Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 6th CHAPTER - Charming Kampot

I want more. Much more. Money? No way! I want time!

Wat Trauy Kooh
Wat Trauy Kooh on Fish Isle Kampot: Studying with a view

I want more time. More time to live anyroad - 106 healthy years.
But I first and foremost want longer days - at least 36 hours, better 48.

There are so many things to do, they just don't fit in 24 hours. And don't think I'm suffering from this shortage of time only during my travels. No, I'd need extra hours when I'm at home, too.
There is my day job that I have to do in order to pay my rent - and of course my travels. Most of the time I even like it. Then there is my blogging which is very important to me, but it's extremely time consuming, especially since I still have to cross-publish on social media. Then I need to do some sports and I enjoy a relaxing visit to the Spa afterwords; takes a couple of hours. And of course there are all the chores and errands we all know. Oh, and I need to get enough sleep so I'm less grumpy.

When travelling I like to see as much a possible, that's obvious. But I also like to relax a bit. I'd like to enjoy the beautiful hotel rooms and get pampered at the hotels' facilities. In the evening I'd like to go out and chat with people on the one hand, on the other I'd enjoy some quiet time bye:myself. I'd like to do some beauty treatments, I'd like to read my book - and of course I need a lot of time to write my blog posts and edit the pictures. And I'm not even following all these blog boosting activities that I do at home which immediately affects the traffic.
All these activities - and passivities - do not fit in 24 hours.

Why I am complaining about this while I'm here in Cambodia? Because I constantly have to choooooose! And my choice ought to be everything, but obviously that's impossible.
Yes, it's not a very Buddhist approach, it didn't rub off yet.

Monks at Wat Trauy Kooh
I should learn equanimity from these young students at Wat Trauy Kooh.
 On the other hand - they don't look that very happy....

I came to Kampot today. Kampot is very, very nice, actually the nicest place in Cambodia so far (apart from the deserted beach on Koh Rong, but you cannot compare a secluded beach to the capital of a province). At the same time the guest house I'm staying at is the nicest I've been to in Cambodia by now. The room is quite small, but it's so cozy and with all these pretty, pretty details. I'd like to spend time in here. Quality time. Reading. Writing. Cherishing.

It's quite small, it's not luxury, but it's so cozy and inviting. I'd simply like to live on this bed for at least half a day; but pleasure is calling from outside.

But like I said: Kampot is very, very nice. And I'm here for one day. So after checking in I spent about ten minutes in the room and off I went on my bike to explore more of this extremely charming town.


Kampot
This is how it's done, IKEA: furnishing for the whole house delivered on a motor bike - and no assembly required!

First of all there is the promenade along Kampot Bay River that has an almost mediterranean flair to it. There are a couple of architectural treasures from the colonial time. There are many rather hip-laid back restaurants and bars and little specialty shops.

Kampot
Colonial charm along the riverside.

There is the local market where you find all the stuff that you get at the little specialty shops at half price.

Market in Kampot
The fruit department,....

Market in Kampot
...the dried fish'n'shrimps secion,.....

Market in Kampot
...the food court,....

Market in Kampot
....and finally the butcher shop that will make that I'll never worry about hygiene or continuous cooling-chain again.

There are pepper plantations and salt fields - Kampot's main source of income (maybe outran by tourism by now, I'm not sure). There is the old bridge which is really old and in a lamentable condition so that no cars let alone busses or lorries are allowed to cross.

Once you cross it, you're on Fish Isle which is a basically untouched rural area with large rice paddies and warped housings. Therebetween a small mosque and a big Buddhist temple.

Fish Isle
A couple harvesting rice by hand. The bunches are disposed on top of the crop.

Fish Isle
These ladies are enjoying a nice afternoon treat.

All this is very appealing and worth to be embraced and appreciated.
That's exactly what I did for the rest of the day until I got really tired and planned to grab dinner and then just go back to my homely room. Reading. Writing. Cherishing.

So after a lovely Khmer dinner I cycled along the promenade and it was exactly the hour when the big houseboat-like ships take off to a river cruise in the dark, i. a. to spot fireflies.

Although I had initially decided against this tour - since I intended to enjoy my homely room doing some reading, writing, cherishing - seeing the first ships passing by, nicely illuminated, people enjoying a drink on the top deck...I left my bike at the promenade, forked over five bucks and faster than you think I was one of the people on the top deck enjoying a beer that's even included in the already reasonable fare.

Cruise on Kampot Bay River
So we took off into the sunset,....

Cruise on Kampot Bay River
...heading towards the old bridge,....

Cruise on Kampot Bay River
...which is really very, very low; extremely low.

What can I say, there are too many nice things to do, sometimes I just let my gut decide.

How are you dealing with this matter? Do you have too little time for your favorite activities? How do you pick your priorities?

Wanna know what happened before? Here are the previous chapters of my Cambodian Diary:


CAMBODIAN DIARY - 1st CHAPTER - Commotion in Phnom Penh

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 2nd CHAPTER - Confusion in Sihanoukville

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 3rd CHAPTER - Calmness in Koh Rong

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 4th CHAPTER - Complete Chaos in Koh Rong Samloem

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 5th CHAPTER - Connecting in Kep


Note to the curious reader: Like I did during my trip to Colombia earlier this year, in this Cambodian Diary I'm posting one chapter from every stop. At the end of the entire tour there will be an extended travel guide with all the relevant travel information including addresses, links etc. 
Until then, just enjoy my narratives and reflections.


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