Tag Archives: angkor. wat

A Wonderful Day

Today I walked the tourist trail rather than the Asperger Path. I got up, more early than bright, and headed off with two strangers for a rather ambitious full-on day of marvelling at the ancient culture that both my companion and our driver are descended from. 

Just when I thought the sun would not appear it rose triumphant like it has for nearly a thousand years over the ancient temple. I saw the dark stones slowly reveal themselves and the true wonder of the Kingdom I live in was revealed. The temple did not fail to keep me gasping as level upon level was explored. I came away feeling that my day could not improve. 

I was wrong. The tuk tuk driver suggested that we head to the most northerly point of our trip next and I assured him that as long as there was a coffee on the way that would be great. The long awaited sun was already making its presence felt but the forty or so kilometres were covered with ease, breeze and an interesting conversation. My companion give me an insight into ancient Khmer culture and growing up in a country scarred by the tragedy of it’s recent history. Our steep ascent to see waterfalls and lingas was testing as the heat rose but being greeted by Vishnu hanging out with Ananta, Lakshmi and Brahma was a delight I was happy to share. 


As we slowly headed back wonder upon wonder was revealed. Each different and yet linked which created a sense of uniform splendour surrounding these amazing early architects with mathematical precision and an ability to see divine inspiration in three dimensions. 

The real joy of my day though was its ease. I was comfortable with strangers in intense heat and following a physically demanding itinerary. I accepted help graciously and was not worried about time or schedules. I was as lost in the landscape as those temples once were.  I was asked why I kept smiling and I was able to answer that I just felt happy. That in itself is a wonder. I forgot who I was and in doing so found myself in receipt of a wonderful day. 

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Highs

There were three of them. I judged them on their expensive box fresh trainers and concluded they were Japanese. They sat and watched the sunset. The clothes they sported will never be worn in the chic, urbane bars of Tokyo. They sipped potent highballs perching on perilous high stools. 

No doubt they are here to see temples and experience the Angkorian serenity of the massive complex. Buddhist-Hindu fusions that have defied gravity and time and still reach into the heavens. From these dizzy heights to the rather less divine, but equally disorientating, highs of sin city’s bars they have descended like a million others before them. 

You can purchase a great deal more than sheep and oxen in this temple town and the money changers are sitting pretty on every corner. I am a resistor. I say no the marijuana from the tuk tuk driver and politely decline the myriad of earthly delights that my dollar can purchase. No happy herb pizza, no happy ending and no ecstatic shakes for me. The Asperger Path has become so straight and narrow. 

Perhaps I should buy those elephant print trousers but for now I will leave that to my young highballing friends in the high end trainers