I’m really sad that wordpress lost the rest of my entry from earlier. I wrote as we drove out of Pnomh Penh into the countryside. I was inspired to write because the country is so beautiful and life in it seems so peaceful. I would have loved to have gotten some sleep, but the roads were bumpy and sleep was not happening. We were getting thrashed about in the back of our bus. The bus ride wasn’t really the luxurious ride we were kind of expecting. We booked our tickets for $25 each, so I’m not sure why we expected anything super nice. The worst part was that we never got a chance to eat. After a week of feeding ourselves every two hours, it was kind of a shock to go a full 14 hours without anything but snacks. Regardless, today was probably my favorite day of the trip thus far. I’m so glad that I wasn’t able to nap. Missing out on the things that I saw today would have been depriving my soul of a delightful surprise.
Cambodia is so beautiful. Green, so very green. Brown and blue houses on stilts in between tall trees. There are bursts of color between the houses; clotheslines strewn with brightly colored clothing. Cows graze in fields and marshes or bathe in ponds. They are everywhere. Almost every other home has a hay hut close by for feeding cattle. Children lay lazily in hammocks with limbs sticking out. Many homes have small ponds in front of them, which were occupied by either cows or pink lotus flowers. I saw so many seas of pink out the window of our bus. There was no way to get a picture, because we were moving surprisingly fast. Every 20 miles or so, we would pass temples, each one more beautiful than the last. Every 30 minutes, we would pass through small towns, each one exactly like the last. Two mobile phone stores, women selling fruit, motorbikes, one bicycle shop, men standing around their motorbikes talking on their mobile phones, and our bus driver beeping his horn at all of the people in front of him. After every town, we would pass a school, where there would be uniformed children playing in the yard and hundreds upon hundreds of bikes. All of them, just like mine. It’s so weird to have gone two years in Chicago without seeing a bike like mine and then see THOUSANDS of them on the streets of Vietnam and Cambodia. So.many.bikes. It makes me so happy! I lost count at 30 bike shops in three hours. People of Portland, beware….Cambodia is putting you to shame in the bicycle department.
I feel so alive here. I’m so looking forward to spending a good amount of time in one place. Our travels have been amazing. Each place bringing me more and more inspiration and taking me more out of myself and connecting me to something so much greater than myself and my life at home. That being said, I think it will be nice to spend some time in one place, maybe get some alone time to reflect on all those things I’ve been experiencing. We decided to “splurge” while we are here, so we are spending the next four nights at a five star hotel. Everything here is gorgeous and so far out of my league at home, but super affordable here. The food is amazing, the pool is bananas, and I can get an hour massage for $20. Everywhere we go, they want American money. Even the ATM’s dispense dollars, which is so weird. I am hoping we get a good tour guide for touring the temples and not someone greedy and aggressive. We had a bad experience with a tuk-tuk driver in Bangkok, so we are overly cautious now.
Anyway, the 12 hours I spent on the bus today have taken their toll on me. It’s time for bed.