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I like the place where we are staying.

It kind of looks like it’s in transition, like it used to be more hippie-ish but has been taken over and is in the process of being changed.  The toilets used to be compost ones, the instructions for them are still painted on the wall, although the toilets are all newly fitted ordinary Western style ones.  The bathroom walls are decorated with murals of wildlife.

There’s an alternative pharmacy, now closed, and a very smart newly refurbished restaurant.

I found a ‘creative space,’ a big table, some art, positive messages on the wall, now unused.  Nearby was another smaller table, I cleaned it up and made it my work space.

Each morning we go out to one of the cheaper places and get breakfast (beans on toast, fruit salad, the most enormous coconuts), maybe have a short walk, then we come back and I write (first) and do any internet stuff (second) for a couple of hours.

Then snacks, or chips and Sprite at the on site restaurant at lunch time; the only thing that stops me coughing is Sprite or water with copious amounts of ice.  Then I rest in our hut for a while- I am currently watching Billions on Netflix.  God knows why I like it, but I really do.

Then later we go out for dinner (vegetarian Khmer soup with tofu- a delicious clear soup with lots of veg).  On the way home we pass a pop up stall selling vegan energy bars and, wait for it, vegan Snickers!  (a homemade version of, but the most delicious, and guilt free thing I have tasted since March last year!)

One of the subjects my husband and I spoke about in the sea in Koh Rong (see previous post, and the red pill blue pill definition in The Matrix post previous to that one for more context/supporting info), was, is the whole ‘spiritual journey/search for meaning’ a trap, or at least, a cul-de-sac?  There’s nowhere to get to, and nothing to find.  Does even beauty fall into that category?  Is even the luminous beauty that I notice and document every day all part of the illusion?

Maybe it’s okay if, like everything else, it’s not taken too seriously.  So, like, ‘That’s nice, now get back to work.’  And maybe, well, ‘Whatever gets you through the night.’

I don’t know exactly what I believe right now, but here’s some pretty things I noticed about the place.  I seem to have a thing about shells, specifically crushed shells under foot on beaches, or in the design of corporate hotel lino, but any shells will do, as well as mosaics.  These all come up a lot in the book, I’ve noticed.




The above were all taken where we are staying.  The photo below is of our bathroom door in Hampi, just to prove some kind of point about themes.


Writing update

The end is in sight for completing a half decent draft of the Kerala section (23,000 words- that’s like two dissertations you know!).  For anyone struggling with writing, editing or doing their dissertation, this is my advice:  ‘Get yourself a cup of coffee, put your hair in a bun, and handle it.’   (I’m sorry that only long haired people may get that.)

Travel update

We leave here (Otres Village, Sihanoukville province, Cambodia) on Friday night for a twelve hour sleeper bus journey to Siem Reap, where we will stay for six days before leaving Cambodia and going to Vietnam.

Thank you very much for reading

All the best