Home Sweet U-PVC home

Right now, in this tortured moment, I would give my left arm for a fruit salad!! A glossy bowl of crisp apple slices, soft buttons of banana, plump grapes that slosh their juices into your moth when your teeth break their straining skins, dark, sweet cherries, tart luscious raspberries, intoxicating strawberries, maybe even a few daring cubes of kiwi and sticky orange segments! Oh be still my scurvy-fearing heart!

I can’t afford to lose my left arm though, even to satisfy impassioned fresh fruit fantasies; I need it to serve in the restaurant. “Serve with the left from the left. Clear with the right from the right.” So the mantra goes at any rate.

– These where my thoughts about a week into a month-long internship at a swanky hotel on a large boulder in the sea masquerading as an island in the Koh Rong archipelago. Staff, it turns out, do not benefit all that often from fresh fruit or veg, and since the budget for feeding the 160 odd staff at the hotel was smaller than a gnat’s nostril I’m not all that surprise that my entire body decided to protest the lack of vitamins.

Having said that, the flowery language on display here could well have been down to the ridiculously enormous spliff my roommate was smoking at the time. Such is life on a tropical island: struggling to keep a grip on your mind while your Swiss workaholic bunkmate gets blitzed out of her own in your plastic home which is, incidentally, about the width of a baby gecko’s arm span. Still, at least it helps me sleep through the bit of the night where the sky decides to fall in.

May I introduce, once again, the now infamous Khmer weather system… or lack of system. Around about 3am most nights the angels go bowling with a vengeance. I mean, this is thunder it seems as if the entire world should be able to hear! Not to mention the rain! It crashes onto the corrugated iron roof like an army of star jumping elephants! Meanwhile, if allowed to remain un-baked by my roommate, I lie wide awake wondering how long it will take to die when the roof collapses under the torrent and if I’ll drown rather than being crushed since none of the building materials in our house actually weigh more than me. If hot-boxed by the in-house dope dispensary, however, I sleep like a deaf brick. It’s fabulous!

Welcome to Sweetheart Island.

xx

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