That's what Siem Reap is. A sprawling, sometimes incoherent place sliced in half by the Siem Reap river, which runs north/south, and divided again by National Route 6. Cars shoot over and through it to points east and west of town. Trucks often drive Route 6 at a deadly pace; Siem Reap's children aren't yet used to big-city highway speeds. Traffic in town is leisurely and easily veers away from pairs of high school students chatting on pushbikes or small Charly motos.
Chickens, cows and itinerant schoolchildren would saunter down the dirt roads in front of our concrete house. Every morning & afternoon, we heard a series of high-pitched squeaks: the telltale rubber horn of the recycling man. A child's toy used as marketing ploy. Withered men pushed wooden recycling carts filled with plastic and aluminium. They'd stop at the strident call from a housewife, and carefully count out small 100riel notes as payment for their recyclable refuse.
Cutting Sugar Cane
I love this big village, and have lived on the east and west sides of town. Most expats prefer to live east of the river: it's quieter and, some might say, more "genuinely Khmer". But I don't think most of us transplanted here understand what that is, unless we've got a Khmer partner.
New Year's Offerings
Though Siem Reap is a lovely town, I no longer want to live anywhere without my better half.
It's time to build a life with R. in Hong Kong for a few years. We have some exciting possibilities there in the works. Touch wood, that is....
Fabrics from Ratanakiri