I was tearing down a deep flight of stairs surrounded by other heaving bodies. We were running, because we were told to. We were commanded to go to this place and we knew there was no choice but to obey. Over a loudspeaker, a voice told us we were to assemble somewhere below. We were told we had to partake in the activity, that it was mandatory for all. The mechanic voice added that we would have the option to leave – only if we had… comprehensive health insurance.

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Cambodia, Expat, Fashion, lifestyle, Phnom Penh

$langin’: The Editor’s Letter: The Phnom Penh Way


I wrote this piece for $langin’ a few months ago and am just getting around to posting it now. My task was to share a bit about a day in the office of an English Editor at a Khmer fashion publication. While there had to be some self-imposed censorship- and mind you this was written about 3 months ago- I think it still does capture what I’ve experienced thus far.

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Cambodia, Expat, Fashion, Phnom Penh, Travel


anna cat

Tomorrow the ghosts, spooks, and trickery come out for Halloween in Cambodia.

Since roughly mid October my Facebook, Instagram, and tumblr have been overwrought with photos of “sexy Cookie Monster”, plenty of hot skeletons, “The Joker” (really? that’s still en mode?), the cats of the year (Grumpy, Nyan, et al) and Wes Anderson characters along with a spattering of stories on news pages about celebrities or this dolt (who- GREAT, JUST GREAT– is apparently coming to Cambodia soon) who think black face is a delightful and jaunty costume, perfect for a 21st century birthday soiree.

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Art, Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Repost: Natalie Polson, Khmer American, returns to her roots to unveil SEEN.


This article was featured on Anvaya, a network that aims to:

  1. Gather all the returnees within a social and professional effective network
  2. Support and welcome the Overseas Cambodians in their efforts to return
  3. Inform the Overseas Cambodians on business, social and employment opportunities in Cambodia
  4. Develop opportunities for Overseas Cambodians to return from abroad, especially young professionals
  5. Develop links between Cambodia and its diaspora

“When first meeting Natalie Polson, one senses a feeling of strength and passion underneath her calm, quiet, and seemingly shy exterior. When Natalie and I first began our partnership in March of this year, we both entered into it knowing little about each other except from that personal blogs, scattered emails, and a few meetings. Over time, a bond and friendship based on values, dreams, and hopes developed- the idea that the beauty, history, and intricacies of Cambodia’s arts can be shared with those around us and beyond. Now have worked together for roughly ten months- our insights, about Cambodia and each other have only grown- and I had a chance to sit down with Natalie for a brief yet intriguing chapter by chapter walk through her history, both in and away from Cambodia.

Natalie first ventured to the Kingdom of Wonder in 2002 while vacationing with family.  Her initial impressions of Phnom Penh was that of alluring exoticism, foreignness, and feeling a certain sense of inaccessibility to the surroundings and people due to the language gap. Natalie reminisces, “At the time, Cambodia felt very much like a movie set. It felt like a dream…surreal. It’s like I was a member of an audience, invited to come onto the stage and explore the scene.” The landscape at times, reminded her of the kind of setting that Gaugin would have captured in his paintings, that of a bright red ochre dust that settled on the countryside, the saffron coloration of the monks robes contrasted with the deep emerald hues of forested canopies.”

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Art, Cambodia, Expat, Food, Music, Phnom Penh, Travel

SEEN: The Kickstarter


And off we go! We’re launching SEEN- find out how you can be a part of making this happen, share this link & spread the word. Words can’t describe how we’re feeling about this project right now- but soon they will.

Visit our Kickstarter page for the full story.


Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel

The Exorcism?

Francois Henri Galland

It can be difficult to describe a typical day in Cambodia to a friend back home. Maybe that’s because in my opinion, there is no such thing as a “typical day”. Waking up to get to work around 8 and getting my tasks done until about 5 and then going work out; it sounds pretty ordinary. And for the most part, it feels that way.

What I do forget throughout the weeks that fly by is that I’m simply just used to a lot of the weird stuff. The cock fights on the side of the road. The vendors trucking around hundreds of small, seasoned clams in the baking sun, “street clams” as we call them. The fear of getting Dengue Fever rather than a common cold.

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh

Creative Block. June 25, 2013.


It might be the change of scenery at home, the end of another month writing what seems like the millionth article about suede booties, a bit of stress about going home for a visit in September and organizing it all-but I feel like I’ve hit a creative wall, or you know “writer’s block”. Except it’s not necessarily writer’s block, obviously- I’m still writing something, whether it’s good or not and I keep putting together pieces but I feel at the moment like my passion is dwindling. Is the return just too little?

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Cambodia, Fashion, Food, Music, Personal, Phnom Penh, United States

Stupid Cupid. February 15, 2013.

Enticing, no?

Enticing, no?

As I sat on the back of my Valentine’s moto, skimming by hordes of young couples donning sequined red dresses and earnestly chosen polyester button ups, I felt a pang of sadness.

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