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Being back in Phnom Penh Cambodia

So its nice being back in my sometime home. Truth is that I will be only here until 11 October and then I go to Vietnam a last time. I don’t have a bunch of stuff to get done so I take each day as I want. I go for walks with the camera and my new iPhone 11. Try to see a few people here I know and also get a few things done like visiting a dentist and getting my hair cut. Its kinda like home I guess.

I got to see my friend AV here today which was nice. She is Khmer and lives outside of Phnom Penh a bit and works at a restaurant and bar. I don’t know if you have ever met Khmer people but they have to be the most friendly, outgoing, and warm people ever. I have had kids run up on the street wanting their photos taken or just to say hello. When I walk down the street from my Airbnb, the lady that runs the little restaurant next door often stops to say hello. At small coffee stands, warm greetings ensue and lots of smiles. I think of all the places that here and Vietnam have to have the most warm and authentic people I have met. Its a nice island when compared to my memories of living in the US before. I also get spoiled rotten with it. I enjoy getting the hellos from people, being welcomed to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. It makes the every day part of living in Cambodia so nice.

When you come here, you are reminded that this is Southeast Asia. This is not some pretty place like Singapore where there are no cigarette butts or trash on the streets. This is the real world and sometimes it is brutal to see. Poverty and starvation live next door to splendor and luxury here. I saw the same in Chennai India for so many years there.

I do remember one woman walking with her children outside of a light rail and asking for spare change. She spoke pretty good english and told me the money was for her children. Sparing a few INR is easy and she did not want much. She did tell me she was happy for what she had and that stuck with me a long time. Perhaps a handful of rice, some clothing on the back, a path to walk. Who knows?

Here its the same to me. I can see the starving and poor here very easily yet they are the same people that will say hello to me on the streets when I walk by. Someone asked me a year ago if I felt frightened here. Honestly no. I have never been accosted, threatened, or mugged here. No one has touched me and I don’t think most Khmer people would ever do that. There are the thugs everywhere. The same in Vietnam. I’ve wandered Hanoi at night somewhat inebriated and only had a woman offer me boom boom from a Grab motorbike a few times which I though was fun.

So life here continues until 11 October. I will write here every so often if I find a thing worth or even not worth saying and maybe share some photographs. Phnom Penh has things to see and I enjoy the basic things here which include people. Getting to see my friend AV was nice today. Going to international restaurants is fun but today she took me to a nice little khmer place where the beef fried rice was $2.50 and a big bottle of water was $0.50. I got to eat there and perhaps this is the vision that people have coming here. I asked her and she thought that most tourists would never end up here. Down an alley, away from the tourist zones. Its just beneath the notice yet the food was homemade and good.

blogging and such

Blogging and such has changed since moving to and having my domain hosted here. Its been a more relaxing plunge in the cool waters of creating content for its own sake. I stopped for a day or so to consider what I wished to create in the blank slate of the page I get when I want to publish. Its like so much more with so much less than Wordpress. I get to focus perhaps coming up on some stories to tell about my retired life here and there. I don’t feel the desire to look at other plans after the $300 a year for the business plan of which I only wanted a few things. I think Wordpress has turned the corner on creating for its own sake and really want the folks that wish to write sponsored posts, do online marketing, sell products, create these personas sometimes that are bigger than life itself. I don’t care for that kind of delivery. I like the good old days perhaps when Advogato was around where the balance of what someone said was in their words. Then content and its creation was supreme and ideas flowed like water. Ideas were vivid and living things and people wrote their lives down whether it was technology, social issues, travel. Now we find ourselves in the world of likes and plus signs or dislikes and negative signs. I wanted to opt out of that because I don’t feel for what I do it adds value. You can like a post of mine. Perhaps it brings confusion to clarity or the other way but just judge the content and not how many people pushed the like button.

In the end with blogging, I prefer the wild places where ideas flourish. This place is one of them.

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