Stuffing is one of those things that we really need, but that is really, really, really difficult for us to find. There are two kinds of stuffing available in Cambodia. The first, kapok, is a 100% natural fluff that comes from the inside of giant pods that grow on a tree. It would be ideal as it is natural and abundant but the only issue, and a major one, is that looses it’s fluff over time, by as much as 70%! So we can stuff a Maddox or a Bunny Nugget until it is about ready to explode and still, within a couple months it will be flopsy.
The second is not so cheap used stuffing. This is stuffing pulled out of animals, pillows, who knows what else. For toys, a serious no-go! There is no way to know where it came from, what it’s been through. The starting price is 4.5 USD a kilo, but we could get it for as low 3USD a kilo if we buy in bulk. Still, it is icky!
So, Cambodia simply does not have a decent supply of stuffing so we need to go elsewhere. Luckily, Thailand next door has a healthy supply of new, high-quality stuffing. Better still we can get it for less than the price of the used stuffing here! We wouldn’t be able to organize it at all, if it wasn’t for our super-amazing-generous friend Riki Hall!! Riki is an American woman living in Bangkok who speaks fluent Thai, has a great sense of humour and is fan of CK. And she’s an avid (obsessive even, in the good way) knitter. Thanks to this, she has generously volunteered to help us organize stuffing. I’m pretty sure it’s thanks to her friendly manner and good humour that we got a steep discount on the stuffing even though we are buying small quantities by factory standards (about 2USD/kilo!!!). She’s kept 40 kilos of stuffing at her house for the past couple months and organized 10 kilos to be brought over with friends traveling the BKK-PP route without much luggage.
Last week we ran completely out and with no one coming into town from Bangkok, there was no other choice but for me to hop one a hellish bus journey (15 hours) and fly back with as much as possible the following day. I managed to lug back about 27 kilos. It’s a lot harder than you think to vacuum 27 kilos of stuffing into luggage and we were fully sweating despite doing the hard work in an air-conditioned room. The photos below will give you some idea of how much I managed to bring back.
The duffel bag that had just under 10 kilos vacuumed into it. It took a huge fight to get it in.
The monster takes a deep breath and starts to emerge.
We had to separate it into three bags once it was fully fluffed.