Before coming back to my trip I want to say that last week was a little hard for me, maybe because we had tickets to go to Buenos Aires at the beginning of April, and of course we couldn’t go; maybe because April 2nd is the anniversary of the Malvinas war, and this is a very sad day remembering that a crazy man sent into an absurd war (like all wars are) very young men with no military preparation. And among all those mixed emotions I received a letter with a pendrive of 36 drawings that recapped the Vietnam and Cambodia trip Robyn Diener, the artist, was on the cruise traveling with us. You can’t imagine how much I cried with that letter in my hands: it symbolized all my pain and gratitude and it was a relief to let all my emotions out.
I saw Robyn drawing in her sketchbook during our excursions and with Chris’s help (her husband) she converted all her work to jpg format and had the generosity to send them from Australia to the United States. I have lot of gratitude for that.
Here are some of her postcards 🙂
Now after all this emotion I can continue telling more about the trip. If you had thought that traveling by tuk tuk or rickshaw was exotic, you have no idea how exciting is to travel by ox cart. Something very unusual.
We disembarked and lots of carts were ready to take us to visit a local temple. As you are going to see in the pictures we travelled two in each cart and a person with some expertise drove, or rather, guided the oxen. It seemed that it wasn’t a usual way to travel because people in the streets were taking pictures of us. We were the attraction. Anyway, the experience was fun and, besides, pretty uncomfortable 🙂
We arrived at a local temple and we participated in a ceremony and received a blessing by a Buddhist monk. I’m not a religious person but I felt touched, especially by the petals that they were throwing at us. We had to take into account was the dress code to visit religious places. Women and men must cover their shoulders and knees. And to voice a potentially controversial opinion, I don’t like when men wear shirts where their shoulders are visible… this could be generational but I don’t like guys in tank tops no matter how buff their bodies are.
That night there was a pool party on the boat with music, and some enthusiastic people (me included) danced. The best part was when one of the passengers took off her dress (she was wearing her swimsuit underneath) and got into the pool. Her name is Peree and she‘s Australian and I know all this because even though I wasn’t wearing a swimsuit I got into the pool with my dress… on 🙂 We had lot of fun. Next time I will be more prepared.
The next day we went to the temples of Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros which had lots of wild monkeys; some were big and followed us for food. They were a little scary, even though you were not supposed to be feeding them. We saw also a photography session for a wedding. The couple didn’t look very happy but I understood that with almost 40 degrees (Celsius), one hundred percent humidity, lots of uncomfortable clothes and the photographer asking for more poses… I would have had this face too in that situation.
Back on the boat our countdown started: the cruise was almost over. We had dinner with our new Australian friends Ilona, Alan, Sandie and Brian, people who made us laugh a lot. Barnaby and I hope to see them again to have more fun.
And here I am in a picture with some of the people who worked on the cruise, serving food and making our lives very easy there. Such a nice and kind group who always tried to make me laugh. “Arkoun,” which means thank you in Khmer, to all of them.
And thanks to Barnaby again for helping me correct this text and thanks to all of you for coming with me on this trip.