The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.
Last Thursday afternoon, my Australian friend Bob, who is currently working Vietnam, met up with me at my guest house on 104 Street and we enjoyed a great meal of pork schnitzels, slaked our thirst with some ice cold Anchor draft beer, followed by a very nice chilled bottle of red, and last but not least, we put the troubles of the world to rights.
I have blogged before that I have known Bob for nearly forty years, (having first met him in the Grace Hotel in Bangkok in 1973), and he has had his ups downs with a number of Asian women (including two from Thailand) and has also enjoyed the highs and lows of a varied, but at times, highly paid career as a communications consultant.
Bob has worked extensively in Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, China, Taiwan, and also in Australia, Brazil and London (where we ran into each other after being out of touch for many years).
Bob started off life as a long haired musician – a very talented guitarist by the way. He toured Hawaii, Japan, Singapore and the US air bases in Thailand during the Vietnam war, along with my other long standing alcoholic friend, Dave, whose subsequent life has followed a very different path.
Amazingly, Bob still has long hair, (though not quite as long as it once was – more shaggy than long I suppose), and speaks, reads and writes fluent Thai (he actually went to university to study Thai), and is currently studying Vietnamese and Cambodian in his spare time.
So Bob has been around a bit and has had as interesting, or arguably an even more interesting life than Mobi. I have barely touched on it in the above paragraphs.
For example he was a draft dodger during the Vietnam War era, and at a later period in his chequered history he was the musical director for a Thai singer with the unlikely name of Henry Mitchell. Does anyone remember Henry? He used to sing gigs at the major hotels of Bangkok and Pattaya, accompanied by a sizeable ‘orchestra’ with arrangements by and under the musical direction of Bob.
One day Bob may be the subject of a Mobi Vignette. Anyhow, here we both are in Pnomh Penh for a few days and have been able to catch up on things, and as I have already written: “Put the world to rights.”
Bob used to be a very heavy drinker, mainly wine, but during the past year or so he has exercised a great amount of control over his drinking, which enabled him to obtain his latest, very well paid job in Vietnam, and to keep it.
So he really isn’t a great fan of carousing the bars, and for the three nights I have been here, I have been left to my own devices.
I trudged the alcoholic path as described in yesterday’s blog for the first two nights, but last night I cut it much shorter, and I am already growing weary of the nightlife scene here.
My medication is also making it difficult for me to stay awake and even though I took two lovely ladies for the first two nights of my Cambodian sojourn; I really didn’t do them justice as I was just too sleepy and tired.
But I did enjoy cuddling up to the lovely, smooth skinned, naked beauties and that no doubt contributed to my long, very deep sleeps.
Last night I met a girl who worked in the bar right next door to my guesthouse, and she told me how her daily routine consisted of going to work at the bar at 6 p.m., going home at 3 a.m, having a brief rest and a bite to eat before going to English school at 6 a.m. School finishes at 11.a.m. and she will then try to get a bit of shut eye in the afternoon before reporting once more for work.
I know from my previous experiences here that everything she says is true. She has to make enough money to pay for her school and send some housekeeping to her mum up –country. No baby – babies are rare. Many of these girls work the bars to better themselves. The girl hopes that in about 5 years time, when she speaks and writes much better English, she will be able to get a better job in a hotel, restaurant or office. That is her aim.
I find time and time again in this country that the young Cambodians, (remember 90% of the middle aged Cambodians are dead) are all anxious to improve themselves and make something of their lives.
It is a very different culture to Thailand, even though their roots are similar.
I took pity on the pretty girl but decided I wasn’t up to taking her home with me.
It was 1 a.m., so I bar fined her, gave her a generous tip and told her to go home and get some sleep. I added that if she wanted to come to my guest house after her morning school, I would take her shopping and buy her a telephone.
When I finally emerged this morning just before noon, I found that the young lady had been waiting patiently there since just after 11.00.
So we went shopping and I bought her a phone.
I know – I’m a complete mug. But sometimes I like being a complete mug – the look of delight on her face when I paid for the phone was worth a million dollars, and I have no regrets, even if I never see her again, which is more than likely.
At the time of writing, 5 p.m., I am planning to leave for Sihanoukville tomorrow morning, but much will depend on how this evening turns out.
Turning to more mundane matters, I am pleased that the feedback on my new web format has been pretty positive.
Here is something that Lloyd wrote today:
“Its still huge, try a fixed font size, in pixels, like 11px or 12px, these are the most common size fonts for ‘normal’ text on the web. Headers, like H1 tags, are usually between 12px-15px.
By using fixed types fonts, in pixels, you blog will render pretty much the same on all browsers.”
I barely understand the technical terms, but I do understand that I am using “Headers” as my main blog font mainly because I have little choice unless I pay to import WordPress fonts.
Today I tried to import some WordPress fonts on a trial basis, but couldn’t understand the gobbledygook instructions on how to activate them.
So assuming I remain unable to import fonts, I am stuck with the ‘headers’ (of various sizes) and another font which is entitled ‘paragraph’.
Lloyd, on my notebook, and my desk top, the ‘header fonts’ are the right size for me. However I accept that they may be very large on other people’s computers. I do not understand enough about font sizes and web sites to understand why or to even comment intelligently on this subject.
So by way of experiment, I will publish today’s blog with the ‘paragraph font’ and see what everyone thinks.
It will appear fairly small on my notebook, but I can easily ‘zoom-in’ to make it larger, so I will be happy to use it in the future, if readers believe it is better.
I won’t do another poll, but I would be grateful for feedback on font size.
To recap; my previous blogs uses ‘Header size 2’, and today’s blog will be published in ‘paragraph’.
Please let me know which one you prefer.