Saturday, November 26, 2011


what i want i won't get

last week when i visited bang malea temple ruins in seim reap i saw a guy perched on a stone ledge with a big camera on a tripod trying to take a shot of some scene which i didn't quite see the significance of. there was nothing special at where he was aiming the shot at. no ornate carvings or ornamentation of any sort. just plain jungle.

bang malea is out of the angkor complex and very much less visited by the normal tourist hordes . it's ta phrom on a bigger scale with the same scene of temple ruins overgrown with trees and clasped by buttressed roots of fig trees. since i've made my rounds of the angkor complex several times from my previous visits before i decided to go to the less visited areas particularly the magnificent but politically contested preah vahear right at the thailand cambodia border in the north east and take a leasurely drive down to Koh ker and preah khan to bang malea and back to siem reap town. But things rarely go as you plan and i ended up only visiting preah khan and bang malea where i met this guy taking shots precariously perched on a stone ledge far from the other group of package tourists.

and so i carefully skipped up stone by stone to him and said don't worry i'll be careful not to trip over his tripods and we got to talking. turned out that he is from LA and has been to cambodia previously for a brief visit and fell in love with the country and the people and now he is having a longer month long visit to explore the country better. he is probably in retirement and so could afford to do this . He's probably in his sixties but could be much younger and look in the best of health. Lanky and thin and unlike the usual overweight and out of breadth foreigners you tend to see on the usual package tours everywhere.

Cambodia and also much of south east asia isn't too expensive and i thought to myself . hey i can do that. when i retire i'll take a month out and stay in bali, than go to luang prabang for another month and then to pai in thailand for another and on to may be baguio in the philippines and than sabah and yangon and round up by staying in siem reap in time to see the birds (feathered kinds) in prek toul bird sanctuary in tonle sap by all the year round...

but even a full year round holiday could be a bore. there's such a thing as holiday fatigue. human can sometimes be such bastards . nothing can please us ALL the time. perhaps all those spiritual people got it right. perhaps those buddhist monks lead the happiest lives. but perhaps not. nobody can run away from his inner demons. the yearning and impossible search for peace. i'm fucked.

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