A Long, Eye Opening Ride

Yesterday was incredible. I am pleased to be using such a description for what was also a rough journey of about 8 hours from the city of Battambang to Siem Reap on a bus.
.
It was gloomy outside and there had been torrential rains in those small pocket towns that you see in between the major cities. There are so many of these small pocket towns between Battambang and Siem Reap and much of them are struck with poverty. The rain had come in to create huge pools of red mud in these big pot holes in the main roads.
.
There were people living and working in these places, people living their normal lives. Although it was so different to what I am accustomed to and even though I struggled to understand it for most of the time, I got to witness first hand how my fellow humans did it in this part of the world. Just for that – I was awestruck.
.
This is a way of life that I will never be able to fully understand, but the realisation that I am here to witness it first hand was undeniably fascinating. I would stare out the window of the bus for hours, just trying to make sense of it all.
.
The trip was harsh and demanding, to say the least. There was a lot of tension and struggle and anxiety. During those long rides on your own, you tend to philosophise. Its quiet and you dont really have any distractions, so your mind wanders off out the window.
.
There were many existential questions that popped up throughout my mind. These existential questions came from a combination of what I was witnessing outside, the book I was reading which is based around this science, reason and human progression in an era of “enlightenment”, plus my own dogmas and views and beliefs – many which I had to contest with over the course of the ride.
.
The ride wasn’t easy. I couldn’t fall asleep because I was at the front of the bus and the bus driver kept sitting on his horn literally every 15 seconds to warn motorists in front or the occasional person on a bicycle, that a big bus was coming its way. These main roads aren’t that wide and they are lined with big pot holes. A lot of them are out in the middle of no where, where you get to see small isolated pockets of villages every now and then.
.
My mind was giving me grief at times. I was frustrated with how long we were taking, some of the smells on the bus, people screaming when they talk on the bus – many things that a person from Sydney takes to heart and gets frustrated about.
.
By the time I was ready for bed last night, I couldn’t deny that the whole journey was incredible. The opportunity that I have to be able to witness this part of life is priceless. A journey or an experience doesn’t necessarily need to be filled with pleasure and comfort to be an experience that you look back on with that sense of awe, appreciation and curiosity .

%d bloggers like this: