Somehow, I’m not entirely sure how – I have ended up with a fairly swanky Cambodian house that is $10 under our allotted budget, bigger than anywhere I’ve lived before and even has hot water. What's even better, is that previous volunteers have struggled to find accommodation in Sisophon - so I’ve been really lucky and actually had a choice of two.
The first house was an ex-volunteer house, a little like a small and cosy tree house. Unfortunately though, it also came with a neighbouring volleyball court and several 20-something Cambodian males and two ‘guard’ puppies. I was actually quite fond of the dogs, until I trod in pile of dog shit. After that, the novelty wore off. The house was very sweet, but I met the landlord and they weren’t keen to put any extra locks on the windows or even really clean the inside – oh, and they also tried to up the price by $100.
Meanwhile, just round the corner a family from Poipet (about 1hr from Sisophon) were doing up their house for rent and were very excited to see me. The family are lovely and couldn’t do enough for me. They asked me what colour paint I wanted, would I like this… would I like that… the house had previously had unwanted ‘wildlife’ (rats, I think) and so was being gutted inside and out. It’s not too big – I was wary of the size at first – and it’s nice and secure, whilst still being accessible and traditional. Its concrete downstairs and wooden upstairs, has mozzi screens, a great little balcony and even a bit of a garden!
That said, I do feel a bit weird to be living somewhere so nice when I’m in Cambodia. I really was expecting to be holed up in some form of shack, but I do love my house. It’s cosy and best of all, it’s somewhere to make mine. It’s also under the VSO housing allowance - a distinct advantage of living Sisophon. Should I be in a shack? Well, perhaps... but then I’m here for a year and I can’t wait to start nesting. Plus it’ll be great for putting up other volunteers when they come to visit. And having a house warming party.
So, if you’re ever wandering around Sisophon, my house is between roads three and four. The landlady was unsure of the address and so decided it was on road 3.5 (Harry Potter eat your heart out). It also has no number… so I’m not sure if the postie will be able to find it.
I'm just trying to upload some pictures, but the internet is having none of it. I'll put them up as soon as I can!
Ah HAH! Success!