May 13, 2010

Appreciating Cambodia

After a few days of self-pity and heat exhaustion, today I finally feel that all is again right with my strange Cambodian world. I realized today at Orussei market how far I've come since January. As I became one with the traffic, moving organically between vehicles of all sizes and speeds, I felt composed and confident. The aromas that have at times inspired nausea were suddenly fragrant and mouth-watering. I was on an olfactory tour through fresh barbecue, tangy lime and even the incomparable durian fruit. The claustrophobic bustle inside the three-floor market felt less overwhelming and more like an exciting shopping possibility. Tough I was still totally disoriented when I left the labyrinth of second-hand goods, I navigated back to the place I wanted to be.

Around the market, the soft curve of the French-colonial buildings was charming again. The bright clothes hung over the dingy balconies seemed homey and normal. I appreciated Cambodia again for the first time in a long time.