09 March 2013

It’s a sign: Cambodia

Following the riotous success (over 300 people have read it!) of my earlier blog about the interesting and intriguing signs I discovered in Peru (see It’s a sign: Peru), I feel it is time to share some of the treasures I have tripped over in Cambodia!

This first one I like as much for the splendid colour of the portable household shrines awaiting sale to local customers as for the sign itself, which is quite plain but contains a good message for us all. ‘Slow down … and smell the roses!’ we might say in the West. Here it’s ‘slow down … and buy a shrine.’

What can I say? Is this good roadside advice? If this were in New Zealand, I might think it was referring to our most famous bird, the kakapo named Sirocco, who attempted to shag the head of a photographer while being filmed by the BBC for an endangered species documentary back in 2009. Perhaps Cambodia has a similar randy bird!

Is it a tree? Is it lightning? No, it’s the sign for winding roads ahead. This one I just like for its lovely curves. Our winding road signs in New Zealand are just so boring, so lacking in design flair, so devoid of curvaceousness compared to this little beauty. And the road going up the mountain to the Bokor Hill Station, near Kep (see The ghosts of Bokor Hill) really was like this with a series of long sweeping curves to the top.

I ask you, could a pharmacy be more aptly named? When something has made you go ‘ouch’, this has to be the perfect place to come for a remedy.

I can’t think of many people who would want to sleep in a church at night, unless they thought they were being haunted or chased by the devil or were seeking asylum of some kind. Obviously, it's okay to sleep here during the day though.

Now, I’ve heard of organisations and businesses being fairly specific about the type of work they do, but this one takes the cake! And, in case you’re in any doubt at all that they will actually service more than one window, they have two signs stressing the point.

This is my absolute favourite of the signs I’ve seen here so far. Not the top part of the board – after all, you can get your hair coloured, your nails cut and a shave in countless places. It’s their bold claim about the clarity of their communication that tickled my fancy.

To finish, I say ‘thank you’ in Khmer. One of the most important words to learn in any language and here beautifully spelled out above a shop in Kampot. Ogun for stopping by my blog!

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