It’s Tuesday. My sleep has been interrupted by mad duck gecko calling throughout the night and the company at breakfast included a family of cockroaches being evicted from their home next door by a group of men spraying noxious fumes whilst dressed in protective garb consisting of a flowery sunhat, woollen gloves and a krama (Cambodian scarf) covering their mouths and noses.
Fast forward to lunchtime and we’re speeding along, the mad beeping almost constant as we accelerate past trucks, motorbikes and anything else in our way bouncing over potholes as we career madly towards Kampot.
I’m gazing out of the window, lost in thought, half noticing the scenery around me when suddenly I do a double take. Fortunately, we’ve slowed down just in time for me to spot him. That guy.
He’s the one who is riding his motorbike with an enormous stag’s head wedged between his knees. And no I’m not talking euphemism here, I’m talking a life size, carved, wooden stags head replete with antlers rising majestically over the handlebars forcing the gentleman in question to sport a groin angle of well over 90 degrees as he hurtles down National Road Number 3 to Kampot.
I raise an eyebrow, grin to myself and drop back into my musings.
Sudden braking brings me back into the van again and this time I’m confronted by selfie action which apparently I’m part of.
My fellow travellers are unsubtely handing round the phone as they try and fail miserably to get their happy band of travellers along with me into the frame. I acknowledge that I know what they’re doing with another grin, lean in to help them out, smile for the camera and return to my window.
As we near Kampot, the sky over the mountains draws me in. A storm is brewing and I snap away eager to capture the amazing cloud formations before my eyes.
Fast forward two hours and, having collected me from the bus station and settled me in my new home, Linda is now taking me out for tea in town. We chat away as the tuktuk weaves its way through to the riverfront when all of a sudden a glance right heralds a sight to behold. Some kind of film is being shot to the background of the Kampot sunset.
A quickly yelled STOP and we’re out of the tuktuk likes rats up a drainpipe, eager to find out what’s going on.
Standing on a pontoon just off the shore is a youngish Cambodian guy, draped in cool kid garb and lip-syncing for all he’s worth whilst gazing longingly into the distance. He turns and, back to camera, wipes away wht I assume to be imaginary tears from his eyes before turning once more to face us, his face a picture of pain and yearning as his silent crooning continues. All the while the cameras are rolling and the assembled crew are periodically engaging in frantic pointing as they attempt to get lip-sync guy to move his gaze.
Meanwhile the gathered crowd are losing their interest in the movie in the making as there’s a new attraction in town – the Linda & Sara show. We stop asking questions, tone down our incredulous giggling and watch on as the sky grows redder, the expression on lip-sync guy’s face becomes more sombre, his silent crooning continues and then it happens. Whilst gazing directly at me (in fairness it was in my direction but I like to think I wield the power) a tear gently falls from his eye. Yep you read that right – lip sync guy is actually crying.
Entertained in the extreme we wander off to a nearby bar to grab a pre-dinner drink. Unsure whether it’s open due to the lack of light we inquire, only to discover the whole riverfront is in darkness due to an impromptu powercut.
We settle down in our comfy chairs, a single candle and the red glow of the dying sun providing our light and talk turns to all things catch up but not before I have time to reflect that the riverside scene that just transpired, along with the other mad little interludes in to my regular old Tuesday are exactly the reasons why I know I’m right where I need to be right now.
P.S. If you want to see Lip-sync guy in action (and see that bloody amazing sunset I’m always banging on about) you can check out a little video here: Look into my Eyes!