Living Large in Cambodia
So lately I’ve been taking care of some things I should have done before here. I have been wanting a Cambodian bank account so I can more easily use Cambodian Riel for shopping and paying. I stopped using US dollars although they are accepted everywhere just about. The problem with US dollars is they inspect each bill carefully for tears, rips, stains and most of the bills I get in change or even from ATM machines that dispense US money have those problems. Riel is easier to use since it is the national currency and they cannot refuse even if the bill is in bad shape. My friend A insists on using Riel for everything because she has US dollars in her purse that cannot be used at all and it pisses her the F off.
What one must do each time getting change in US currency is to carefully inspect the money or get stuck with a bill no one will take. One anecdotal story perhaps. In September after getting into Phnom Penh, I took out US dollars from an ATM and one of the $50s were slightly torn. No one would even consider it. That’s a lot of currency to me to not be able to just use. Instead I took to this big bank and talked the nice Khmer teller into exchanging it for Riel. Then I decided no more US currency ever.
The easiest way here is to find a currency app that will show you the different worldwide currencies and then show you US dollars and Riel side by side. Or just use the simple old retired guy way. Just figure that 4000 riel (or so) equals $1. Now when I go to the bank, I take out Riel only and end up with a big amount of 50k Riel notes. One of them is about $12.50 so the exchange to go figure is easy. I mentally track the cost in US dollars but having A around is better. She has instant translation ability :-).
In fact, all of living is easier with just a Khmer person helping with things here. A helps with cost for things in markets, shops, stores. Food she just orders in Khmer for us.
Transition to Walking
So from living large to walking. Wow. How can I possibly do this justice? Well, this is my blog so what I say goes. Yesterday went out stumbling around. Not really looking for major things. I got to taking photos and had installed a few camera apps. It dawned on me I hated all of them for different reasons. Halide is goofy, Procamera seems to approximate the default app, Camera+ is a bit less goofy but it crashes at times. I don’t understand how these apps can be professional apps. Many seem approximations of the default app. What I wish is to just take photos, edit them in Darkroom, share them. Shoot JPG photos mostly. ProRAW is neat but expensive in size. I am just glad I am no photographer and I don’t got to carry some $2k camera thing around. Them days ended when I got rid of the Fuji cameras. Waste of money and my time. The iPhone 14 pro is more fun out walking, going, doing. I am not looking for instagram or Flickr moments. Definitely not the boring Glass photo app. I want to share the photos in the blog and on mastodon. But mostly they are my memories and experiences and moments.
Out walking, doing, being. I found some of this grist for the mill as I went. I do like finding the moments out there that I want to save and savor. Sometimes it is something humorous and other times a little geometric.
I do this by the way. I stopped. Unlike some motorbikes and cars. Stopping is nice BTW. I sometimes think I stop and then choose yet another way to go. A calls it my walking and walking. She told me today,
you go walking honey. When we move I take swimming pool.
I can do either or both but it is the walking with no goal in sight and stopping when I please that makes going so much better. I will always take the pool we will have for times of sitting, reading, stopping.
So that’s living large and stopping in Siem Reap. My rant on camera BS notwithstanding.