The White Building in Phnom Penh was built in 1963 by the Cambodian government in an attempt to address the quickly increasing population and the migration to the cities. The White Building originally had about 450 apartments for middle and low income families. Rooms and areas have been added to the building and apartments have been divided and reconfigured. But there is a great controversy currently. Some government officials say the building is no longer structurally safe but other believe that this is only a way to demolish the building and build more profitable enterprises at the location. The residents and other interested parties are working to prevent this and to allow the residents to remain. They also believe the building is not unsafe.
As we entered the building, we found several people very happy to pose for photos. The woman on the wood bench or table outside her apartment must have thought she was a star. A few of us were snapping photos of her and her family and they loved every shot. The young boy was proud of his missing tooth.
The outdoor stairways were interesting with hammocks and chairs in various places.
The lady with the hat and the yellow patterned shirt was sitting using an implement that looks like a bottle cap to prepare fruit and other food to sell on the street, as it was about noon. We watched her preparing and filling her basket with food items. She then wrapped her scarf on top of her hat, then lifted the basket with all the food inside it onto her head and was off down the stairs to sell her items.
We then encountered a few other interesting people, particularly the man in the baseball cap, who was carrying a French / English / Khmer dictionary under his arm. He is a resident of the White Building and man who has traveled internationally as a singer.
As we left the building we saw some Cambodian recycling and a appliance delivery service! Note the electric wires in the background. What happens when there is a problem with one line?
Finally, I LOVE the parking sign. 7/11 – NO! 7 Elephants.