Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

March 29, 2015

I have always loved Bonsai tree since my first time to see it on the internet. Unluckily, it is not easy to find in Cambodia. On the internet, I learned that I could find Bonsai tree in Vietnam. However, I never had a chance to go to Vietnam since I have become fond of Bonsai.

How it looks on the internet. Don't you love it?
In March 2015, I went to Bangkok and did not mean to go to Jatujak plant market. It was when I and my friends Mamiao and Chanutr did not know where to go at night around 9:00 PM. Then, we agreed to go to plant market.

If you wish to shop at the market. You may do so as well. Jatujak market is a weekend market where people come to sell many different kinds of products, creative products. On Wednesday evenings, they open shops to sell plants.

There, Chanutr shopped many small plants. She loved them. So did I, but I did not have a clue on how to deliver it home.

After walking for a while in the market, I saw my lovely Bonsai trees! They were so lovely. It was so hard for me to choose because there were varieties! And the price varied a lot too. I tended to choose the small one so that I could carry home.

I bought my first Bonsai tree for 400 Baht ($13). It came with a vase.

My Bonsai tree at hotel in Bangkok

Since I traveled back to Phnom Penh by plane, I requested for help from my colleague who return from Bangkok by van to help deliver my Bonsai to the office. Because after talking with AirAsia staff, they told me that I cannot bring any kinds of plants on plane.

However, all was done and my Bonsai tree is now safe at home in Phnom Penh. I forgot to tell you, my Bonsai tree will have red fruit too :D

My Bonsai tree at home and is healthy

I have noticed that my car's tires had been producing lots of noise even there was nothing seemed to be wrong. When I got home, I noticed that many small stones got stuck with tires, even a small battery was attached there too. 

I did try to get most of them out of the tires with a sharp key. It did make less noise, and I guess when we remove these stones, we also make the tires last longer and the stones won't go too deep, and the stones won't at the same time with tires and there of course will be less noisy.

I'll probably start looking at this once in 1 or 2 months because Cambodia has a lot of roads under construction. 

March 26, 2015

On Sunday, March 15, 2015, I and my ILO colleagues traveled by van to Bangkok through Poi Pet - Aranyaprathet border. We had a great time along the way.

Us, stopping by at a Battambang restaurant for lunch, and resumed our trip at 13:00.

I and my colleagues have arrived at the border. Here is a picture of us already crossed the border, at Aranyaprathet side

Took this shot while waiting for Chhoung at Siam Paragon
So, the summit began with Connor's welcoming message and lots of inspiration
First evening of the EA Summit at pool party to welcome all Enterprise Advisors

Enterprise Advisors from other country programs seemed to like Krawma (Cambodian scarf) a lot. Cambodian team offered many gifts during the summit. 
A picture I took from BTS Udom Suk while waiting for Chhoung to go to IKEA at Mega Bangna. 
For the evening of second day, I went out with my colleagues to some malls in Bangkok.

Although M was so busy going to hospital, but he stopped by to carry a gift from Moscow to give me at Siam Paragon, while I was waiting to meet Chhoung on the first day of his arrival.

I missed walking with my girlfriend from hotel to Pratunam and BTS Ratchatewi every morning. And that was not long, we went there in November 2014, just 4 months before the EA Summit which took place in March 2015.
Walked through Central World almost everyday, took a chance to grab this shot with my iPhone 5

Waiting for ferry to come. Here is Mamiao my lovely friend. Don't remind me of her getting mad. It was scary. But that was my fault that I kept her waiting all of the time.

The next day after spending a night on a floating house, Mamiao's friends started swimming. I joined them after :D. It was my first time to swim in such a big lake. I only used to swim in pool. This was a great experience. 

M, Mamiao, Chanutr, and I - We met at Terminal 21 for cheap dinner. Thanks my lovely friends who come to see me every time I go there. 

A house-like boat was dragging our floating house to an island for a better view and cleaner lake to swim. It took one hour to drag the house there. 

My colleagues cheered during pool party during the EA Summit

Always the same buffet, every morning. Sigh.. 

P' House was singing all along during the trip to Kanchanaburi, and yet when he got back, he still sang at his HThroughHeart Ice Cream shop at Khao San road. He is so energetic!! Not to mention, his ice cream was so delicious! 

Chhoung, M and I at Mega Bangna. Chhoung wanted to shop a book case and we decided to go there again. 

Before crossing the big lake to another side of Kanchnaburi province

With Mamiao in Central World for Tacos

Chhoung got up like this

Evo was introducing Diagnosis in the EA summit

Ice Cream introduced by M at Terminal 21. So many flavors. Love it.

I liked standing at this corner with less people on BTS

Spent my last night before returning home to watch a movie called Run All Night. 

This year at the EA Summit, the team building activity was to build Krathoong and present its meaning  

Also went to Asiatique again and bought some small gifts for ILO colleagues

Another picture at Asiatique

Minna, was acting as press during EA summit

Took sometime to visit with Mamiao and Chanutr at Jatujak plant market on Wednesday night

Kanchanaburi waterfall. It was beyond reality! 

I bought a Bonsai tree from Jatujak. Love it and going to take care of it well.

After the EA Summit, I stayed at Tune Hotel with Chhoung. I love this location as it's very close to Terminal 21

In warehouse of IKEA
The trip ended well with M seeing us off at the airport on March 24, 2015. 

I hope to see Mamiao, M, and Chanutr, Ae, Mai, Mim, and other Thai friends visiting Cambodia soon. I won't let Mamiao wait for me again :D

March 7, 2015

Boycott is the power to negotiate for what we want and that is positive change. Abroad where people follow democracy, boycott is quite popular as it will help citizen to bargain for what they really want. For example, when a brand is taking advantage of cheap labour, or forced labour, and citizen realizes that, they simply tell one another to help boycott the brand so that they will change. That is why more and more brands tend to create Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department. If you open a company, what you care is profit, not any CSR, that is the nature of business. However, since companies are afraid of people boycotting their products, they tend to care more about their workers' welfare and working conditions so that it is fair.

In Cambodia, however, boycott is not popular. People do not normally join hand to bargain for what they want, and simply lose the power to the authority or someone who have more money. Yet, in Cambodia, we are more familiar with citizen-justice where when people witness injustice, they do not send the accused to the court, instead they want to take justice by beating in public, which is totally different from boycotting because boycott is resilient and perseverance.    

Politically speaking, in 2013 after an election, one political party did use this strategy to bargain with the winning party. It did work!

I would like to raise an awareness that we all should join hand to fight injustice and noncompliance. We are the people have this power to boycott, and boycott will kill our opponent economically. That is why in a company, they need a union, because a union represents collective employees. The more members a union has, the better it is.

From this post, I hope that people understand more about their own power to drive change and to cooperate more as a collective force. It can be shown via stopping from buying certain products or using a service if they have bad impacts for the other people' livelihoods. We have to understand that we alone don't have any power to fight against authority, but we collectively can make authority think twice.

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