I was in Kampot last week and had lunch in a hotel right on the river. There was a young British couple with a small child playing on the swings and we got to talking. When I asked them if they were on vacation they said no, we live here, and pointed to their house down the river a bit.. It turns out they had come on vacation a few years ago, lived in a rented house right beside the hotel and got to know the owners and fell in love with Cambodia.
He was an electrician and she a teacher and they simply got up and left London, built their own house on the river and enjoy bringing up their child full time. When they lived in London, they told me, they spent all day working, putting their baby in child care and spent an hour or two talking to each other at night until they fell into bed exhausted. The man told me that he decided that was not the way he wanted to live with the woman he wanted to spend his whole life with so they packed up everything and left.
What is interesting he said, was that his parents, who had left Iran and Italy respectively, had a hard time with him leaving, although they had done the same thing to their parents one generation before.
I wonder how many of you, dear readers, feel the same way as this young couple and feel like packing up and building a house in the middle of a wilderness on a river in the middle of Cambodia with no neighbours within miles? How many of you would have the courage to actually do it?
Unfortunately, I discovered a great bakery near my home. The bad news is that I will put on lots of weight, but the good news is I can get my old clothes altered very cheaply or even more cheaply get new clothes made, so no problem. The French loaf is out of this world.
Anyway, I had a long talk with the French couple who had toured Phnom Penh and asked if the pollution was bothering me and I had to embarrassingly say I never even noticed i,t but now that they did mention it to me it is started to bother me. Kampot is great with the river running to the sea ( or is that away from the sea?) but they were really looking forward to travelling to Siam Reap and planned to spend a week there which is probably a good idea since there is so much to see.
I am sure you will read these and other stories in my next novel, so you have something to look forward to read how I changed things but if you have not read my first novel yet, It All Started in Mandalay, what are you waiting for?