Last week’s gotta be one of the most exciting weeks in my life. What’s with it? Phnom Penh.
I went there grumpy, tired and all. And no, I’m not that excited to go to new places. After sunny Riyadh and cool Moscow, I just want to go home to Purwokerto. Mind you, I have not been traveling on vacation. As someone who likes backpacking, I know how to have fun. I know how it feels to not being able to stop smiling because of the excitement. I recognize the urge to take picture all the time. I know the tingling feeling when I set foot in a foreign terrain.
That is not what I felt in Phnom Penh, though.
When my plane landed, I just felt peace. A quiet bliss sneaked its way right into my heart. The people were nice, I admit. But Thais are just as friendly. When we drove to the hotel, again I felt a familiar comfort surrounded me. The city is beautiful. The roads are not packed with vehicles. People drive slowly. They exercise in public parks. Wew… It’s just wonderful to see how they feel connected to the city. And how they are keen to stay physically active 🙂 I saw a lot of interesting buildings, old and new stand side by side.
That night my friend picked me up for dinner. At the dinner, we talked. I don’t want to use the word ‘catch-up’ 😛 We talked about how our life had been since we met the first time two years ago. He told me about his divorce and the aftermath. An extra 20 kgs and new found hobby, smoking. He told me those things lightheartedly. And he always ended every story by shrugging his shoulders and said: That’s life!
I admired the fact that he had taken a trip to hell (almost in a literal sense since his family meant so much to him) yet went back cool, calm and collected, and most importantly, with no bitter aftertaste. He responded by telling me he used to say: Life’s a bitch!!, roam around every night like a madman because he could not sleep. But after six months, things began to be more bearable. And he started to make amends with himself, knowing that he was not all to blame for what had happened. When I said to him that I believed that he would find someone much better because one good person deserves another, he told me that he didn’t believe we could pinpoint a person is good or bad. Everyone of us is just a manifestation of both.
I realize he got a point.
And I am embarrassed of myself who get bogged down so easily with minuscule problems compared to his. By the fourth day, I shared his wisdom. We laughed, had (what seems to be endless supply of) Angkor beer and toasted to life.
I am thankful for the trip and equally grateful that the Universe continues to reveal great wonders and secrets to learn.