down on the corner

nanny interviewing… a difficult task. not all are Mary Poppins it seems… we are trying to do the best for Otis in this but unfortunately we don’t really understand the nuances of his high pitched screaming (does it mean he likes her, or do it mean he don’t…?) Then there’s this whole unspoken dialogue behind the look in his potential nanny’s eyes – ‘my god, he is SO big, he must be 5 years old not 5 months… he is so WHITE… do they bathe him in bleach?’ Otis could definitely be the pin-up baby boy for skin-whitening products in SE Asia(ladies – want your skin to be as white as this cute little chubby’s botty? Then use new Bleach-o- White wonder cream! At a stall near you NOW!) As much as many westerners obsess over being brown(er), the ideal of beauty for the Cambodian woman is to be white(r). God must be a marketing man, as I swear to him that you cannot buy anything vaguely cosmetic here that does not have some skin-whitening effect. Thank the lord that at least Coco Pops still turn the milk brown…
The lesson for y’all today is to discover, or re-discover, Creeedence Clearwater Revival. Honest and raw, rock and roll. It came out of the sky. Now find where it landed and plug in – any album will do, even the so-called heinous Mardi Gras (worst album ever by a major band? Nah – that honour goes to… that Duran Duran covers record, whose name thankfully escapes me) which holds the wondrous ‘sweet hitchiker’. Listen and enjoy and get a little excited. There’s a Bad Moon Risin’ around my house tonight… thank you Mr. Fogerty…
…see you down on the corner

‘who’ll stop the rain?’ (Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos/Iraq)


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