Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Temporary Apartment, in Pictures

Living room of our new (temporary) apartment.
Note the following: 1) Bars on the windows. Apparently, break-ins are common here, so just about every house has barred windows and doors. 2) The half-floor. The second floor of the apartment has 2 bedrooms with lower (8’?) ceilings. 3) The TV. TV’s are so common here that every house comes with one. And they are always made by “Sony”. Always. And when you turn them off, the sides close in like curtains on a musical… so you get a second or two to reconsider your decision. It doesn’t go “beeewwwwp” but you can almost hear it when you hit the button. 4) Wicker furniture – it’s everywhere. This came with the apartment. Very cheap but nice enough. 5) Every conceivable surface is tile. Nice.

Our current bedroom.
1) Bags everywhere. We just moved in today. 2)Bars on windows 3) The air-con unit on the wall. According to my dad, this is called a “Ductless split system”. In Asia, it’s called AC – this is the only kind there is.

Bathroom.
Very typical for Cambodia. Note: 1) Showering is just done in the same place as everything else. Everything is tile here, so this works fine. 2) Toilet is a pour-to-flush type (note bucket, plastic pot, and lack of tank behind toilet). This really appeals to my engineering sensibilities – you just use as much or as little water as you need to flush the john!

Toilet, close-up.
Note bucket and pot as previously discussed. Also, note that nozzle thing next to toilet. Remember in Demolition Man that scene with the “Three Shells”? Well… in Southeast Asia, that nozzle is the 3 shells. And it’s awesome.

Kitchen.
This is a really nice one, compared to the ones we’ve seen. Note: 1) small fridge – probably the biggest you’d ever have at a house here 2) bars on widows 3) Lock on door. I am in the house, but this is how they say I should keep it. This is funny, because we’ve NEVER felt threatened while walking on the street… and by all accounts intruders never mean harm to the residents… but petty theft seems to be a constant concern.

Close-up of lock.
It’s a “Solex” – as they all are, and huge. And it’s “Made in USA”.

Weird gate.
This is hard to explain, but there’s like 1 floor plan of houses in Cambodia that is very very common, and it’s like the one we’re in. There are several floors, in our case I believe it’s 5, and they are all connected by a stairwell. But, in our case, we’ve only rented 2 of the floors. So, the floors above and the floors below are separated from us by this funky gate – so theoretically the person upstairs could come down to the gate and still be in their house. It’s kinda weird, but that’s how it goes. There’s an outside stairwell for the folks above, and it’s really funky. Funky enough, that it deserves it’s own post.

Josh Svensson
Phnom Penh
January 31, 2008

3 comments:

Jonathan Ichikawa said...

Wow, some of the differences are really interesting -- particularly in the bathroom. I'm fascinated by the 'shower the same place as everything else' part. Does the tile get slippery? Is there a giant drain? How do you keep TP dry?

caljoy said...

Good question about the TP Jonathan, can't wait to hear the answer

Naomi said...

hey Jonathan! Here are answers to your questions:
1) does tile get slippery? No, not so much. It just stays wet for a while, which is annoying because if you have been out, or have walked around the house barefoot (no shoes in the house is the rule here), you might have dirty feet and then you end up with muddy track marks around tile floor, and subsequently, around the house.
2) is there a giant drain? yup, there is a pretty big drain in the floor for all the water.
3) How do you keep TP dry? Usually, there is a little plastic cover on top of the TP holder to keep the TP dry. If not, you have to just move it when you shower.