Cambodian Bling or Enlightenment, not sure…

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I love lighting shops, hanging gardens of light. Cities with a certain amount of pizzazz engender amazing ceramic and glass masterpieces, and the Nordic design ethic of foldable and affordable has birthed wonderful paper creations that surround a multitude of expensive designer bulbs.

On the other hand, Asia has a heavy handed design ethic. The Chinese love large, heavy, dark, overly carved furniture. The lighting shops spawned are, a blur of light in impossible chandeliers, more bling and sparkle than even the most enlightened Buddha has experienced. It’s light heaven or hell depending on your taste. The chandelier shops are full of switches and fans, the hanging crystals and baubles often tinkle in the fan blasts.

As I walked into the light shop my eyes were, of course, drawn to the ceiling, I cringed at the onslaught of extravagant, ostentatious design. The myriad blue cool lights, the blinking colored lights, the mellow yellow bulbs hiding amongst the glare.

I reached out to look at the price of a particularly offensive layer cake light and the price was as high as the taste was poor. The shop was suddenly plunged into darkness, all the more shocking because of the contrast. I could hear the road sounds and shuffling of the staff. Within seconds my eyes adjusted and the lights became dull shapes above me and the dim light from the distant street windows shone gentle and forgiving into the room.