O. M. F. G. Don't talk about it, don't even think about it... in travel you don't question, you experience, and that is what I have just done, and is what I recommend. Say yes to a soothing Khmer massage from someone at Seeing Hands - the place where you get a one hour massage by a blind person (and in my case, I'd like to point out the talents of Rothan [Ro-tarn]) for $6 USD. Bloody bargain! You can't ignore that knot in your tendon for that price. After all, you have been walking everywhere for the last few weeks... or have you been lazy succumbing to the tuk-tuk chants? Bleh...
So I changed from my powder pink polo into powder blue scrubs ("You scrub up quite nice," says Bec, a tour companion of mine, giving me the old 'hey hey' look as she made the joke) and lay face down on the mattress waiting for Rothan to finish his previous client. And then slowly, he felt his way to my bed and welcomed me to Seeing Hands, asking if I had any problems or anything he should work harder on. "I'm just a little ticklish, so I apologise if I whack you in the face when you start on my feet!"
He laughed, taking his cue to begin easing me into the relaxation. This was my first massage from a professional so I tried to follow the pattern in which he worked over my head, back, arms, hands, butt, legs and feet... but was stopped short of the head, almost as if he'd pushed a pressure point that switched the brain to standby. Besides, we began to talk about our lives up until that point. Outside a monsoon drenched the coast of Cambodia in warm rain.
"I don't much like the rain," he stated... accented English almost perfect. "I'm afraid I might slip over, but it is nice at night." I couldn't agree more, looking forward to falling asleep again with the rain patting the roof of my bungalow accommodation in Sihanoukville. I listened as Rothan talked passionately about being blind as his way of life... that he'd been a masseuse for seven years now and how every body felt different. We both chuckled when we heard a guy on another table start to snore loudly.
Compared to many disabled, landmine victims, or poverty-stricken Khmers, I believe Rothan is happy. These people have none of the wealth our countries pride themselves on, but remain positive, trying to improve their situation by living their lives humbly. I respect that and wish I was more willing to be satisfied with what I have, not what I think I need based on what Facebook or Perez Hilton thinks I should care about. I find travelling reminds me of this pact I make with myself every time I'm away from Sydney... I'm reading Alex Garland's The Beach at the moment and in it, he talks about how all travellers should experience poverty to be qualified as worldly and interesting... and that's just the start...
But I don't want to sound overly preachy here... I'm just saying. There isn't much else to do when it has rained for four days straight in a white sanded tourist mecca. Swimming is risky, as Graham (on our tour) got scratched with barnacles when he got caught in a rip, and punters interrupt your beachside beverages hounding you to buy crap... but yes, the change of pace is noticably different from Phnom Penh, the capital we spent two days in prior to this. Unfortunately, we just happen to be here during the wet season, so what can you do?
I recommend going for a massage... but, that's just me!