This is the second post today that comes with a warning. The images are not quite as harrowing as the previous post but neither are they easy viewing. Again it is important to remember and learn lessons, but as I am currently on my own …
Month: November 2017
I have been sitting here thinking long and hard about this post. Part of me didn’t want to write it or have to look at my photos again and I questioned even if I should have taken photos of such horror. But in the end …
I apologise for being a bit slow keeping up with my travels here. I am blaming my shoddiness firmly on the lack of access to decent internet and not at all anything to do with enjoying myself and having a good time. Well I’m glad thats cleared up!
So onto Cambodia. First stop Phnom Penh for a blast to the senses of colour, sound, smells and people. The first evening there was the last day of festivities for the new moon festival that had been going on for about four days. The streets were full of hustle and bustle, families enjoying time together, lively music and food stalls all over the place. There was also an incredible amount of illuminations. The edge of the Mekong river that runs through the city was lined with big boats displaying an extravagant range of lights really quite beautiful and a great introduction to the city.
The food stalls looked interesting and I’m guessing full of tasty treats if you like deep fried crickets, silk worms, tarantula’s or embryo eggs. I am afraid I did not try any of these sorry to be a disappointment but I’m sure they might have been tasty? I love the accidental irony of the teeshirt slogan in the first photo too, its great when these things happen!
Cambodians have been through some really tough years in recent history and maybe because of this they seem to know how to party and they really love their King. His pictures are everywhere so much so I began to feel like maybe I’d met him somewhere before.
Now a festival is not a proper festival without porter loos. It made me chuckle to myself that I was half way around the world and really things are essentially just the same. We human beings have the same basic needs and issues wherever we live or whatever nationality we are. Remembering that creates a common ground and maybe a more tolerant attitude.
Anyway a good time was had by all including me a really great experience to see such a city in full party mode.
When I travel I am constantly picking up bits and pieces of ephemera all the little bits no-one else wants. This could be receipts, scraps of paper or fabric, packaging, left over money or bits of plants to press anything that evokes that place for …
For this leg of my travels I was travelling with G Adventures. I am very impressed with their ethos and style of travel. They also have projects all over the world that create work for local people and ensures that money from tourism goes back …
Now I think everyone may have gathered by now I am a little obsessed with tea. I am currently sitting in a guest house in the mountains in Myanmar writing this having got the owner to find me boiling water so I could have a large mug of earl grey (I take tea bags and a mug everywhere). You can’t be from Yorkshire and not be a fan of tea it is pretty central to life!
So this in mind I was looking forward to visiting some proper tea houses on this trip around Asia and this one is most definitely my favourite so far. It is run by an organisation called Reaching Out who were established in 2000 to help create work for people with disabilities. The Tea House is run entirely by people who are deaf so is a peaceful and tranquil oasis. They have a well organised process for ordering drinks and nibbles and some blocks on each table with useful words on so you can communicate in silence.
You are served a cup of green tea while you decide what you might like. Everything is served in beautiful china made locally. The sweet treats that are available to accompany your beverage are made by hand and the ones I tasted were delicious and went perfectly with my tea. I had local green tea and two choices of coconut snack one plain and one flavoured with green tea. The green tea one was particularly lovely and I have not managed to find it again on my travels so I assume it is special to them, I would love to work out how to make it…watch this space.
The space was very conducive to drawing and it was raining hard outside so I stayed for an hour or two and really enjoyed the quiet and the tea! This is one of the drawings from that day.
The same group also have a gift shop full of beautifully made local crafts from textiles to silver to ceramics and more. It is only about two minutes walk from the tea shop on the road behind and very well worth a look, they also take credit cards which is helpful and dangerous!