Dec 26, 2008
In a country where the main river flows backwards for the half the year and which has had two prime ministers at the same time, it shouldn’t surprising that a Christmas holiday that started at a respectable restaurant might end up at a bar surrounded by 26 men in only their tightie-whities.
My Christmas started with escargot and foie gras with stewed fig at a prince’s former house that has since been turned into a French restaurant. A friend from Hong Kong had invited me to a proper Christmas meal with turkey, red wine and good conversation.
From there, I went with my flatmate on a boat cruise on the Tonle Sap. We didn’t really know many people there, but with maybe 35 people on the boat, alcohol and a well-chosen playlist, it was no time before everybody was dancing and generally making merry.
After the boat cruise, a group of us headed out to a Cambodian club to watch and hang out with Cambodian break dancers. As the night progressed, we headed out to another bar, where we heard had a special Christmas show. It turned out to be a male beauty contest of sorts where instead of a swimsuit competition there was an underwear competition. With the contestants walking around in their underwear, I was hit on just enough to feel good about myself but not enough to feel uncomfortable. Gossiping about mutual friends and lamenting the state of the journalism business, my Hong Kong friend and I closed out the bar.
Christmas can be a tough time to be thousands of miles away from family, but this year’s holiday is one I’ll certainly remember and remember fondly.