I sat over beers with some ex-pats in Phnom Penh the other day. That's the trick, isn't it? To find a pub with lots of ex-pats but few tourists. A good number of them had moved to Cambodia after years in Thailand. Thailand recently outlawed and cracked down on marijuana. Who wants to live in a place where it's acceptable for a couple of fifteen-year-old girls to get up on a stage and shoot ping pong balls(the modern celluloid ball discovered by James W. Gibb in 1901) at each other but will jail an individual for smoking a naturally growing plant whose medicinal and ritualistic uses have been documented for more than five thousand years?
One day in the capitol city was enough so I hopped on a ferry to Siem Reap. The trip took three hours longer than it should have. I noticed from my perch on the roof top that the lake was shallow enough that one could see the ripples caused by wind over sand close to the surface. The channel was marked by bamboo poles with empty plastic bags affixed to them. But one must have been missing cuz we grounded with a fright. Getting unstuck involved a bunch of fisherman wading over from their nets(nets that used empty aerosol cans for the floats) to push while all the fatties in the private cabin at the bow waddled to the stern.
I saw the sunrise at Angkor Wat the next morning. The experience was marred by the crowds, but stunning nonetheless.
Such a wonderful sort of haunting.
4 hours ago