17 Dec Welcome to Paradise!
Read the sign! 😉
It feels a bit like coming to paradise. After a few hectic days of partying in Bangkok and culture in Angkor Vat, me and my friend Christian came down to the coast of Cambodia. He’s one of my closest friends, we did military service together and have had a lot of fun since then. Here we have ended up on an island for bag packers with electricity just enough to recharge the computer and a sign with “Free wi-fi … Tomorrow”. Once a day the boat goes out here. A wooden boat with a sunroof gently passing out between green islands in a warm sea. Out here live mainly younger Westerners from all countries. Some have just arrived, others came years ago and stayed.
If you have not already noticed, I’m a little crazy about girls. An interest I share with many of my friends and also with my father (even though he is done chasing them). They are so nice! Really giving me energy. My experience is that whether you are skiing in the Alps, surfing in Australia or partying in Magaluf so it is a majority of guys there. “Where are all the girls?”, I have often asked myself. Last winter, I discovered that many of them were in Ubud in Bali, where people go to eat vegetarian food, do yoga and lick their wounds after stressful jobs and ended relationships. Now I have discovered that the girls also come here to the Cambodian coast. This phenomenon must of course be analyzed. Why are there so many girls here per capita?
Here is everything that guys should like, but it is not a good surf spot. This means that the disturbingly good-looking macho guy, he with the surf board under his arm walking as if he owned the beach, is not here. The guys here are more gentle, they like to read and talk about life. And it seems the girls like it. Perhaps it is not so hot for girls with macho-guys after all? Since I too like to kite-surf, I feel ok for giving a swipe at all the surfer-dudes… The atmosphere here is soft and friendly, there is not much competition and no Magaluf-drinking contest or choleric music.
One difference between this place and Ubud is also that people in Ubud are talking about being open-minded, while people here ARE open-minded. (Generally speaking, of course there exist open-minded people in Ubud too). 😉 I understand now that this is probably the most important characteristic in humans for me to feel at home. Liberal legislation where everyone gets to do what she wants and where we are curiously interested rather than, secretly or unconsciously, cynically judging. Here I notice this in many ways. One example is that the atmosphere is much more flirtatious. They look each other in the eyes in a different way, there are less mental blockages disturbing the connection. At the moment we are five of us on the island who practice tantra in the same tradition, and normally we feel that we stick out. Partly because most of us are fairly sexually liberated. But here at the coast of Cambodia, it is easy to blend in. People are also humble, I have hardly met anyone who tries to be superior to anyone else. (So I’d better manage to hide my own hubris …)
A cool cow that I met on the mainland, just wanted you to meet her too.
Last night we took the boat to the mainland and something called the night-market. It was amazing. A square area with small stalls along the sides and a stage in the middle with the dance floor in front it. In the colorful stalls happy people from all sorts of countries were selling food, drinks and other things. Live bands played until midnight, when the electronic music took over to take us deeper. While there was a sense of a market and meeting place of the past, it felt also like a place of the future. A new earth. A sweet Russian with her mother stood in a corner selling popcorn and crepes. They made a great impression on me with their innocent and happy smiles. Of course they’d rather stay here than in Putin’s Russia, and it was so obvious they had more in common with people here compared to many of their countrymen. Here you meet people from all over the world and what unites them is that they are open-minded, have good intentions, seek connection and are curious about life. Everyone I interacted with this evening gave me that feeling.
The only thing I noticed missing in the night market were the Cambodians themselves. But I just think it’s a matter of time. The generation that is growing up here now speaks good English and many have also begun to have Western friends, “Curre” told us while showing us around. A 21-year-old Swedish guy with long blond hair who is here for the third consecutive year and are thinking about starting his own place eventually.
As I sat on the boat on the way back to the island, I got that strong feeling of being at home. Some twenty happy and harmonious people getting a boat ride back to the island over a calm sea under the stars. A warm wind softly caressing the skin as I lie back comfortably leaning against one of my friends and just observing the scene. Here are a few new friends from tonight, some of my Tantric friends and so Christian. A friend who symbolizes my old life, but who is also here in what feels like my new life. I was so thankful to see him there, grateful that everything I hold dear seems to be unit-able. In the same boat. It was beautiful, it was a moment where life felt like a painting where all I could ask for was alive around me encased in a soothing stillness. Thank you life.