The Comeback

Hi! I’m back again 🙂
Sorry, I was gone again for what seemed like eternity. I’ve been MIA for the nth time (blogging, social media) because I was avoiding people (still do). There are just certain people that will suck out all the happiness in you. Yes, the Dementor kind. They are always right, dramatic, they bring you down, and drag you with them into the depths of their own misery and negativity — and this makes you question your whole existence. I don’t feel comfortable with them around me; talking to them always leave me drained and exhausted. Wait, what? Is it right for me to say that all those time I was “absent” from blogging (read: evading my so-called friends) and  moping in my corner I had an existential crisis ? Oh, that’s deep, dude.

I’m glad I went offline again for some time. I let all the negativities and unpleasantness wash over with the passing of time. The Dementors are still around (I didn’t want to alienate them or for them to think I’m aloof) but I don’t and won’t let their unpleasantness latch on to me anymore. I’m not exactly terminating our friendship because they’re also good people, but something like I won’t be seeing/interacting with them frequently, you know. I’ll keep my distance.

So far, so good.
I can now go back to regular programming 🙂
I’ll leave you with this little doodle with a positive message I did recently. Until next post, ciao.

Let’s all do.

Arte, arte!

Hello, blog.

Just an update (especially for those two of you who reads this).

So I have been doing some commission work for friends, nothing massive but enough to keep me busy all this time. Recently, an Indonesian who introduced himself as a font designer asked me if I could make him an exemplar in modern script (meaning, my calligraphic style), for a fee, of course. While I was flattered that I got offered to do this kind of job, I declined as this is not actually what I want to do or make. I found this guy’s online shop and — lo and behold — he is selling these kinds online! Tsk, tsk… these guys!

Anyways, I’m currently experimenting on gouache paint. It’s similar to watercolour paints, but it is more opaque and the texture more powdery or chalky. However, I like the colours though. Here’s one example:

Mixing gouache paints
Mixing colours is fun! These are pastel blue and pink. You can also see the bottles of drawing ink on the upper right hand side of the picture; I use them for calligraphy.

My younger brother requested for pastel colours. Since there is no pink nor any pastel colours on the gouache, I took it upon myself to mix colours. YouTube is a fountain useful of video tutorials, I found out. Choosing one tutorial to use is quite a challenge. Thanks to these generous people who upload their video, they are helping newbies like me! So, what do you think of the result?

I’m back.

For someone who’s coming back after a very long blog hiatus, what would be the best comeback post? Lol.
I don’t know who’s still reading my blog posts here, but if anyone remembers this poor blog and this poor blogger, here’s something that partially sums up what I’ve been doing or where I’ve been during my blogging absence.

minion

One day I had a lousy day or two, the next week there was so much to do at home, and the next, I lacked the energy to blog, and so on and so forth, that before I knew it, weeks and months had passed me by. I’ve fallen mightily behind with my posts and I don’t have any excuse for that. The past months have been spent on ‘adulting’. Very challenging, if you ask me, but since it’s part and parcel of life then I must keep on keeping on. Anybody here can relate, raise your hands, please!

My focus now is to get back into the blogging groove.
I’ve been reading blogs about how to successfully return to blogging after a long slump and I’m getting pretty useful tips from bloggers out there.

Wait.

As I am typing this, I can hear the soft melodious sound coming from my neighbour’s house. Their back window is open and I can hear the daughter playing the keyboard. I was amazed at how fast she learned the theory and played the instrument – I didn’t even know there are different types of keyboards in the market. But I digress. Funny, I know. Till next post.

Blue Monday: Cheap clothings

Ahem. I am back.
I wasn’t planning on a long leave from blogging. In fact, I didn’t have any plans to have a blog leave at all. However, since it is already summer – notorious for the scorching heat and persistent daily power cuts – I just stopped blogging. No pre-written posts, no photos in the drafts. Nada. Then the Khmer New Year came (we went on a holiday) and gone (and I didn’t really made an effort to go back, le sigh). I just sat back and allowed this blog to go stagnant. Meh.

Glad that I’ve woken up from that funk! So now I’m slowly inching to go back into the blogging groove again. Let me start again with this photo for our Blue Monday meme:

Clothes everywhere. Cheap, too.
Clothes everywhere. Cheap, too.

There’s so much cheap RTW (ready-to-wear) goods in Cambodia. Most of them are factory overruns, from hundreds of factories operating in the country. So you can imagine the quantity and the variety. In the above photo,  the goods are displayed in stalls in and around Psah Thmey (or Central Market). They are of good quality, and cheap, too. If you don’t mind the heat and sweat from digging through the pile, you are guaranteed to go home with the best buys. If this is not your preference, there are also air-conditioned shops nearby selling similar goods but more expensive.

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Blue Monday: Fancy

Some months ago, out of boredom, my husband and I set out to see what goes inside a local market. That day we went to Psah Olympic, or the Olympic Market. To my blogger-friends who haven’t been to Asia yet, shopping is quite an adventure in Asian markets. Cambodia is no exception. It is quite a treat to the senses!

I just might write some more about this market tours in my future blog posts, including photos. For the meantime, let me share you one of the sights I managed to capture inside the Olympic Market.

On the third floor of the market is where you will find fabrics of all kinds and, of course, Cambodian silk. Aside from the many shops selling fabrics and ready-to-wear dresses, there are also shops where seamstresses make these custom-made fancy clothes.

Cambodian wedding dress
Fancy dresses for Cambodian women on display at Psah Olympic. These are actually the traditional ones women wear during weddings. The more glitters there are, the more fabulous the wearer thinks it is.

The colours are splendid and the glitters even more fabulous.

These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman.  It lis still
These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman. The dresses are still bedecked in glittery sequins and the colour vibrant but, compared to the above photo, look more “subdued”.

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Quiet weekends

I like quiet weekends. And so does my husband.
There is nothing better to us than to have a plan-free weekend, with our time free to potter around the house.

Of course, we still do errands and shopping (recently we were scouting for a yamaha hs50m for his class) and other chores but, for most of the time, you would catch us relaxing, pursuing our own hobbies, or napping, and then we’ll have a nice dinner at home or, on rare occasions, dine out in our favourite restaurant. Our lifestyle is definitely changing and I’m pleased about it.

Grilled mackerel laced in mixed spices, mango salsa, and Chinese bok choi with oyster sauce and garlic.
Grilled mackerel laced in mixed spices, mango salsa, and Chinese bok choi with oyster sauce and garlic.

The past weekend, my husband wanted to have some grilled fish. And so we trooped to Psah Thmey and bought nearly a kilo of mackerel (2 pcs for 17,000riels) for grilling and ingredients for the Khmer mango salsa to go with the fish.

Every time we visit Psah Thmey it is crowded than ever, no thanks to the busloads after busloads of tourists that go there and the worsening traffic. It was nice to be in the market last weekend when most of the shoppers and tourists have already gone. Psah Thmey was no longer crowded (it was around 12nn) and so we’ve avoided the traffic jam as well as bumping into fumbling tourists in great numbers who were eager for bargains. Still, despite the crowd, the overpriced goods and sellers more aggressive than ever, Psah Thmey retains its charm that we keep on coming back.

We were home by 1pm and we didn’t get the dinner started till 4pm. We capped our day with a movie after this sumptuous dinner we bought earlier today.

My current state of affairs

Work stuff. Where are you, Friday?

Not meaning to clog up my blog with random stuff but here I go posting one of those random blog posts…

It’s pretty much the same thing at my end. Endless documents that needed submitting, new urgent tasks that land on top of my already-endless urgent task list. Attending team call outs via skype. Running to and fro the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, checking hotel rooms for the volunteers. Requesting photos for our Center’s signages to running around canvassing for brochure prints. On top of that, I’m waging a silent war against da monmon in every lunch meetings that I go to.

I’m really surprised that I am still sane after all of these. So please bear with me for awhile till this mighty wave of workload has gone away.

Tones on Tuesday: Giant image

Scattered Horizons

Hi, folks. I hope you all are well. Sharing again a picture that I played with digitally. I’ve been fixated with selective colouring lately and have been practising. I’m far from being an expert and I do get frustrated at most of the results of my tinkering, hah.

tones on tuesday entrance gate
Buddha’s image on the entrance gate of a Buddhist wat (temple).

It’s not a very good editing but I reckon it is good enough for sharing here. There are actually three more giant images there facing all four directions. This style is very reminiscent of the ancient Bayon Temple in Siem Reap.

Tones on Tuesday: Sunset silhouette

Scattered Horizons

Now you see me again, hah! I haven’t been posting in a while because of flu. Darn. Perhaps I caught the flu virus two weeks ago when my husband and I went downtown to canvass the price of a printer. Actually we can find prices of local printers online because there are now a lot of Cambodian online stores but my husband insisted on going out and check the units and prices with our own eyes.

So anyways, despite the flu, I’ve managed to prepare photos for my blogs this week. And here’s my Tones on Tuesday entry:

Kep, Phnom Bokor, silhouette

Kep has arguably the best sunsets in the whole of Cambodia. The lifestyle is as tranquil as its waters. On the background is the lovely silhouette of Phnom Bokor in Kampot, some 30mins away from this point.

This photo was taken one afternoon, not too long ago, in the coastal town of Kep. Located on the southernmost part of Cambodia facing the Gulf of Thailand and the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, it reminds me so much of my hometown in the Philippines.

I will never tire coming back to Kep. It’s our (my husband and mine) home away from home.