i'm in thailand now, sitting in an outdoor internet cafe on the southern coast. reggae music is playing in the background and the accents i'm listening to are everything but thai... french, american, aussie, english. the air is humid and thick with mosquitoes, but there's a nice breeze in the air and the sunset tonight was out of this world. tomorrow i'm going rock climbing, and the next day i'm going to take a boat to the famous place where the film "the beach" was made.
i haven't written in a while b/c i was faced with the dilemma of doing justice to my angkor wat experience. words cannot express, as they say, and in this case, a picture is not worth a thousand words. how do you explain what it's like to watch the sun rise over an ancient khmer temple while the moon is still high in the sky on the opposite end of the park? how do you capture what it's like to channel your inner indiana jones / lara croft as you climb temples all day, clambering over crumbling rocks and staring at the serene faces of buddhas? how do you explain the strange combination of exhaustion and exhiliration that comes with watching the sun set over the horizon while sitting on top of an ancient temple, cracking open an ice-cold beer after a 12-hour day of hiking and climbing with new friends? how do you describe the sensation of placing banana after banana in the trunk of an apparently ravenous cambodian elephant?
it's nearly impossible. and that's why i haven't written. because i can't capture angkor wat in words or pictures. i can't explain what it's like to play with the local cambodian kids for hours... kids who were irritating the hell out of me a few hours before as they hassled me to buy their little trinkets, but as soon as we got past that, you realize they're kids and they're happy and they just want to play. they wrote me notes, taught me khmer, asked if i had a boyfriend, put flowers in my hair, gave me free bracelets, and completely absconded with my heart.
but, i'll try. here are a few shots...
playing with elephant trunks (that sounds sort of wrong):
hungry elephant trunk:
the view when i first walked in at 6 am: