Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 89 of 126 › view all entries
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.
One evening, I was invited to stay for dinner. Nary had picked out a 3-kilo barracuda at the market.
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.