ROOM WITH A VIEW

I will miss my view when I move in 10 days. I have an incredible fantastic view from my Casablanca feeling room with its shuttered windows.

The view has changed a lot since I moved here in mid September. How can a view change ? Well they chopped the leafy Indian Elm down that cosseted my room and gave me comfort in its age and history, leaves would flutter in the morning breeze, filtered light would shade my room , I have almost forgotten my big shady tree. The dappled afternoon light is now replaced by harsh full on sun for a few hours .

The French Patisserie cart that I would see every day has gone, now operates from a shop front just down the street.

The twinkling neon lit sunset/firefly cruise boats have all been sent to the other side of the river, I can see the not so bright lights from my room but this side of the river seems so empty now . Sometimes just watching this tidal river flow up and down, is in itself rather pleasant. I watch as plastic bottles and other floating debris go past one way then the other. I have noticed it more lately as I am home a lot more .Nothing exciting or big floats past although this morning I saw what looked like a life jacket roll on by.

Sunsets are better with out the tree , to watch the sun slip behind Mount Bokor is so beautiful , calming heralding the end to another day, sometimes the sky turns a glorious pink other times its all yellows and oranges.

But just to watch the happenings on my street from my room with a view is everyday amazing. You never know what you will see. They have these funny tractor like vehicles that the timber cutters cart their furniture on. This timber in the furniture is so heavy most restaurants have the heavy chairs, I even find them hard to pull out at times.No one is going to run off with them that’s for sure. So often I see these crazy vehicles family on the back sometimes sitting on the chairs or laying down somewhere a very nomadic life. Then we have how many people on a moto? 3 kids and 2 parents have been my record. I saw yesterday the lady who was pillion passenger actually feeding her baby as her friend drove the scooter. I have no idea what the age to drive here is but the kids start learning balance from day 1 of their lives and get to steer at about 2 or 3 then by the time they go to school they can drive . This is s cruisy country town and I don’t think in Phnom Penh its the same. I see old ladies who walk around going through the garbage collecting plastic bottles, they have a little cart with a funny horn they ring as they pass, my hotel keeps their empties for one particular collector. Every time I see her I think of what her eyes have seen . She has had a very hard life ,still works every day trying to get a little bit extra to survive. The gogo bar next door gives me great entertainment at times . Of course the bargirls are always chatting and laughing. The place is open until early hours of the morning and they play good music. It doesn’t annoy me, one thing I have learnt is tolerance .

I think my favourite time of the day from my window is when the fishing boats go out to sea around 5pm there is something about fishermen off to catch supplies of fish to feed the people. The fleet returns around 4 or 5 am I can hear them and see them if I am awake chugging low in the water bringing in the catch. My new place is viewless but it has a kitchen and a garden so I won’t complain. The thing is I can come back here and sit downstairs with a $2.00 gin and tonic any sunset.

I have been out at Fish Island 4 times since I last wrote my blog . It is going along beautifully , customers are finding them , biking out staying a few hours as it is very peaceful. I have been collecting Buffalo poo for the garden. The poos are so big one poo fills a bucket so its a quick job. The garden is going well, soil on the island is very hard, Soon was telling me that most roots grow out rather than down as it is such hard soil. We have three volunteers staying out there , young back packers. A German girl, an American girl and an Israeli guy who has just finished his army service. As part of a gap year many Israelis come to SEAsia after their army stint , it seems many are here in Kampot. Yesterday he and I had to go to the printers and on our way he sees a friend he knows from Tel Aviv who he hadn’t seen in years . Shi said he thinks no young people are left in Israel as they are all partying everywhere he has been in Asia.

Chinese New Year is coming up, nothing happens here for it no lanterns or dancing lions any where. A lot of the Chinese descendants that live here tend to just have family gatherings or go visit family elsewhere. More on CNY next week.

Until next time

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