Coast of Cambodia

Trip Start Jul 20, 2006
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Trip End May 10, 2007


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Children meant to be in school are walking along the white sand beaches with baskets of fruit on their heads and hangers with bracelets slung over their shoulders.
 
"Lady, why you not buy from me" they say as they sit down on your beach chair and fling their arms around your legs. The lady boy with the fruit on his head, rubs my legs checking for leg hair claiming that, "I can take off, no hurt," as he/she pulls out a string and demonstrates the string method of hair removal - which hurts like hell.
 
My left wrist has a growing broad of bamboo bracelets bought mostly out of mercy from children who claim, "today no business, you no buy from me, school costs $10 month, you buy from me." 

 

Women pace the beach with babies on their backs and baskets of grilled prawns on their head tops claiming, "lobster, lobster!" Conveniently brushing the sand off your feet to inspect your toes, "pedicure" she asks. Then, grabbing your hand and saying "manicure" or rubbing your shoulders and saying "massage".  The beach turns into an all out complete spa package for $6, free view included.
 
After days of being bombarded with dark brown hands in your face, or people with no hands sticking their stumps in your face, you become slightly desensitized and a little less friendly. However, there are times the kids just want to chill out and kick around a soccer ball or thrown a Frisbee instead of peddle fruit and bracelets.
 
But since everyday is pretty much "same same, but not different" (a popular catch phrase here in SE Asia) the question on the beach is usually "what day is it?" They all seem to blend into each other.
 
The sand here is incredible. It is as soft as baby powder and crinkles under your feet making the sound of fresh packed snow powder on a winter morning, as it crunches with each foot forward. The bay that surrounds Serendipity and Occhetual beaches are perfect for sunset happy hour cocktails and long walks on the beach. Have I found paradise?
 
With Monica set to take off back to the States in just a few days, I brace myself for the separation anxiety of not having my favorite travel partner along for the ride. Next stop is Vietnam, starting in Ho Chi Minh City, otherwise known as Saigon. Just not sure when exactly I will make it there for the "same, same" attitude of the coast of Cambodia is pulling me farther and farther into its abyss of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and $4/night accommodations.
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