Which makes me think why do I like being here? I am going to list those reasons that come to mind.
- I like the warm weather, I even somewhat like the high temps. I even like playing tennis under the blazing sun with high humidity. Though it is nice to have cloud cover at times.
- I like no rather love that I am riding my bike everyday and don't have a car. It is an adventure every time I get on my bike and have to negotiate the traffic. It's a game it's a dance it's hard to explain. There are rules but not comparable to our traffic/biking ones at home. And it's not just the traffic that needs negotiating the roads too, both paved and dirt/rock. Staying alert is key.
- I like that I can play tennis outside year round. I absolutely think I have improved my game, I've been playing some very good players here. I'd be kicking ass back home, ha ha.
- I like that I am meeting and talking to and making friends with Khmers as well as folks from all over the world.
- I like that it's a young crowd here, both Khmers and ex-pats. The vitality and energy of the young is wonderful. There are certainly some of my cohorts here and I do miss at times that dynamic.
- I do like the beauty of the Khmers, ok I'm talking about the beautiful women here. 'Nuff said.
- I like being able to go out to eat whenever because it can be so inexpensive AND good.
- I love the open air food markets. The fresh produce. The fruit. The fish. I could go on but let just say it's been great trying new and delicious fruits, greens, fish, vegetables. I eat so much better here, fish often.
- I like my big kitchen, our balcony, being outside almost all the time, as we 'live' on the balcony.
- I like seeing the fruit bats in the night sky off our balcony, hundreds of them pass by.
- I love seeing so many kids here and being able to work with some of them and seeing them learn and discover.
I'm sure there are other factors contributing to being comfortable here, perhaps some that are difficult to articulate. For example I feel that my brain is being challenged in new and different ways: figuring out Khmer culture, trying to understand accents (around the world accents) is a challenge for me, the language, and more. Gotta keep that brain active as a way to avoid 'oldtimers' disease (Alz.) as my kids used to say. .
I just discovered how delicious passion fruit is, it's got that sweet/sour mix I love. And they are @ 6 for a buck. How could I have been here a year and not found this out sooner? Well many new fruits here is my excuse. How many more out there?!
So a year has indeed come and gone and it's been fabulous. No thoughts yet about returning to the States, though lately I'm missing and thinking about friends and family back home, just looking forward to the 2nd year.