Karaoke and Kompong Thom

Trip Start Feb 27, 2012
1
6
14
Trip End Aug 26, 2012


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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hi!

So, sorry it been soo long since the last post, went away on another dental mobile, this time to Kompong Thom province. Kompong Thom is about a 4 hours drive north west I Phnom Penh, up towards Siem Reap. Whilst there we would basically be doing the same stuff as on the previous dental mobile, but this time it was at a primary school.
We set off from Phnom Penh at about 6:30 and got breakfast on the was so that we could go straight to the school without having to check in to the hotel etc. we arrived at the school and set everything up, took over one of the classrooms , emptied all of the stuff out into another classroom and set up all the dental chairs, sterilising area and pharmacy etc then got to work. This time it was a lot more organised than the last one tho so everyone knew why they are doing and it all flowed a lot better. Again I was on the pharmacy which although can get quite boring, actually is useful to me in that I have got to learn the different dosages of different drugs etc and got to practice communicating with people who don't speak my language etc which is always a useful skill to have. And to help this I learned some new words and phrases do that I could explain the drugs (how and when to take them etc) to the patients so that they wouldn't go away slightly confused at what to do with what I'd given them.
Most days spent at the school went the same way, although on Tuesday and Friday mornings I was helping with the medical team where we were basically washing and de-licing the kids hair, which although doesn't sound like the nicest of jobs, is really a big help to the kids there.
On the Wednesday night we got a call on our rooms phone and had no idea who it could be, but it turned out to be one of the Khmer dental students asking if we wanted to go up to one of the dentists rooms for a meeting...we were slightly confused but half n hour or so later we headed up and basically by 'meeting' they meant gathering with drinks etc :) do we chatted and drank for a bit then they said we were going to head upstairs..I had no idea what was upstairs but had heard one of the Sheffield lot complaining that they had heard loud music from up there before that was keeping them up..anyway it turned out to be thi massive karaoke place on the top floor of the hotel! So we got a private room and about 12 I us sat down got some drinks in and then got the music going. Firstly it was just the khmer guys singing Khmer songs whilst everyone was just sat down, but before long everyone was up and dancing an I was looking through the book of english songs that they had..and there were thousands, literally it was ridiculous how many songs there were, yet I could barely find any thru would actually want to sing along to. Anyway finally me and Jane decided to do wanderwall by oasis. It was let say...different to how I expected in that unlike all te Khmer songs that were accompanied with a music video ad had the actual song playing, the English songs were all some random remake that some guy has just done on a keyboard where all the words were out I time with the music and the accompanying video was of two men taming crocodiles in an empty swimming pool...
Anyway it was a good laugh and I thought that maybe it was only that particular song that would be like that, so decided to go solo for Feel good inc. by Gorillaz (because I'm cool and I know the rap in the middle) but same again, all the words would come up in the wrong order and at about 5x speed so the words stopped coming up within a minute of the song starting do I kinda had to just go for it with the words that I knew and listening out for what bit of the song was actually currently playing but still got the rap in :) and again was a good laugh, although I think that all the Khmer dental students may have left thinking that actually English music is pretty terrible, if they were going by the music that was playing..
Then before I knew it Friday had come round, the last day if the mobile. As I've already said I helped out with washing the kids hair and stuff an then I played with some of the kids who were playing a game a lot like one of the mario kart party games, where everyone should blow up a balloon an then tie it to their ankle, they would all then run around chasing each other trying to pop each others balloons, great fun. And the final 5 left got prizes.
By the Friday I was absolutely shattered tho, getting up at 6 every morning isn't exactly my cup of tea and to then be out in the sun all day as well, not nice. So by Friday I was sleeping whenever I could, car journey, at breakfast, at lunch, on benches , in hammocks, on the floor, just generally anywhere. Which all the Khmer dentists found hilarious and would have photos taken with me asleep next to them! Anyway on the Friday we would finish at midday, head off for lunch (at what was basically just someone's house, where we would go, sit in their living area and eat) this was the place where we went for breakfast, lunch and dinner..every day...it wa nice but still would have been nice to mix it up a little.
Anyway after lunch we all piled in to the van 14 seats, 25 people! Very squashed, and not ideal sleeping conditions..we then headed to a 'mountain' (they call them mountains here but they're basically just big hills just very flat otherwise here) and climbed to the top. I think it was 809 steps all together, most people where pretty slow but me being me (although the others set off about 5 mins ahead of me) I had to win and make it to the top first. So me and doctor bethy ( a dentist from New Zealand) got talking about bikes and cycling in general a shes big on her cycling too and we powered up the 'mountain' and beasted it past everyone else and with about 10 steps to go I quickened my pace so I could 'win' :) also at the top there was this massive temple from pre angkorean times ( pre 10th century basically) which was really cool. There were also a load of monkeys up the top which although were really cool, were also quite vicious, if you went too close, like within 5 metres, they would jump at you and snarl..I was fine but a number of the others got chased including one I the he'd field lot who was chased by about 5 of them which although was in the nicest way possible, quite hilarious to watch, she was absolutely terrified and we then left..
For the journey back some stayed in the van but 6 of us went in a car which we thought would be a lot more comfortable but turned out I e very squished and after about half an hour one of the tyres blew..
So we fitted the spare and waited in some people's house who we'd pulled up outside whilst the car was driven to the nearest place they could get it sorted. The people were really nice and welcoming and have us mango which was really good :)
The car then pulled up and we set off for Phnom Penh, arriving absolutely shattered and went straight to sleep.
Today I haven't really done much, think im going on another boat cruise thing on the Mekong this evening and hopefully gonna go to the Russian market either this afternoon or tomorrow so I can buy some headphones :) the. On Monday I'm of to India!!
Ciao for now,
Josh x
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