Across Cambodia, residents have been engaging in a rare activity: turning off their air conditioners and stilling their fans. Some of Phnom Penh's intrepid moto drivers have even been seen zipping around the streets at night in puffy parkas.
It has been cold here – the coldest in 27 years of recorded history, according to Seth Vannareth, the director of meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. As the cold settled in, she counseled this correspondent to "please take a coat with you." Yesterday, she had good news: The cold spell was officially over.
Still, for Cambodians, the brief flirtation with sweater weather has been such a far cry from the norms of the cold season, which peaks in early January, that some people were even wearing socks. The cold snap began on Jan. 30. Low temperatures have ranged from 7 to 15 degrees C (mid-40s to mid-50s F.) in the northeast and mountainous areas, far below norms of 17 to 20 degrees C.
How do you say Brrrrr! in Cambodian? And how do you say STFU to the eco-nutsies? BTW: New Zealand and parts of Australia had their COLDEST summer ever, too.