Seems like I can do a day with two blog posts. I’m sure WordPress is happy to give me a little more space. It was one of those quiet days in Siem Reap. I started out with some food at one of my favorite breakfast spots in the city. Sister Srey is like an institution here. Right by the river with its wonderful hashed brown potatoes, bacon, spinach and egg. I think it is their signature dish and the Khmer restaurant manager agreed. He says more people order it than anything else. I do admit to casting wanton looks at their avocado toast. Also their coffee is a thing. It is like a force of life to enjoy a latte there. Most of the customers are tourists I think. People pull up in tuktuks, walk in, stay for the good wifi, perhaps do a little work or play. I think there could be a digital nomad or two as well that frequent the tables.
It is not my favorite coffee spot though. I prefer the wondrous Noi Cafe with its open windows giving the vibe almost of sitting outside but yet with their Cambodian coffees on tap. The service is nice too. I really like the people watching and just sitting with the river right there. Hearing the buzz of so many different languages but mostly Khmer. I go to Noi about every day so the folks there know what it is I am wanting.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the chairs. The wonderful overstuffed chairs with electric outlets next to them.
Then there is the time to just melt into nothingness there. Like most excellent coffee houses, there is no rush, no time limit, no one to tell you time to get along. So I just sit with the iced latte and the scene and the kindle. Sometimes I break out the iPhone to chat with someone on WhatsApp.
Here is the thing I realized. I need Noi Cafe. I need their wondrous coffees. Their smiling waitresses who know what I desire but also give me smiles and laugh all the time when I quickly move to the soft chairs if at first they are taken up.
Translate to the evening…
Then this afternoon to evening it was Khmer Taste restaurant for a cheap Cambodian dish. I had this wonderful spicy veggie dish with chicken and a rich curry sauce. So very good. I think it was $2.50. Yeah!
The result is many expats and tourists visit because the food is always wonderful. Service is good but it is not really a place to me you just stay after. Not a Noi Cafe. It is a place for food and they don’t mind the sitting but I think they also want to clean up, get things ready for someone else. And now there are others. Siem Reap has picked up on the tourist buses and groups significantly. And that is so very good! I think the Khmer businesses love it but the Old Market still looks sad sometimes so more people need to go buy t-shirts and doodads.
After this bit reflection, I found a tuktuk on the PassApp to take me back home. About $1 later I was back and my airbnb is quiet and peaceful with decent wifi and Fara keeps a nice order to the place while greeting me every day with smiles and always enquiring on my day. I got to meet her dad today.
The day does wind down now being back home. Perhaps some yoga to see the end of my day. The peaceful stretching and holding the positions for minutes eases all of me into evening. I’ve been practicing now for 3 years or more. I feel better each time but I also figured out my best practice is restorative yoga. It eases my poor old body and there’s no stressful or painful moments. For me, it seems that 30 minutes of the practice gives me so many benefits from the peace and serenity to wonderful feelings afterward. Clearness of thought, wonder of being, hearkening the evening. I started because my back was kinda tender at times and a Vietnamese friend recommended 15 minutes of peaceful yoga every few days. This changed to every day and 30 minutes now.
But I also practice this mindfulness meditation each day which I think has even other benefits. I just seem to relax and find nothing but being. No counting breaths or chanting. This meditation instructor Jeff used to say,
what works is just being
And it does. We need more time to just be. Less time making prognostications, feeling pain, hating or even loving on things. Just the acceptance part and then being.
Works for me.
Happy Saturday anyways. Go off and write a blog post. Send an email to someone or two. I did today and it felt good to just say hello and thank people for writing and photography and just being out there for me to find.