Good old Cambodia

21 Dec

Warm Welcome - more than I could handle

I had booked a week in Cambodia to go back in time and re-live good old memories, meeting up with great friends, visiting the familiar places and soak up on the same smile-provoking surreal experiences as before (e.g. drag shows, temple visits, funny food, etc). So there’s nothing really much to report about my stay in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap this time round (but still some nice pics below).

  • It’s like a mesmerising goodbye to my year of travels – ending as I started it…
  • Cambodia is such a damn pleasant place to be (if you ignore some details here and there).

Same same but different

Same same - but different (like me, after 1 year off)

“Same same but different” is the catch phrase in Cambodia (and neighbouring countries) – everybody uses it. It represents well the Cambodian way of life: it all doesn’t matter so much because in the end we all want similar things… So relax and go with the flow: and that’s exactly what I did. Enjoy and not stir a fuzz.

When I went to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap again, life was almost literally the same same as last time I was there, but a bit different all the same.

  • Being picked up by the crazy friends from the Blue Chilli bar – throwing a flower garland around my neck and covering me with kisses (in public – oh help)
  • Staying at the same Happiness guesthouse near the Psar Thmey (new market) with balcony, to sit in the 27° night enjoying my wine & cheese indulgence from the barang (foreigner) supermarket (and free wifi had arrived since my last stay)
  • Getting annoyed by the constant call of the moto & tuk tuk drivers for your custom – even when you’re still sitting at a restaurant!! (again and again – i thought I’d be immune to them by now ;-)
  • I visited my regular hangout: the Blue Chilli bar, with its incredible drag shows on the bar (again, same same but different as anywhere else). I don’t know why, but it has this homey atmosphere ;-) and is the only gay bar I’d actually feel comfortable chatting away with unknown neighbours.

Wonderful khmer food & fruit

  • I hooked up with a Spanish Belgian couple to go for a boat trip on the Mekong & Tonle Sap river – and a visit to the National Museum (finally) – I’d never go on a touristy thing like that on my own.
  • And of course we went to a temple (hounds far out of town, by tuk tuk) to eat some dodgy food hanging in hammocks – but this time round I prayed for the company I’m going to start in January
  • It was great again to cross the impossible traffic on the Phnom Penh streets, just closing your eyes and walking, and the cars, tuktuks and motos would try to avoid you.
  • I dug into the khmer food: amok, lok lak, soups, noodles, curries & co. So at the same time (4 weeks after my operation) I thought it was time to start exercising again ;-) Well needed.
  • And even though I had already discovered 10 new fruits last time, this time around I tried again about 5 new types – it’s a never ending discovery.
  • And the Khmer friends also challenged us to have a go at ‘funny food’ – have your pick: fried tarantula, cockroaches, quail eggs, crickets etc… eeeeeeeeek!!
  • Doing some shopping for things you strictly don’t need at the local market: a hammock (I don’t even have a garden), a linga fertility statue (for good luck in love & life), etc.
  • And in Siem Reap, we’d go on outings (my best Khmer friend & I) to the surrounding sights talking away, reinventing the world and the future.
  • But after all the roaming there’s also some relaxing at the Golden Banana pool, reading and blogging away, sipping on a cocktail (for a dollar or two), being flirted by an American with a big colgate smile.
  • And of course, re-connecting with my new love I found here back in January: sunset! Winding down together with the sun, on the balcony of my guesthouse… Sigh.

Life is so easy here.


Which gets me thinking about the life that’s waiting back home in a few days


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