Today I meet my friend J for the first time since Merida Mexico earlier this year or so. He and I stayed at the same airbnb for awhile and then he left a few weeks before I did. He went back to work in the US and I left in March for a week in Houston. Now it has been months later and he arrived early this morning in Phnom Penh hopefully. He will get the retirement visa here today after we meet some khmer friends for breakfast down the street and get him a SIM card so he can do basic stuff like ride hailing with PassApp.
The visa agent here is exemplary. Kim delivers really good service and will work hard to get his extension hopefully before we go but we will see. Perhaps he will have to change things a bit. Life happens. When I got my visa extension it took her 3 days from the day I gave her the passport and a photo and the cash in USD to get the visa. It still has to be one of the easiest retirement visa extensions to get and Cambodia has ranked 12th in the world for retirees. I can attest to the happiness of living here. There is just a peace and happiness thing here especially in Siem Reap. Phnom Penh is nice to visit but no way is it even close to the vibe and mood in Siem Reap. The retiree community in both places thrive. I read there are 100k expats living in Phnom Penh. Some of those work here but some also are retired thanks to the government making it easy to spend money and live reasonable here.
I hope J enjoys the same stuff. Each person is different so one person would want the big city life of Phnom Penh while others want the slower pace and peace that Siem Reap or Kampot can bring. Battambang is on some different track. Perhaps I’ll go to both next year on some kind of bus tour.
Some expats want communities of other expats to join in with. There are the places where one can go to find those people. I don’t particularly enjoy expat community places. I prefer to do drinking not around a bunch of expats. Most of them smoke and smoking is still allowed in restaurants in many cases and I particularly dislike cigarette smoke and how it taints the very air I breathe and can touch the food or clothing and leave them smelling. Luckily also most restaurants offer open air seating to eat.
So today J and I will head out after some morning coffee here and do a few tasks. Have a nice breakfast with some Khmer friends. Meet up with the visa agent and get that going. In a week we are supposed to head to Siem Reap. He will have a few weeks to see if he wants to live there. I hope he decides to find his own thing and if that happens to be Phnom Penh, getting back is easy on the bus. If it is Siem Reap that is good too.
Now it is early morning instant coffee in the hotel with some Asia news channel in English going. I don’t recall the last time I watched TV news. Maybe in California when I visited there for a few days. Gonna head down in an hour to meet J. Going to be interesting seeing him again after months only chatting on WhatsApp every so often. I knew when I left to live in Asia he wanted to go. Living in western countries leaves a lot to be desired. I could not do Canada or the United States or most of Europe. It seems there is no randomness left there or the feeling of things not being done. I need and thrive on the feeling life is still being built. I have not found that feeling anywhere but Asia. Maybe that is part and parcel of the Edge for me. I think it is. The Edge has always been a metaphysical and philosophical thing but also a physical one. I hope J finds his Edge but it also cannot be mine. We all must find the thing or things or people that propel us. One thing I know for me there is no going backwards. Backwards is doom and gloom.
Time only will tell but we start early morning on the blog time. Instant coffee poured up. The blog post is done.