Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos

The Disappearing Man

Pha That Luang glistened in the distance, a beacon on the far side of the sea of tarmac. On my side a few stubbly trees gave shelter to a smattering of dozing songthaew drivers. Their makeshift hammocks, strung across the bed of their little pick-ups, rustled as they spotted me and began to lazily shout.

“Tuk tuk! Tuk tuk!”

I ignored them as I searched the shaded oasis.

The driver I’d arrived with, and not yet paid, was gone.

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Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos

If it’d been a western movie a tumbleweed would have bounced through the scene. The sun was trying its best to beat the heat into the ground. The difference between light and shade was so strong we two foes seemed to be enclosed in a hallway of dark tones. I eyed the border control officer through the small window. He looked up from his seated position, his gaze unmoving and unfazed. I twitched.

Then I clawed for my wallet and slapped 1,800 baht on the counter. A hand slipped out, swept up the money and the small window quietly, unhurriedly rolled close.

I started grumbling at the sky.

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War Stories from Canada and Thailand

They say history is written by the winner. That’s about the only thing we can say with conviction when it comes to tales of the past. Every side of an event experiences a different reality and every witness walks away with a different story. However, the victorious are anything but quiet and the losers tend to push the memory out of the collective conscience as quickly, and quietly, as possible.

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Hey Big Spender

Before I left for Thailand I asked Google how do I avoid buying souvenirs?

It’s a question as foolish to ask as how do I avoid getting pregnant? because there are so many choices and Google shares some pretty hazardous answers.

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Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

She watches intently as the sun begins to slip behind the hills, leaving a rainbow in its wake. The clouds greet the colours and joyfully flaunt them in a fashion runway march. A willing designer, the sun throws streaks and patterns across the sky. Continue reading “Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia”

Angkor Complex, Cambodia (by bicycle)

Angkor, Angkor show me your wonders true,

I’m half crazy over the likes of you

It won’t be a speedy viewing

I can’t afford a tuk tuk

But you look sweet, from upon the seat of a bicycle borrowed for 2

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Angkor Complex, Cambodia

“One dollar, one dollar. Two magnets, one dollar. Ok, ten postcards one dollar. One dollar. One dollar. One dollar.”

The child looked up at me, her eyes wide and glimmering. Shuffling the objects in the plastic tray slung across her stomach she pulled up one item after another and repeated the mantra.

“One dollar, one dollar, one dollar. Lady, maybe later? One dollar.”

She looked hopeful, her eyes sparkling with calculations but a tired strain fed into her voice. I could only smile at her. I didn’t want to be rude but I wouldn’t be buying anything.

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Bayon Temple, Cambodia

Down in the labyrinth, beyond the soaring light, I found a place of contemplation. Dust particles danced on the one weak shaft of light that managed to pierce its way through. Settled in the nook of a once-window-in-the-wall or perhaps once-home-for-a-Buddha I looked across the small sheltered courtyard. This place at the centre of everything felt right. Far above me, in the heat of the afternoon amused entities observed the tourist traffic at the foot of their towers—their eyes ever open to the world, their lips cast in chuckles and half-smirks. Continue reading “Bayon Temple, Cambodia”

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

By the feeble light of our phone flashes we trudged on. It was pitch black. I hadn’t experienced that kind of darkness in a long time. It engulfed everything and seemed to eat at the little light we had at our disposal.

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Travelling to Siem Reap, Cambodia

So after giving you an introduction to Cambodia’s circus skills I figured I should back-track and let you know about the trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap in case I have anything helpful to share.

I was travelling solo. Yep one of the things I learned was that I am in fact capable of travelling solo. I even managed to slow my sprinting heart rate down and relax for most of the trip.

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