On becoming Cambodian…

This morning I got up at 4.30am!  By choice!  It was a little earlier than the 5am I initially planned but allowed me to have a great FaceTime chat with a friend back home before kicking off my morning proper.

 

The reason for the early start was another planned Sunday excursion with the lovely Totie, this time heading to the Olympic Stadium to experience exercise classes Cambodian style.

 

It was still dark when I got up (I saw a beautiful sliver of the moon as I gazed out from the terrace) and for the first time since I moved in, I was actually up and out before the car washing ritual had commenced on the lane (so early in fact that the gate was still locked).

 

I walked through the slowly waking streets to Totie’s apartment where I loitered for about 10 minutes whilst she performed the ceremony of the locks.  Getting out of her apartment and onto the street involves Crystal Maze style unlocking processes which, if I had to go through them would no doubt be accompanied by copious mentions of the word f**K.

Finally out, we headed to the stadium and were welcomed by a group of dancers at the foot of the arena, elegantly twirling to music being blasted from an amplifier unit.

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We climbed the steps to the top of the stadium and the sights that greeted us were truly wonderful.  A group of youngsters were performing a paired routine using chopsticks  under  the beady eye of a very shouty man with a whistle.  We wandered slowly around the perimeter encountering organised and freestyle aerobic dancing (all be it performed extremely sedately), yoga, sword and fan dancing, runners, walkers and cyclists and various other locals performing their ‘moves’.

Food hawkers had set up their wares at various points and groups of exercisers congregated to enjoy breakfast together.

At 7am the activity started to slow and gradually the stadium emptied, leaving only the army of cleaners steadily sweeping the huge amounts of rubbish down the stadium seating to be sorted, bagged and removed by the recycling team waiting.

Totie and I wandered a little longer, discovering on our travels a swimming pool, tennis courts and outdoor gym before heading off to the Riverside.  Watching all of that exercise had caused us to build up quite an appetite and so we joined our friend Eve on the rooftop of her hotel for a sumptuous breakfast feast!

The morning continued with exercise of the retail kind as we mooched around the quirky array of shops that pepper the riverside.  We stopped for a reviving juice at about 11.30am but by this time I was flagging and so it was agreed we would head back home where I promptly partook of a nana np before continuing with the rest of my Cambodian day.

 

 

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