Only minor dentistry should be trusted in Cambodia

That's mean and Ana.  We faked the photo when her work was completed, so she's not wearing gloves and I lack a bib.

That’s Ana and I.  We faked the photo when her work was completed, so she’s not wearing gloves and I lack a bib.  Incidentally, shorts and t-shirt are my usual attire and not only when the mercury soars.

The European Dental Clinic has a generally good reputation among expats in Phnom Penh, and it is conveniently close to home.  I’ve had nothing but good experiences there on my three visits, two of them for routine cleaning, in the last year or so.

Although the treatment of any serious dental issues such as root canals or tooth implants, like any serious medical ones, is ill-advised in this country, ordinary work can be achieved successfully.

There are many reasons to appreciate the clinic.   Continue reading

Many expats seem to forget that they choose to be here

choices

Home is close to the work of these Cambodians, who pick from garbage anything they can recycle.

You hear the gripes, complaints and sparks of indignation all the time.

Expats regularly find fault with Cambodia in general and Phnom Penh in particular, and I hardly am blameless (as this post arguably demonstrates).

Whether it is about the vast majority of sidewalks that either are nonexistent or made impassable by parked vehicles and vendors’ carts or it is about intractable corruption, we continually voice our various displeasures to each other over restaurant tables and online.

We moan about Continue reading

Mango season arrives, but it doesn’t end soon enough

Several trees on my block are sprouting mangos.

Several trees on my block are sprouting mangos.

Months go by before mango season arrives in Phnom Penh.  Growing larger and slowly changing from bright green to glowing yellow, the ripening mangos now suspend themselves from the limbs of mature trees like so many Christmas ornaments.

Those trees actually thrive Continue reading

16-year-old gym buddy launches me on new adventure

Happy Khmer New Year! See you again after next week.

View of Tang Koh, an island more than four hours from Sihanoukville in the Gulf of Thailand.

View of Koh Tang, an island more than four hours from Cambodia’s Sihanoukville in Gulf of Thailand.

It all started with a conversation about the Great Barrier Reef.

I mentioned to Mike, 16, who works out at my gym, that I had put the reef on my bucket list. He said that the only way to view the natural wonder was by scuba diving.

Quixotically following the teenager’s advice, I immediately deposited $200 with Scuba Nation, a first-rate diving concern that offers PADI certification with half of the underwater instruction at a Phnom Penh swimming pool.  The second half Continue reading

Many items that rich countries discard are used again

RepurposeThe man in photo above is engaged in a task that is routine in buildings large and small: He is pounding metal rods that have been used previously in construction so they can be used again.

Nails are commonly straightened for re-use, and I posted a photo recently of a mother doing just that with a toddler at her back.

Have you ever seen Continue reading

My heart went out to a cat with her litter of three

Begging for food outside the café, Brownie,before she was able to gain weight.

Begging me for food outside Brown , “my” cat before she gained weight.

If I didn’t travel so much, perhaps I would have invited home the stray and her two tiny surviving offspring.

I spotted the mom perhaps two months ago at the Brown café I frequent.  A calico, she was painfully thin and suffered from diarrhea.

From the employees and parking attendants who have come to know me because I am at the coffee place so often, I learned that she had given birth.  But the kitties were nowhere to be seen in the cluttered staff room in which she had taken up residence.  Nor was she always around.

I named her — what else? — Brownie, began purchasing food for her and enlisted the Brown staff to look after her during my absences.  But I was worried that the waif, who was nursing until a couple of weeks ago, would soon become pregnant again.

Thus began a saga that pretty much ended before dawn Sunday morning Continue reading

Most expats face disadvantage when living in Cambodia

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This randomly photographed clinic is larger than most. Such clinics can be found all over Phnom Penh.

Not even Cambodians defend the quality of medical care in Cambodia.  The king routinely jets off to China for checkups, and top government officials also head to other countries for the best care.

Ailments that otherwise are treated routinely elsewhere in Asia demand quick flights to Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore.  Examples might include a sinus infection, certain bone fractures and diseases that internists in other nations can easily diagnose.

A related issued is that no one knows how reliable are drugs with foreign labels, and they fill the shelves of numerous pharmacies.

For me, the issue relates to Continue reading