I hit some sort of metaphorical wall in Pnomh Penh after getting back from Siem Reap. Whether you could call it travellers burnout or just a complete lack of inspiration, I don't know. I had gotten to the point where my lust for doing anything was at a minimum, I was starting to feel unwell (in a Withnail kind of way perhaps) and this was compounded by an unwillingness to move any great distance due to the utterly foul weather. It rained every day for the 4 days that I was back in the not so phenomenal pen. It rained hard and it rained for hours. Reports of a tropical storm from the east do not ease my worries but I put these on hold as I packed my bags and got a ticket for Sihanoukville. The fact that my source of entertainment in Pnomh Penh had been fobbing off tutk tuk drivers who tried to deal me drugs (mainly cocaine and heroin) with elaborate cover stories in varied accents (my best being that I was a cockney priest) served enough ammo for me to get out of the capital and experience something new. The day before I left, I was massively short changed by a side street money changer, robbed by a tuk tuk driver (only a couple of dollars but its the principle) and eaten one of the worst pizzas in the history of pizza making.
I am in Sihanoukville now and I'm not sure whether the experiences I have collected over the past 2 and a bit days have been anything to scream about. Its largely an expat community which I'm not the biggest advocate of. The beaches; I have seen nicer. The food; I have generally eaten a lot better in Cambodia. The ambience is a little too backpacker which I know sounds a bit ridiculous seeing as that is essentially what I am. I suppose you could say its charming, but not in the way I like to be charmed. Whilst sat watching a below par Chelsea at a frankly awful bar last night; cockney tones boomed behind me, raving about what I think was rosti. They pronounced it ROASTY, claiming it was done in the oven. Everyone knows its pan fried. Some people cannot be saved. The dinner I had there was interestig to say the least. Upon entering the establishment, I was given a flyer with the offer of a 6 dollar sunday roast. I didn't even know it was sunday but as it came highly recommended by none other than the New York Times, THE authority on traditional British cuisine, I obviously had to try it.
I think the best I have gotten out of this leg of my journey is picking up a Jack Kerouac book (quite possibly where JD Salinger got his inspiration for the greatest American novel ever) and a couple of albums from the imaginatively monikered "Boom Boom Boom".
I haven't been taking many photos of late because the light has been appauling and the inspiration has been lacking. I am not a visual artist. I am not a photographer.
Yesterday I read about an island off the coast where there is only one guest house and the beach is one of the last undiscovered, rough cut jewels of south east asia. Promises of seafood to order, caught hours before from the glut that lurks in the local waters made my mouth water as did the idea of being there, alone for a couple of days, lying in some kind of half Angkor beer induced stupor on an endless stretch of white sands and palm trees.
Fully booked for the next few days.
So, as I sign off, not in a bad mood but with increasing ambivalence towards the Cambodian coast, I am going to buy a bus ticket to another place, Kampot, 2 hours away from here where things are a little more local. I'm going to rent a motorbike and cruise around at my own pace and perhaps regain my lost enthusiasm. I think I have a zinc deficiency.