Archives for category: Leaving/Returning

AVID volunteer, graphic designer and all round nice guy, Guy, with the IT, communication and design teams at Friends-International HQ saying a final goodbye. The team made paper glasses to replicate his bold blue frames.

A very nice touch.

Goodbye Guy

Some of the things Lauren writes about in this post relate directly to me.
Fortunately a lot don’t. Fortunately for me I’ve come as part of an (AYAD/AVID) group and have ready made networks here in country that have made integration less traumatic and stressful.

I know I’m lucky.

At times it’s easy to feel a lot of what Lauren has written about. You can’t be anything but smacked in the face with it just by living here. There are many passionate and angry pieces I’ve had held back about the frustrations and sadness of living life in Cambodia. It’s not all cheap beer and warm weather. At times it’s just plain dark.

News Flash: Cambodia Is Hard

Side note: Four of my female friends had their bags snatched last week. One young woman had her bagged snatched twice in two days while one was pushing her baby in a stroller and dragged to and along the ground.

It’s not all smiles…

“It was another glorious affair at one of the oldest buildings in Phnom Penh, so old in fact that it is included in the architectural tours of this wonderful city.”

No big deal.


Here I sit at my PC, dick in hand, preparing something that many of you will never read. Blog masturbation. I’m not sure if I’ll persist with this much longer but while I’m here, dick in hand, I’ll give you a snap shot of what’s about to happen to me.

My assignment has come to a close. In less than a week I’ll be back in Cambodia. It’s a land filled with heat, heat rash, chafing, smiles, laughter and friends.

For the past little while I’ve been thinking about my decision to turn down an excellent role here in Melbourne to return to the land of heat rash. I have an amazing ability to doubt myself that wish upon no one.

At the beginning of my assignment in 2010  I never thought I’d return to Cambodia. If Allan 2011 had told Allan 2010 of his decision, Allan 2010 would lead Allan 2011 by the testicles to a waist high vice. Allan 2010 would place Allan 2011’s testicles inside slightly rusting clamps and begin to tighten while screaming and spitting in Allan 2011’s ear “What the fuck have you done you daft prick?”
The clamps would tighten and Allan 2011 would scream in agony until passing out leaving his body contorted, held ever slightly off the ground by his slowly tearing genitalia.

Something I also wish upon no one.

I was really dreading coming back but Melbourne has been good to me, although I keep running into ex-girlfriends. Something I also wish upon no one.
There were things about Melbourne I was enjoying as much as an episode of ‘deal or no deal’. I really needed to leave although it was a tough decision at the time.
I guess I’ve come back with clean eyes. I know I’ve definitely come back a lot happier than when I left. That has had an enormous impact on how I view this city and the people in it. Everyone I’m lucky enough to be involved with is in a really good place. Friends have lovely partners and seem calm and settled. It’s definitely not where I’m at but it’s really heartening to watch unfold.

With Melbourne all of a sudden feeling very comfortable I’ve run over and lingered in my decision. It’s foolish, totally foolish behaviour.
Cambodia is not done with me yet, nor am I done with her. There are many heat rashes she needs to deal me, I have still yet to suffer from any serious Phnom Penh belly bouts and I really need to finish what I started. I really need to finish the Friends-International website redesign project before I can even think about moving on.

Living in Cambodia has been the best year of my life. I’m not ready to give that up just yet.

Probably the best send off I’ve ever had. And yes, I did cry during my speech.

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I like my little video widget (to the right). I’m going to use it a lot.
I suggest you press play as you read this post. It will give you an insight into my frame of mind at each particular post.
Willie Nelson…ahhhh. Jerk.

So in  a matter of hours I’ll be on a plane. Certainly by the time you read this I’ll be out of the country heading for humidity hell. I won’t see many of you for the next 12 months. Maybe we need this break? Did we grow too close?
The thing I’m really worried about is…..coming back. I haven’t even left and I’m already worried.
I worry about how I’ll change. I worry how I’m going to relate to you all and Australia after spending 12 months in a third world country. We were warned at the AYAD training that the things you (and me) are concerned about now will hold no relevance to me when we return. Will I want to hear about new lounge suites, cars, mortgages, neighbour issues and renovations when I return? Will you want to hear about poverty, sick children, growing infrastructure and people you’ve never met who have grown dear to me?

Sigh….

Anyway, that is all for the future. Right now I’m going to put on the Rolling Stones and get drunk with my Dad. ‘Allan’s going away and Slammer’s birthday’ – Melbourne, you’ve turned it on.
See you all on the other side.

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*Dedicated to Brendan Varcoe