A Day in the Life of Caroline and Sven in Takeo
Jan 21, 2012
|It's amazing how quickly you can adapt to new routines and how little you miss things that once you thought were important.
Our alarm goes off at 7 am, though mostly we are awake before this, and we jump on our bikes for a one kilometer ride towards town. We share the road with a few cars, trucks, vans, LOTS of motorbikes and LOTS of bicycles. It is right hand drive in Cambodia but road rules seem to be optional!
We have our favorite restaurant where each morning we have pee bou moeun, num bang and Khmer coffee (2 eggs with bread - crusty baguettes). The strong coffee has a big dollop of condensed milk at the bottom. A pot of green tea is also given to all diners. For this we pay the huge sum of 10,000 riel ($2.50).
We linger here in the relative cool of the morning at the roadside table, watching life in Takeo. It never ceases to amaze us what people transport on motorbikes - often up to 4 family members, babies/toddlers held in one arm while driving with the other, ducks hanging by their tied legs from the handle bars, pigs in baskets across the back seat or trussed and fastened on to the seat, many passengers ride side saddle carrying their groceries, or in fact any imaginable thing! We watch monks on their morning journeys collecting food and/or money offerings. We watch the man across the road watering the grass at the park to try and keep it green and the ladies sweeping up leaves and rubbish at the side of the road into piles and then burning them. People pull up at the restaurant on their motorbikes or in their cars and take out orders are delivered to them, the plastic bags hung on the motorbike handles.
Last week we saw a funeral procession go past, the chief mourners walking through town all dressed in white, the coffin following on a truck heaped with yellow flowers and then all the mourners who followed on motorbikes, bikes and cars had a spray of yellow flowers too.
Breakfast time is always fascinating and never to be rushed!
The rest of our morning is taken up with doing laundry (in a basin at the back of our guest house), preparing what we need for our afternoon's teaching, going to the market (another fascinating place to wander and observe) or catching up with emails. We pick up lunch at the market or I Love You Mart (the local "supermarket") before heading to NFO guest house to eat and chat with the other volunteers. Our tuktuk leaves at about 12.30 for the 1/2 hour ride out through rice fields and small villages to Little Po school. We are here until 4pm before returning to the NFO guest house once more.
We then sometimes get on our bikes to bike down to the orphanage to spend time with the children, or relax at the guest house with a beer first. Some nights we eat at NFO guest house or Sven and I will cycle in search of dinner. We have discovered one place GFC (not to be confused with KFC!) where they serve hamburger and chips. We ventured there one evening, but mostly we dine on Khmer food - a delicious variety of spicy dishes served with rice.
It is dark by 6 pm so after dinner we bike "home" in the dark (we have lights on our bikes), watching out for pigs, dogs, cows, people, road side stalls as well as motorbikes and bicycles.
After spending the day sweating in 30+ degree temperatures and high humidity the ultimate luxury is a cold shower and stretching out in an air conditioned room - pure bliss! Life is good and we are easily pleased!!