Archive | September, 2013

Breaking up with Cambodia. :P

23 Sep

Dear Cambodia,

I’m bringing our on again and off again relationship to a close. Yes, this last month has been really great and you’ve showed me you could change, but we both knew early in the game that this wasn’t going to last for very long. I mean, I’ve already tried to leave you ….twice now, but you pulled on my hear t so I decided to give you another chance.  You threw in plenty of distractions composed of lovely people and wonderful memories, but I can’t stay in this dream like state forever.  You’re not exactly great for my health. I mean at least you didn’t try to kill me off multiple times like your big neighbor, Thailand (I still love you, Thailand!), but still. I’m tired of living out of my backpack, and I know I can’t blame that on you, but I never felt comfortable enough here to really try to settle down in a place more temporary than a guesthouse room.

Besides the aforementioned, why not stick it out and give it another go? Here’s why. I’ve learned more than I expected in less than six months and the one thing that resides with me the strongest is this, nothing is permanent. I’ve been practicing on letting go of my attachments (thank you, Nop!) to things, people, places because they are all temporary and placing so much into them does result in a suffering of sorts. I don’t mean to say that I’ve stopped or am trying to stop valuing friends and family. That’s not it at all. It’s just that, I am starting to see that it is possible to love unconditionally, but to not hang on to it and invest so deeply that I can’t see the way out. I’ve done that my whole life and even if there are an infinite amount of moments of happiness, that happiness fades at times and is replaced by other not so great “feelings”. I’ve talked about finding balance for as long as I can remember and I am finally starting to get a look in on how to do that. So yes, Cambodia, while I will technically miss you, I can’t let that fear of feeling longing for something keep me stuck. I would love to come back again, so if that opportunity happens, then awesome. If not, you have given me so much and I can’t ever forget that, so here is a list of 7 things that I love about you, and after this closure, let us part ways.

1. Seeing monks in orange robes. Even after six months it still makes my day to see monks walking around Phnom Penh.

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(Being sneaky even though he had already taken a photo with me :p)

2. Cambodians. I am oddly enough a people person who isn’t really a people person. I love human kind but I am very ummm selective (I am in need of a better word!) about my personal relationships with people. Those reservations go out the window with the locals here. They are the warmest, smiliest (yeah, I just made that a word), and generous people I have yet to meet. What makes Cambodia so beautiful to me are the people.   428754_10151484187553143_1235923604_n
(SSD kids. One of my best memories of Cambodia <3)
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One of the sweetest girls I have ever met. We visited her family in their province and they were so generous and kind. Love you Choryee.
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(While I wasn’t passionate about teaching, if I were to teach anywhere it would be here.
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(My little munchkins and friend, Panha.)
 3. Foreign cafes. I know this is a weird thing to list, but I have been to some of the best little foreign-owned cafes in this city. For example, The SHOP and their raspberry chocolate tarts goodness. Now I’m hungry!
So good!
4. Wat Botum Park. I love coming here when the sun is setting and the city begins to cool off and go for a run, or sit and people watch. It’s pretty empty during the day but at night it fills with families having  picnics, aerobic dancers exercising (I say this loosely as they aren’t really exerting themselves lol), and the cute couples who can finally be together without it causing too much of a fuss.
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(I love these beautiful overcast days.)
5. The sky. The other day I was talking with a friend about how great Cambodian clouds are lol. But seriously, they are! The sky always seems so close here and when a storm comes, it feels as if we’re enclosed in a snow globe of fluffy clouds of white. And have you seen the pictures of the sunsets?!  Beautiful. As I have been a lazy girl here, I cannot personally say the same for sunrises. Sorry sunrises, I’m sure you have plenty of fans!
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(This is like every day!)
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(Do you see how close these clouds are?!)

6.) The traffic. I know this is a weird thing to love, but I really do. I love the chaos of it all. All of the motos and tuk-tuks and people selling things in the streets. It was just so full of life.

traffic in PP

(This doesn’t do justice to what I’m talking about)

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(Motos everywhere!)

7.) The Markets. Though I didn’t buy much from the markets, I loved walking through them and just being there. I love how fresh the fruit is and it’s SO cheap. Sadly we don’t have markets such as those found in Asia back in the States because of food safety, or some such nonsense.

market

fresh fruit

(Fresh fruit everywhere! <3)

I am now posting this back from Virginia, and seeing all these pictures really confirms how lucky I am to have had such an experience and to see so many beautiful people and places. You’ll always hold a very special part of me, Cambodia. Thank you for all the memories and lessons. ❤