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Every Journey Counts Working with a charity and taking a look around. Just enjoying meeting people and living a different way of life with new challenges.

Urban versus Rural life

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 9 February 2011 | Views [934]

There was such a jump between the big cities and rural areas, much more than in Europe, I think because the development has been so much quicker and more recent. It makes things really uneven, and as soon as you start traveling you realise how a lot of that development is just the tiny tip of a mountain, only accessible for the elite and foreigners with the cash to climb it.

I like bus journeys, just so good to have that thinking and staring out of the window time. During a stop over in a small village I met some children, mainly girls selling fruit. No matter how many guidebooks you carry on your back there is no preparing you for the experience of a girl no more than ten stroking your arm and saying in perfect English ‘so white, so beautiful’. Seemingly fascinated by my skin colour and ‘beauty’? You can buy whitening creams here. Every moisturizer and shower gel claims to make your skin beautifully ‘white’! I guess it's the same as our fascination in England with tanning? The idea that we ply ourselves with gravy browning and henna staining must be perverse for the Khmer just like it is for me to be considered beautiful for my whiteness.

I've arrived in Kampot and my first impression it's a very small town.
Much quieter than the city except for the crickets and geckos. It's so nice to be here
and such a change to the city. When I arrived there was a bike from Epic waiting for me at the hostel. It’s actually safer to ride than walk since there is no pavement or crossings for pedestrians at all.

Tomorrow I will meet the Epic team at the centre, but I don't too feel nervous, just full of long over due excitement and anticipation!

Meeting the neighbours... I moved into a room at the weekend, not far from the Epic Arts centre. It’s out of town by a one minute cycle and there's no street lights (but there isn't really many in the town either) and down a bit of a dirt track. At least I can give it a go! I much prefer to have my own space where I can cook myself and wash clothes etc, just have a bit of extra freedom... Khmer style!  This morning I met the neighbours when they were helping me to hang the mozzy net by fashioning 2 bricks to a piece of string, throwing it over the wall and tying the net to it! Sounds like something Heath-Robinson would come up with!! I love the makeshift style!

Yep, as you can see, that is a chicken walking past my back door! They drink the water in the back passage where people cook. There are chicks everywhere and cows that feed in the trenches dug out for when the rain comes, but at the moment are filled with litter.

Tags: bicycles, kampot, rural, shower gel, urban

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