People have been giving me little gifts lately — and I ain’t complaining! Thanks to fashion consultant Tara for the batik, which conveniently allows me to sleep in. And cheers to Emiko for the Tim Burton book, which is very Roald Dahl / Edward Gorey influenced.

Also on the comic front, parked my butt at Jars of Clay coffee shop (a secret refuge around the corner from the Russian Market) and discovered they had a copy of “Lots of Lat”. Lat is Malaysia’s premier comic export – he writes in English and Malay and is funny and poignant. Everybody likes Lat, trust me on this one. (Have I ever steered you wrong yet?) And believe it or not, he’s actually got an animated series based on his books, which you can buy bootlegged in most Phnom Penh markets.

Friday at Sovanna Phum was great – new shadow puppet story, and lots of familiar faces. Finally caught up with Juana, a classmate from the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute. This is a cram school where you can learn Southeast Asian languages (Lao, Burmese, Tagalog, Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Javanese, etc.) – one year in ten weeks.

Hadn’t seen Juana in seven years! She is doing some difficult and important work with children and AIDS patients here in Phnom Penh. Viva Juana! Maybe I can have a small reunion of my old SEASSI class while I am here.

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