Friday, 13 March 2009

Contrasts


I've often heard people who have been to India say they felt guilty as they traveled in luxury and saw the poverty that surrounded them. I have never experienced those feelings of guilt until Cambodia. Above is a picture of our cabin window and our wicker chairs on the deck. A private and luxurious place to sit and watch The Mekong as we sailed along.

These are the houses families live in along The Mekong Delta. In the rainy season the Mekong rises and the stilts are hidden under water. I didn't feel too guilty as there's not much I can do about our contrasting lives. I did buy as many locally made souvenirs as I could. I did take all the toiletries supplied in the bathroom on the boat and give them to the local women every day.

During our three day stay in a hotel in Seam Reap while we explored Angkor Wat my very cheap New Look watch strap broke. I chucked the strap into the bin in our hotel room and kept the watch face on my bedside table.

I went into our room while the girl was cleaning it. I apologised for disturbing her and said I'd come back later. She called me back and excitedly showed me my watch. She'd seen the strap in the bin, got some glue and mended the strap, fixed it to the face so the watch looked as new.

I can only hope she thought I'd accidently thrown the strap away. Not that I thought it was a cheap, throw-away item. Then I really did feel guilty.
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4 comments:

Maddie Grigg said...

God, it takes moments like these to realise what we have.

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Yes it does Maddie.

pal said...

What a great room cleaner to go to all that trouble.

Looks like a fantastic trip. Was Angkor Wat awesome? Or am I jumping th gun and you are just about to write about it?

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Hi Pal. Angkor Wat was very spiritual and extremely peaceful even though there are thousands of visitors making their way there every day.

We had a three day ticket as it would be impossible to take everything in. Even then we probably only saw the main sites.

So yes - it was awesome.

I seem to have stopped writing detailed travel stories since I stopped studying with the OU. Shame I know.