happy I’m living in France. So happy I’m living in France.

Which of the four candidates I favor for U.S. president is beside the point of this post, but let me say that the foregoing quote is one of the milder reactions I have seen especially to the possibility of Donald Trump’s winning the election over Hillary Clinton.

Even as an expat myself, I confess to feeling holier than those who fantasize about leaving their country behind for what I contend is the wrong reason.  They despair of one candidate or another leading a nation of more a third of a billion persons and, not incidentally, the whole free world.  They seem to think that leaving will improve their lives . . . and theirs alone.

Those who talk about quitting the United States seem to overlook at least four things: Continue reading