Saturday was International Day at ISPP. This used to be a bit of a non affair for the kiwis with a possible small showing at the parade of nations. Two years ago this all changed. The call went out and kiwis stepped foward from beneath the fog of their busy Phnom Penh lives to perform, entertain and feed.
.......and a thunderous and fiercesome haka.....
After the performances we fed the crowd with New Zealand ice cream and popcorn and enticed them into our Kiwi movie theatre to watch some of New Zealands best ads and a montage of our New Zealand photos featuring members of the crew put to 'Melting pot' by When the cats away.
A exhausting day filled with comraderie, laughter and kiwiness was enjoyed by all.
That night was the opening night, of a three show run, of the Christmas Panto 'Aladdin under the sea' by the Phnom Penh Players. It had been an intense lead up with a couple of months of rehearsals and preparation in a leisurely manner followed by two weeks of almost nightly rehearsals for M who played Aladdins best friend Zac and hours in the car going back and forth and copious coffees while waiting in cafes for homework to be finished, because there is not enough time between school and stage to battle the war that is the traffic between town and home, for me. But it was all worth it in the end because M was made for the stage and well panto is christmas. We take what we can get when living in a country where there isnt a day off on the 25th!
Later that night our driver told us that he and M had been in the car on saturday morning (racing home to get the New Zealand music I had left behind) when he heard three gun shots just behind them. He pulled to the shoulder, crawling slowly. A split second later a moto with two boys speeds past with a police car full of gun totting thugs...opps sorry I meant policemen... on their exhaust filled tail. This hot on the heels of a similar incident in the land where the gun is law where the 'robbers' eventually turned on their uniformed pursuers in the middle of the road and fired back. Everyone has a gun here it seems. J has already been 'shown' a pistol (similar to being shown who is boss).....gun comes out of glovebox, is stroked and bullets checked, replaced then gun is bedded back down into its 'drawer' owner satisfied J has been reminded that....The Gun Is Law in Cambodia. I guess thats why we get a weeks 'hardship' leave, even the police don't routinely carry guns in New Zealand.