I wonder how much Cambodia has changed since I was there last? It was a while ago, I think three years. I am aware that countries change and develop and the changes can seem more drastic for someone who is based outside and only visits occasionally, if you live there the changes can seem quite mild but for a visitor they can can seem extreme. I have read about big modern shopping malls in the capital but maybe they were there before and I just did not find them. How many of the roads have been asphalted since I was there? One of the most harrowing and difficult journeys I ever made was from the thai border to Siem Riep in a pick up truck. This was the first time for me in the country and after taking myself to the thai side of the border I bought passage on the truck along with a group of thais and cambodians and mountains of sacks and wood and fruit. Several hours sitting on the thin metal rim of the truck travelling along those roads made quite an impression, It took me a good couple of days to recover from that journey.
Life shouldn't always be easy, life is suffering according to buddhism right.
I've done my share of suffering now, I want my god shots.
I worked today and after work one of my colleagues and a couple of friends and I went out for a spin in the company boat. Like many towns the town I live in has a river running through the middle of it and we cruised the river at 15 knots and drank gin and tonics, this was a god shot moment. Although now at home I guess we were lucky not be arrested, two nights out of three in a police cell would not have been too cool. I am looking for a place to live where the social norms are slighty less focused, somewhere where decandence has a more tangible face.
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."(William Blake possibly slightly missquoted)
I am an expert on the road of excess but have yet to find the palace of wisdom although a certain amount of insight into the way I personally function has been gained. I master excess, excess has been the story of my life and I am actually starting to accept this, everyone cannot always be level-headed. I am destined to be the one who never learns from his mistakes, the one who always manages to go that little bit further along the path. Sitting at home now and writing this I begin to wonder if Cambodia is the right country for me, imagine if I manage to get through the next year without self destructing and get to cambodia only to totally lose control in a country bereft of control mechanisms. I guess thats just a chance I'll have to take. Maybe I'll get myself shot by some irate local after an untimely comment in a bar at three in the morning. I remember in Siem Riep I ended up in an almost entirely khmer kareoke club the entrance to which was through big iron gates, while there were still a lot of people inside they closed and locked the gates and blankly refused to let anyone leave. It took half an hour for me to convince them that my (recently met and also imprisoned) companion was in fact diabetic and would die if we did not get out very soon( a blatant lie of course). I have never managed to figure out what was going on there, am I safe to be on the streets of Cambodia?
c'est la vie! Cambodia would be the poorer without me and I would certainly be the poorer without Cambodia.