Life on the Road

A Day in the Life

  • June 28, 2017

I’ve hesitated doing a post like this, mostly because I wasn’t sure how interesting it would be. But I’ve gotten a few questions about what everyday life looks like around here, so I’ve snapped a few photos throughout my day to paint a picture of what living in Siem Reap looks like. Here goes…

My day usually begins with yoga, meditation, journaling, and herbal tea. Yes, I know. It’s as hippie-ish as it sounds. But given the slower pace of this country, it really feels right here. After that, I usually prepare what I affectionately refer to as “prison oatmeal” – that is, oats and peanut butter mixed with boiled water from my kettle. It tastes better than the name suggests. And then it’s time to venture out! I pack up my laptop and head to one of my favorite cafes to get some work done.

It takes about 20-25 minutes to walk there, at which point I’m usually sweating profusely and have refused between 20-30 tuk tuk rides. Finally, I arrive at a cafe, and promptly order an iced coffee.

This is Footprints Cafe, which also doubles as a used bookstore. Be still, my heart. After working for a few hours, I usually order some lunch or head to a different spot. Since it’s about a million degrees all the time, I’m not usually craving anything too heavy.

So I usually go with something light. Yes, this is hot soup. Hot foods allegedly cool you down in warm weather, though I’m not sure if that’s actually true. Then begins the walk back to my apartment, where I’ll usually rinse off, rehydrate, and do a little more work. A midday coconut is pretty essential.

Since I don’t really have a kitchen (or um, a working refrigerator) in this apartment, I have to eat out for all of my meals. So once dinnertime hits, I head back out to grab food. Sometimes I’ll bring something back to my apartment, and other times I’ll eat in a restaurant. On my way, I sometimes spot some “rush hour” traffic…

Or, on the other hand, a kid walking his cow home…

Finally, dinner time!

A plate of noodles like this usually runs about $2-4.

After dinner, I head back and catch a surprisingly beautiful sunset over Concrete Drain Road.

Then down my alleyway…

(My apartment is just down on the left.)

Finally, I take my real, “I’m-in-for-the-night” shower, and do what I would normally do at home: watch Netflix, read, or let’s be real, watch Netflix.

So there you have it – this is what a normal, boring day in Siem Reap looks like!

2 Comments
  • Robert W. Grzywacz

    We’ll your everyday is interesting to me. Punctuating the day with showers reminds me of one of James Bond’s frequent pastimes while on assignment in the Caribbean. (That would be between his other favorite pastimes of adventure and women, sometimes combined.) And with a mid-day coconut, do you drink it, eat it, puree it or what?

    Cambodia was once part of French Indochina. Is there any remnant of the French there? Any French spoken or, lacking conversational Cambodian (it probably goes by another name), is there significant opportunity to interact with English speakers? What about French food? Your bowl of souplette looked quite tasty.

    And speaking of iced coffee, we (and I0 are much accustomed to copious quantities of same here. Are you looked at quizzically when you ask for it?

    A half hour walk to a café sound somewhat less than cosmopolitan.. Are these frequented by an average Cambodian? And what is the economic base of your city; what are some signature occupations?

  • Diane Johnson

    I also enjoyed hearing about everyday life and it sounds quite good to me, too! I loved the rush hour photo. You have probably learned Cambodian for iced coffee but how do you order food? Are you picking up much Cambodian language? Do the local people seem open to interacting with you? Are there many other ex-pats in your area?

    Looking forward to hearing more!

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