Friday, November 09, 2007

The Lake & Weddings

Sunset at Boeung Kak lake
For how much longer will this scene at Boeung Kak lake, where two young boys are paddling their small boats across the lake at sunset, be repeated? The master plan to drain and fill-in the lake for land reclamation and redevelopment was due to begin this month, but so far nothing has happened, which will please the owners of the numerous guesthouses and businesses in the lakeside area that cater to the backpacker crowd who frequent the area. They will lose out big-time when the plan finally does kick-off but Phnom Penh could lose out too, as the lake currently acts as a natural drain for some of the city’s floodwaters. Once the lake is reclaimed, no-one seems to know where the floodwaters will end up.

I have a wedding to enjoy tomorrow. I even went to Parkway for a timely $4 hair-cut last night in preparation. It’ll be an all day affair, kicking-off at around 6.30am and going on until late into the evening. It’ll be the second time I’ve spent the whole day at a wedding. This time, a close friend of mine for the last seven years, Ara, will marry Ly, somewhere west of Pochentong Airport and then the afternoon/evening party will be held in one of the wedding restaurants at the Mondial Center in the city. Ara tells me that over 600 people have been invited to the party! I’m sure it’ll be a great success and I’m looking forward to the usual outfit changes throughout the day, the ceremonial hair-cutting, the tying of string on the bride and groom’s wrists and so on. It’s not everyone’s idea of fun but having only experienced it once before, it still holds a fascination for me, as to the sheer effort, stamina and endurance required for a typical Khmer wedding. It’s the beginning of the wedding season, so if you are visiting Cambodia sometime soon, you can’t fail to see one somewhere on your travels. Look out for the tell-tale tented village projecting across much of the road and the loud music blaring out at all hours.

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