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Blog 113 Krokor to Thima Koul

17th January

It was a construction unit like Travis Perkins and I'd go in and I'd ask for "as many breeze blocks as you can get, 30 mil diameter pipe section, one of them whatnots you hang them thingys on and a shrine please." I haven't checked but I'm thinking it's the quantity of shrines on a property that maximises the chance of being conferred with 'luckiness' and prosperity. Maybe further transfigured by some ancient Buddhist algorithm thought up by monks who live in caves. Perhaps in 'Shrine World' size matters. Back to Travis Perkins.

"So, do you want a big shrine and will it fit in your garden or maybe several small ones."

A Visit to Travis Perkins Cambodia Style

You Can Get One of these too.

This is a Shrine Roundabout (normal rules apply - free delivery)

There were a lot of Shrine builders on the new road leading to Tonle Sap. I'd wanted to see the floating market but there are tour companies offering their trips the lake on every hotel reception desk in Phnom Penh. Tonle Sap lake is one of Cambodia's top three attractions conceived over centuries in the most authentic manner possible. What would have been a quiet moment a few years ago will compare with queues forming from coach tours, the crinkling of plastic like the sound of thunder in a world where everything is double wrapped.

Tonle Sap Lake (Top 3 Major Attraction in Cambodia - we take plastic)

40,000 tons of plastic waste are washed down the Mekon every year. How long will it take to fill that lake. Equally once a cradle of gentleness which even now at night when the coaches and tourists have gone, is still the most soulful experience, yet superseded in the daylight by the sight of so many people. Travelling alone allows for a transition to transparency. Not invisible, you're still there. You jump from being seen to suddenly not being seen where no one noticies if you're just passing or completely passed. Not seeing is not the same as being opaque. I guess I'd got used to being alone

I veered left into the town of Pursat and found a Cafe Amazon on the edge of town where there was also a small food centre and the ladies sat me down for breakfast. It was hardly living off rations strapped to a harness on the North Face of the Eiger but it was still impossible to make myself understood. My ride around the entire length and breadth of South East Asia was plagued by not being able to read a menu.

So with 40kms to go I pass through Thima Koul, a tidy little town. I see an indoor coffee house with the chalkboard, rough wooden edged boho chic plus a few shiny bits and not forgetting the ultimate asset plate glass. I see bubble tea stalls, no one is selling rat on a stick, I hear prayers from a speaker, people smiling, polite school children queuing up for food treats with mums and grans, a girl scoots past me with her Dior sling bag, the sun sets, dust damps down, it’s a border town, every kid is on a new scooter and it’s the unremarkableness I find remarkable. I think that is what I like. 

Map of the Day

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