Socks!

Phnom Penh

Thursday, September 23, 1954

Dear Dad & Russ,

This is just a wee note to ask if you could please send me as soon as possible about four or five pairs of short white nylon socks. Unfortunately, the last time I put my laundry in, most of my ankle-length socks were lost or given to someone else or something. The laundry paid me for them, but due to the fact that the Cambodian people are always barefoot, it is practically impossible to buy socks here. What few socks they do have here are of very poor quality and the price is just ridiculous! So as you can see, I’m sort of stranded without socks for a while. My size is about 10 1/2, I think, but if it is at all posible maybe you could get me some those socks that stretch to any size at all. Then I would be sure of a good fit. I wear sandals all the time here and if the socks were too big they would stick out at the end. Oh well, maybe I should just go barefoot like the Cambodians.

I have sent you a parcel with all sorts of little things in it. You may receive it before this letter gets to you, but if not, I just thought I’d tell you it’s on the way. It is going over by military means because our diplomatic mail bag service has not yet been established.

Some of the Canadian delegates (including myself) have been invited to visit the Royal Palace of the King of Cambodia next week. We have been advised to bring our cameras as the tour will take us through some very lovely buildings, gardens, temples, etc. This should be quite interesting, and I certainly am looking forward to it. I’ve seen the palace grounds from the outside and honestly they look like something from a make-believe story book. Will tell you about it next letter.

Some of the signals boys and I are planning a trip to New Delhi some weekend soon. We are also going to try to get down to Saigon (about 125 miles away) very soon and are also working on a trip to Angkor Wat, the “principal wonder of the Orient”. This place is the ruins of an ancient city that was discovered in the jungle by French explorers near the end of the last century. I have seen many pictures of it and it certainly looks wonderful. There is a very good hotel a few miles away from it and a guide takes you to the ruins. It is said that no visit to Cambodia is complete without a visit to Angkor Wat. Well, as we are going to be here for quite some time, I have no doubt that we shall get to see it. All of these places sound so fabulous and I find it very hard to believe that I am so close to them.

I have some terrific pictures that I took in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Hanoi. It would cost too much to send them by mail so I shall just have to wait until we get our diplomatic bag service into operation to send them to you.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you can send me those socks very soon. I haven’t heard from you yet but I expect there is something on the way. By the way, if you would like to, you can send me an airmail letter using the return address on the back of this envelope. It will reach me in seven days or so that way, and until we get our own mail service going, it might be a good way of writing.

Bye for now, Dave

David's photo of the Dance Pavilion of the Royal Palace

David’s photo of the Dance Pavilion of the Royal Palace

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