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Drag show ala Cambodia

Last day of volunteering and first visit to Cambodian drag show

sunny 34 °C

It has been emotional. For me at least. As if finally recognising it was my last day with them as a volunteer, my boss went out of her way to make the most of me whilst I was still there. Finishing the Marketing proposal document and sending it off, I expected to have a leisurely afternoon full of heartfelt good-byes and private research into my upcoming three weeks of exploring rural Cambodia. Instead, I was showered with multiple requests for help, almost wondering if I will have to start saying 'no' at some point.

Looking at the positive side though, at least I had things to do unlike most other volunteers I got to meet in the guest house. When the time came for me to say good-bye, I was surprised how much I wished it wasn't over yet. Over the past two months, I was lucky to work in an environment where I got to contribute, as well as learn. Experiencing the working culture first hand, I am aware that the professional and fairly structured environment is by no means a given in Cambodia and that my experience is very different to probably most of the other volunteers. In fact, I grew to love the country, the culture and the people to the point when I am open to temporarily setting up a base here, should the right work opportunity present itself. But for now, I have some jungle trekking and elephant riding in front of me, followed by a less than welcome return to my 'day job' in Germany.

As is the case on most weekends, Friday night in the guest house was a low key affair. The eight of us who forfeit the chance to spend the weekend outside of Phnom Penh split into two groups. Group one heading to a Condom Bar (not kidding, it is actually called that) for a night of karaoke (yack!), and my group headed to the Blue Chilli for a bit of gay bar / drag show action. This proved to be an excellent move. Whatever the show lacked in quality the performers made up in enthusiasm. Home-made costumes, badly plucked eyebrows and bad playback were more than offset by friendly atmosphere, frequent flirtation by the main protagonists with eager audience and interesting crowd.

The night was in fact so good that for once, we didn't even contemplate going somewhere else more 'dancy' afterwards. Instead we stayed in to watch the show until our stomachs started to demand a food top up. A tasty pizza stop later, were were crowded into a rattling tuk tuk on our way to the guest house. Three out of our four-people group were leaving the guest house on Saturday and so 2am arrival was just about right to make sure we have plenty of time to pack and move on to pastures new.

Not exactly pressed for time, I am spending my Saturday morning packing, talking to people, eating, distributing unwanted stuff and generally slowly getting to the point when I can leave. My last task is to sell my bicycle and after that, I am temporarily moving to another guest house closer to the centre, to be joined by the Duke on Sunday morning. Bring on the next part of our adventure!

Posted by TheDukes 20:50 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia phnom_penh volunteering drag_show

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