Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

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Pathway

August 13, 2006

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This pathway has to be like the most crowded pathway on earth. We went during off peak period and nearly died – there were masses thronging the pavement and people in every single orifice of the Angkor.

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Monk

August 13, 2006

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The monks were quite aloof. More photos from the Angkor Wat coming up!

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Cambodia Longings

August 9, 2006

God, it’s been ages since I’ve come back from Cambodia. I miss everyone and everything! Starting with the Linga Bar, which I’d read about before going to Cambodia (aha! Being super-prepared does pay off!). The proprietor of this establishment, Martin, is a lovely man who makes the best cocktail shots ever – you have to try the Girl Scout Cookie, which tastes, well, like a girl scout cookie. I had like 20 or something in the course of one night. And like 20 again the next night. Which just goes to show that if shots in Singapore were US$2.00, I’d be an alcoholic.

Martin also owns the One Hotel Angkor, which only has one room. It’s super cool and the interior is so lovely. There’s an open-air jacuzzi, which is the closest thing to perfection. Catch: it costs US$250.00 a night. Still, if you can afford it, there’s nothing in the world like it.

Shout-out too to Wilson and Dirk, who were drinking like fish in the bar the second night I was there. Wilson’s this cool law student from Canada (waitaminit – law, student, and from Canada!? NOT COOL!) who was travelling in Siem Reap the same time I was there. You can check out his travel blog here. Dirk’s the lovely Dutch man who manages the Golden Banana B&B and is opening up his own hotel, the Golden Banana Boutique Hotel! He invited Wilson and I to swim at the first and only saltwater swimming pool in Siem Reap, located at the GBBH – doesn’t the pool look like a stunner! La Wils and the Dirkster look like a pretty hot potato’n’rice combi too don’t they…

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Anyway the Dirky Baby’s hotel should now be open so GO AND CHECK IT OUT! It looked like a lot of fun the last time I went, even though it hadn’t been fully constructed yet.

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Soksobai

August 8, 2006

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The temples of Angkor are truly beautiful, not only in their architecture, which I cannot fully appreciate, not having been steeped in Asian traditions, but also in their power to remind us that this is humanity, this is the human conditions, things are built, things collapse, empires rise and fall, and human life goes on. Soksobai, as they say in Cambodia. Things are okay.

In the Bayon, the temple of a thousand faces, the golden towers, which has since fallen into a shadow of disuse, of its former glory, I met a nun who had devoted her life to the cause of the Buddha. She smiled from her small grotto, and gestured for me to approach her. I did. She motioned for me to sit down, and took three joss sticks out, and started to burn them. Come, she motioned, offer incense to the Buddha, come. I did. I wasn’t religious, I was just captivated by her face, an ancient face, creased with age and years of humble fanaticism, a face of gentle devotion. Put your hands together, she gestured, and wave it up and down.

Soksobai, she said. Soksobai.

I planted the joss sticks gently into the earthen pot, and thanked the Buddha (if he exists, or if he doesn’t exist, or both) and asked if I could take a picture of the nun. She smiled, and I took that to be a yes. Thank you. I put my palms together, saluting the divinity in her. Okun. I offered up the alms, a singular dollar, George Washington smiling as benevolently as the Buddha himself. Okun, came the reply, and she saluted the divinity in me.

Something magical, or something commonplace? I couldn’t decide. Was the experience transcendent, or a transaction? But these questions you brush off on the trip – think too much and you start caring too much, and you will never be able to leave. I take in my heart her smile, and life goes on. Soksobai, soksobai.