So this is the GOODBYE CAMBODIA post as I left the country on August 13, 2021. I thank everybody who has ever supported me on this almost 12-year journey. An utmost colorful chapter in the book of my life.
Thank you for your connection here, your dedication in Phnom Penh, your time to escape to the most comfortable movie theater South-East Asia has ever had, and your desire to see it grow into what it became.
Kolyan Keth now runs the Foodoo – The $5 Gourmet Dinner Box project, which I founded when I saw the need for dinner box deliveries three years ago. My pride and joy for better bread baking in Cambodia, Sandwich Heaven, is passed onto the hands of the highly professional Khmer managers. I keep the secret recipes for my vegetarian nut cheeses by The Nutcracker with me (I can always restart such production elsewhere again). The Phnom Penh’s English Book Exchange with a collection over over +1250 English fiction books has moved to Botanico Wine & Beer Garden.
My latest project, the literary magazine The Quiet Reader, will always stay an online project with the world’s most beautiful short stories by new and emerging authors. But imagine a Best Of-book, one day. To be continued…
The Flicks Community Movie House is closed forever and the venue has been stripped bare. What an enormous joy and connection with the community that job gave me. I don’t think I will ever meet that many people as through an operation like that.
I am so happy the ceiling plates did not fall down in the last weeks, the projector lamp didn’t die, the AC only needed one final re-gas, nobody fell through the termite infested floor planks below the carpet — so it can all nicely collapse on its own, in peace.
Living in Cambodia allowed me to travel and experience the different cultures in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia (where the earthquake tremors gave me some serious PTSD for months), Singapore, Malaysia, but also further away in Japan (which is “the most beautiful woman I have ever met, but I have no clue what she’s saying”), South Korea and China.
Thanks for all the memories, drinks, the foods, foreign friends visiting, the laughs, the journeys, pub quizzes, bike rides, brunches, beaches, sports, islands, and the many celebrations that made it all too unforgettable for the rest of my life.
Cambodia surely has its ups and downs and I have had my share (and enough) of all tropical diseases you can throw at me (I will tell you about that unforgettable typhoid experience for a few beers), but they are experiences nobody can ever take away from me.
There is a expression going around that if you can’t handle yourself (or a business) in Cambodia, you can’t handle yourself anywhere else and I see a good sense of truth in there.
Cambodia is a weird, sometimes baffling, but other times a true magical kingdom of wonder – that will always keep you wondering (and bribing the relevant ministries).
I am moving on, pursuing my dreams and passions. It’s time for a new life elsewhere.
To cite a recent fan mail: Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.