The Villa

Sihanoukville Travel Blog

 › entry 89 of 126 › view all entries
Pool table

 

The Villa was a popular hang-out with German, Swiss, and Austrian friends in Sihanoukville - those living there year round, visiting from other parts of Cambodia, or on repeat visits from their fatherlands. Located on a breezy hill-side at the edge of town, it was a fine place to hang with the European expats while sitting out July and August rains. A gigantic two-story house was primarily home for Helmut, his Cambodian wife, Nary, and a good part of her family who earned their keep as caretakers, cooks, barkeeps, and 'gofers'. Two of its rooms were sometimes rented to temporary visitors; a Frenchman was staying in one. The primary attraction of the residence was its gazebo bar.

 

The circular bar offered ice cold Anchor draught beer for seventy-five cents a mug.

Pool and bar
A thirty-liter keg was delivered each day or two during the off-season. Helmut received one free keg for every twenty that he bought in a 30-day period. In the high season he merits two or three each month so basically drinks his own beer for free. It was common to see three or four laptops lining the bar, surfing slow internet connections. While hammocks swung, world-beat chill-out music played in the background. Most chatter was in German. A smaller open-air gazebo housed a pool table which was rarely used - and mostly then by family members. Several times each week the late morning or mid-day sun came out long enough to enjoy the swimming pool which was always clean, cool, and refreshing.

 

One evening, I was invited to stay for dinner. Nary had picked out a 3-kilo barracuda at the market.

New keg
That and potatoes were wrapped in tin foil and cooked nicely on the barbeque. Lettuce, tomato, and cucumber accompanied the dish.

 

Dessert was home grown. Besides green vines of passion fruit, banana, beetle-nut, and other tropical trees shading the Villa, coconut palms swayed throughout. One day while I was there a pair of workers harvested two of them. One shimmied high into the tree using hands and bare feet. A machete and a long length of rope were tied to his waist. After tying it off, he hacked a branch heavily clustered with coconuts and carefully lowered it to the ground. He got three bundles from one tree and two from the other. At least two of the bundles held more than twenty coconuts. The Villa would keep some of them and make about twenty dollars by selling the rest at the market. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on the day of the harvest. I did, however, capture a more treasured event; the delivery of a fresh keg.

Dr_Seuss says:
Drinking your own beer for free sounds a result :)
Posted on: Sep 16, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Pool table
Pool table
Pool and bar
Pool and bar
New keg
New keg
Villa gate
Villa gate
House and gazebo bar
House and gazebo bar
The Villa
The Villa
Side table
Side table
Behind the villa
Behind the villa
Pool-side palm
Pool-side palm
Passion fruit blossom
Passion fruit blossom
Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit
Flowers
Flowers
3-kilo barracuda
3-kilo barracuda
Pouring a cold one
Pouring a cold one
Guarding the fire
Guarding the fire
Tapper at the Villa
Tapper at the Villa
Barracuda
Barracuda
Last call
Last call
Villa pool
Villa pool
Villa
Villa
Nary chopping onions
Nary chopping onions
Villa kids
Villa kids
Villa T-shirt
Villa T-shirt
Helmut
Helmut
Nary and a nephew
Nary and a nephew
Hangin at the Villa
Hangin at the Villa
Pool reflection
Pool reflection
Exotic drink
Exotic drink
Discarded tea kettle or alien?
Discarded tea kettle or alien?