Posted by: Simon & Becci | December 17, 2013

How to confuse Santa Claus

Poor Santa Claus. You would think it is bad enough that the normal heat and humidity of Phnom Penh leave him with a nasty rash from his thermal underwear, not to mention that he lost two of his trusty reindeer to a local market meat vendor last year whilst he was distracted finishing a plate of cookies. No, I am now able to reveal the real reason for the distinct lack of activity from old Saint Nick in Cambodia: total postal chaos.

The below photos show the progression of house numbers as Becci and I progressed from east to west along road 360 on Monday in search of a computer shop at number 55A….

Starting at number 31...

We started at number 31… door is number 25....

…but next door is number 25. Maybe we were going the wrong way?

...then 35....

Or maybe not. Next up, number 35….

...followed a few houses along by number 5...

…followed a few houses along by number 5…

...which is right next door to number 55

…which was fortunately right next door to our desired number 55A

This is far from an isolated incident. Finding the correct house number on any given road involves the kind of skill and good fortune needed to excel at “pin the tail on the donkey” whilst blindfolded having been spun around at high speed several times. And its not just the chaotic order. Take our road for example. We live at number 69A, and if you take a stroll several houses further down street 59BT you will find, yep, you’ve guessed it, another number 69A. Poor Santa – if local residents are baffled what chance does an oversized annual tourist have?

I heard rumours that he was considering outsourcing his deliveries to the one post office in the city where PO Boxes can be rented for a few dollars a year. However, I’m unsure this will guarantee timely delivery on Christmas Eve either. Last week we took our regular 30 minute journey north through the city centre on the off chance that a letter or parcel had arrived (we are almost always disappointed) but this time – hurrah – three parcels awaited us and simply needed collecting from the parcel office.


“Umm….up a bit and to the left…”

Our joy was short-lived however, as after 10 minutes of hunting through the rather haphazard filing system, the ladies behind the counter could only account for one of the three parcels. 20 minutes later the second had materialised but the third was nowhere to be seen. 30 minutes later as we were heading back south, my phone rang with the news that the third had now been found, prompting us to turn back once more.

Gifts finally all accounted for

Gifts finally all accounted for – thank you Mum & Dad, Peter & Elaine and Sandra & Charles 🙂

With a week until his big night, if you have any ideas how to assist Santa with his unenviable task in Phnom Penh, do let us know….



  1. And to work all that out when stuffed full of mince pies and brandy. Maybe Santa’s brains are not made out of the same material as his beard then! I hope you are creating some festiveness despite the heat… x

  2. Wow, surely it wouldn’t take much for someone to implement at least a logical filing system in the parcel office and save a lot of time 🙂
    I think you should re-number your flat/house 3.14159265…
    It sounds like it wouldn’t add any further confusion and could even make it easier to find (assuming no one else has done it).
    Happy Christmas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: