Saturday, November 28, 2009


Sorry for the lack of updates this past week, but things have been so busy I just haven't had the time. Tomorrow is the annual Women's International Group Christmas Bazaar at the Intercontinental Hotel and we've been frantically trying to prepare enough stock to sell. Two knitters from Toul Sambo, Vireak and Koun, joined us in the workshop for the week to help out. This was great not only because we needed the extra hands, but because it demonstrated to the trainers how far their students had come.

I had been in contact with Hagar for a few weeks, trying to meet with them to and hire a couple of their students. Hagar is another local organization that uses the social enterprise approach to help women from difficult (often devastating) backgrounds get back on their feet. I met with two of their graduate students and hired them on the spot. They both have training in sewing and work experience in this area, but were keen to try working with knitted items instead. They won't be doing any knitting, focusing on assembly instead.

Finally, I have to write about the latest addition to what is a plethora of massage options in Phnom Penh. One of the greatest things about living here is the availability of cheap, amazing massage. The options are almost limitless. You can go to a fancy spa on the riverside and have a 25$ Swedish massage, go to an arty French-run spa for an Indian head massage for 10$ or, one of my favourites, pay only 5$ for an incredible, stress releasing accupressure massage at Seeing Hands (massage by the blind). There are countless foot massage places, upscale spas and everything in between. There are 5000 riel (1.25$) massage places galore, but they only specialize in massaging a certain part of the male body... And then today I saw this:

I don't really know what to say... Rambo, massage by man. The man himself? Obviously not. Another man that is buff like Rambo? Or is the massage so violent and dangerous that it can only be described as Rambo? Is Rambo massage a new style of massage that will slowly become popular with time? People will walk out and show their cuts, bruises and other abrasions and say, 'it hurt, but man do I ever feel refreshed now that he stopped beating me.'

This, uh, spa, is only only meters away from our apartment. Will it become my new favourite? Will I get to know each and every masseuse and choose a favorite? Will I ever actually have the courage to give it a go?

I think I'll send Yeng first.

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