Thursday, October 2, 2008

backstreets

jogging down the backstreets of cambodia can be a trip.
.
first of all, someone my size is about a foot taller than anyone here, and probably outweighs the heaviest guy by 60 pounds. because of that, you tend to stand out a bit.
.
i decided to go for a jog last night, and found myself easing through tiny villages next to rice paddies.
.
when people would see me coming, they'd stop and stare (and usually call other family members to come outside to see the show). little kids would jog along with me and ride their bikes next to me, and they's sing "hello, hello, hello" in unison. i tried to say "sauce-die" (the phonetic pronunciation of "hello"), but finally gave up and just said hello to every person in the street.
.
everybody was smiling, and i said "hello" about a thousand times. i felt like "rocky balboa," jogging down the streets of philly, before the big fight.
.
every now and then, someone would break up the monotony by saying "one two, three, four" as i jogged on by. it feels really safe and friendly here.
.
i'm staying at a place called the "ancient angkor guest house," and today had a hot shower!
.
heaven.
.
more on the wat (temple) later...

5 comments:

  1. Willy, Judy, Kelly, Abby, Sydney and TikiOctober 4, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    Hey Lenny, I loved the piece on the jogging. From one fellow jogger to another, it was inspiring. Everyone should have an experience like that in their lifetime. You have had many moments of fame and that is just one of them. I trust it will not be your last. Take care, be safe, write often.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks,gang :)

    Judy, truth is, one problem with jogging in the cities (here) is the air quality.

    More than ever, I'm realizing that there is an incredible amount of pollution on this planet.

    In order to be respectful, I haven't shown pictures of the trash, the filth, and the raw reality of an unbelievable, man-made problem.

    We (as a planet) have a long, long way to run before we reverse some of these processes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to jog in fiji along the foreshore (in suva), one day, the school kids had just gotten out for the day, they parted like a wave in front of me, some clapping and some running alongside (usually barefoot). hahahahha. And re the pollution - diesel fumes increase the amount of lead levels in the body by a phenomenal amount. I often wonder what chance people have in 'developing' countries. and the plastic, my god, the plastic. Everyone needs to experience it at least once, though, without staying in a hilton sequestered from reality. It can be life changing.

    claude

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now you've done it, Claudia.
    .
    Now I can't wait to jog in Fiji :)
    .
    Re: pollution -- If people really got to see it, they'd know the true gravity of the situation.
    .
    Even those who argue that global warming might not be due to man (huh?) could never argue that pollution isn't.
    .
    If each of us does a little bit, though, we can have a huge effect. Let's talk about this more.
    .
    LLLenny

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re the pollution, the epic size and complexity of the problem can be discouraging, but there are hopeful signs. Samoa banned plastic bags in June 2006 - of course you can reuse the ones you have or possess them, but no new ones are being imported into the country. I don't know about Thailand, but the people of the south pacific are extremely resourceful. New stuff is hard to come by, so they re-use, re-use, re-use until the object is unrecognisable. They also use a lot of traditional handicraft like weaving for mats, baskets, bags made from local plants; so not only are they not buying, but they aren't buying plastic or importing over long distances. In villages, they eat local (whatever they grow and catch), they use local materials for housing, they spend a lot of time communicating with each other in person, etc. People in developing countries have a lot to teach us about sustainability.

    ReplyDelete