In Bloom For The New Year

Here in Cambodia, the Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated “unofficial” holidays.

Days before it actually happens, the Khmer people begin to make special preparations – cleaning up and decorating their homes with lanterns, shopping for ingredients needed for the special feast, & just basically fulfilling age-old traditions that will ensure an auspicious welcome the coming year.

Part of this tradition is having a shrub that grows a beautiful yellow flower called angkea sel. This shrub, which resembles a Japanese cherry blossom, is believed to bring in good fortune if it blooms & blossom in the first few days of the Chinese New Year.

Right now, certain streets here in Phnom Penh are riddled with vendors of this must-have flora. It is quite interesting that there can be 8 to 12 sellers within a 30 meter stretch, all providing the supplies needed for the growing demand of the occasion. And when the demand is greater than the supply, prices of these precious plants are beginning to increase daily as the New Year races closer.

But it doesn’t matter, because the people here in Cambodia (like in any other country or community) loves their traditions. They will surely get hold of the angkea sel just to make sure that they will be able to secure a better future in the Year of the Metal Rabbit.

And as for me, a non-local, it is just wonderful to know that a plant can hold more meaning and hope beyond it’s God-given beauty.


“I’ll Do It Every Week!”

About a year ago, I had my first and only attempt at blogging. However, I had proven myself unsuccessful at it, with only 2 posts since I set it up. The reasons-slash-excuses for my 1st blog’s short life: 1) I had no time to do it; 2) I had nothing to write about; and, 3) even if I had items 1 & 2, I had no writing skills!

So in an effort to redeem myself, I set up this blog, justbeingarnie, about 2 weeks ago thinking that this time, I’ll be able to commit. So I poured my heart out on post #1 entitled “Just Being Me”.

That was 10 days ago.

Today, I stumbled upon the Post-A-Day & Post-A-Week Challenges on the News page. Reading through it gave me a lightbulb moment – no, make that a kick in the butt – because it felt, and appeared, like I was going the exact same route as the first time I had a blog. AND REALLY, I don’t want it to happen again.

So, I am taking the PostAWeek Challenge to prove what just being Arnie can do and accomplish.