Long days and sleepless nights in Paris had me literally burning the candle at both ends, and when I arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Saturday afternoon, I slept for a delicious 11 hours. Siem Reap, Cambodia has a very similar feeling to other Asian countries. It feels energetic, bustling, playful, colorful, and a bit chaotic (however, that’s not really the right word. I’ll stick with it for now.)
It smells good here in Siem Reap. I don’t know what it is, but it does smells comforting, grounding, earthy, exciting and rich. Look, there’s lots of pollution from the poor auto exhaust systems and there’s bound to be some areas where the trash is overwhelming, but beneath the smell of all that is Asia, and Asia is good.
My first impressions of the city will be very short because I am experiencing that glorious culture-shock that happens when you go from the quiet peace of heaven on Earth in Farrera, to the urban sophistication of Paris to the silken mystery of Siem Reap. Since my arrival, I have taken a long walk around the city. I was not inspired to take photos simply because I needed to be quiet with everything that was going on around me– and that was not easy here in Siem Reap! This is a moped culture so there are very few people out walking. I was stopped every few hundred yards and asked if I’d like a ride on a motor bike or in a tuk tuk. “Tuk tuk, Lady? Walking makes you tired!” The thing is, riding in a tuk tuk isolates me, keeps me apart from what’s happening with the city. So I’ll go by foot. I’m going to get up early tomorrow and walk to Angkor Wat.
Toward the end of my walk, I found an indoor market in the new town and I bought a bit of fruit for home.