An early morning bike ride was aborted thanks to a wave of dizziness and nausea that hit as I stepped out of my door.
Copious ginger and mint tea, the latest episode of The Good Fight (if you’re a Good Wife fan you NEED to watch this) and a shower and I finally felt good to go.
By now the sun was high, the temperature rapidly heading towards its daily peak of 36 (feels more like 42) degrees (BTW the statement in parenthesis is BBC Weather speak not mine – to me it feels more like 142 degrees!).
Not the time to be cycling 20 or 30 km which was my original plan. Instead I opt for a slow pootle into town to indulge my digital nomad lifestyle by finding a venue to drink coffee in and do a bit of writing.
My first port of call was overfull, packed to the rafters with backpackers and expats enjoying the delights on offer and so I peddled on, deciding on a whim to try to find (for the 3rd time) a legendary coffee shop in Kampot.
And find it I did. This post comes to you from said coffee shop. A huge airy warehouse, not out of place in Manchester or Melbourne (it’s actually owned by Aussies) that serves water in Bombay Sapphire bottles and prides itself on the quality of its coffee.
I wandered in, conscious of the copious beads of sweat forming on my arms and face and starting to drip from my forehead and headed to a comfy seat in the corner to perspire.
Equipped with my one remaining microfiber towel (You may recall the lovely Darryl Clarke offered my other one to the river gods on our trip up to Battambang :-D) I did my best to delicately dab away the ever increasing pools of salty water forming all over my body. I cursed the airy space’s inability to offer me the amount of fresh cooling breeze needed to stop the flow as I shuffled around to hotch up my trousers, allowing my knees the luxury of air, patted my forehead and neck repeatedly, subtly lifted and lowered my arms (think slow motion birdy song movements) to afford my armpits the courtesy as my knees.
And then I felt it. The damp vaguely cool patch of perspiration spreading slowly outwards, creeping, cursing its way ever nearer to the point of full on visibility.
Yep you guessed it, the underboob sweat had started.
I fidgeted nervously, aware that if I could feel it others could see the growing blotch of wetness turning my navy vest a darker much more menancing shade.
All around me sat the beautiful people, sporting their chilled out, I’m a boho, hippy backpacker vibe (yep, that’s a bitchy judgy observation I know. So sue me!) and here I was a sorry sight with my sweaty body and face, soggy clothes complete with boob sweat patches, slightly blotchy red face and stuck to my head hair (I made the mistake of opening Facetime to inconspicuously check out my appearance) dabbing away at myself furiously and mostly in vain.
I admit it, for a moment I did go into self-loathing mode – you saw brief evidence of it in the previous passage and I had a fairly in depth conversation with Norman whilst waiting for my coffee to arrive.
But then I got real. Yes, I was losing liquid faster than a burst water main, but I have this part of my make up to thank for my amazing clear skin. Science tells me I’m also removing toxins from my system which is keeping colds and other more yukky illnesses at bay and lowering my risk of more kidney stones (I know I have (or had) some courtesy of an x-ray and subsequent mime based conversation while enduring my annual medical at a Chinese hospital years ago).
And at the end of the day. WTF does it actually matter what I look like or what anybody else might think. I’m here, building a life for myself that I love, in a place that I adore and I’m truly happy.
What’s a little bit of boob sweat when you look at it like that eh?