I spent the week of (about- I am never sure of the day or date here) 10 -17 Feb in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It was really a nice time and I was able to paint quite a bit. The first few days I was mostly near Serendipity beach, which is a busy tourist center, but after a few days I found myself at Otres beach, where I discovered this French run kind of south sea mini- resort (“Shanti-Shanti” with three huts) run by a very nice couple, Matt and Sophie. They made me feel at home and suggested some nice places to paint. Matt and Sophie have a simple restaurant where the main dish was a daily Quiche. I think I better go back to the rice diet after this.
Well, every morning I was waking up before sunrise, in my little grass and wood bungalow, crawl out from under the mosquito netting and walk the 20 ft. to the ocean and wade out in the loveliest blue water, at just the right temperature. After my swim, I wandered up to the small restaurant where I enjoyed a big cup of espresso and a brioche and jam.
I felt like I was in some exclusive Caribbean resort. Of course the shower was a barrel and a pot, and sand got in everything, but it didn’t bother me a bit. After my morning routine, I went out and painted most days. Once me and another guest took a short canoe ride, but otherwise the only thing I did was sometimes go out to another bar down the beach that had more english speakers.
Cambodia surprised me. I spend a lot of time in Cambodia nervous because of all the bad reports you get, but the truth is it has been absolutely wonderful, and my interactions with Khmers have always been pleasant, or even enthusiastic. A big plus here, in a twisted sort of way, is the poverty, because there is a lot less traffic here than in Thailand. One day while I was out painting on a dusty red road, near a town, someone came by to give me a can of soda, ” in thanks for painting our village”! It made my day.