Early start Dad.
Up at 5:30am for a 6:00am depart to a local market. Honestly, I have never been so shocked at the level of fresh produce. And when I say fresh, I mean still alive!
It was awful, lets face it Dad, we are far from vegetarians, but we would both agree no animal should suffer unnecessarily. There were buckets of fish, some with water deep enough to swim, they were the smaller fish, but most were on a large plastic dish (like a turned up plastic tub lid) with just enough water in the bottom keeping them alive. You could see them gasping for air, with not enough energy to flail around. The chickens had their feet tied together so all they could do was sit and cluck. Then there were the stalls which prepared the goods. They were even worse, grotesquely removing skin and scales in nothing more then a dirty bucket on the pavement. All we could hope was the animal had come to a quick and painless end by then.
As you moved on through the market, fruit, meat and fish were ready prepared. Skinned raw rats I think but have been a highlight….. yuck.
Needless to say the place was not the most pleasant smelling place, and it was only 6am. Our guide explained that the market stays open until 8pm. With no refrigeration in site I really hope that meat and fish was not sitting in the sun all day, let alone the poor fish and chickens that were likely to over heat unable to move.
After another visit to a pagoda up the road from the market we got back on the ship for a day of sailing. We were not docking until 4pm, and it was only 8am at this point. I asked myself what you would do in this situation Dad, So I found a sun lounger, put it in a quiet spot, placed it with my head just out of the sun, and read a book! It may sound lazy, but it was lovely to have a day of not rushing around at 100 miles an hour. I read, watched the world go by and had conversations with other people on the boat about my story. Word seems to be spreading so they all want to know where I am going next.
We sailed through fish farms, slums, industrial sites, villages, and everything in between. It was fascinating to sail past was seemed like a mile of slums, to be greeted with an industrial unit not 500m away from it. Then there would be nothing for a while and then a row of beautiful and well made homes. The life styles out here seem to vary greatly. Every so often you would hear a ‘hello’ from the bank, there would be a group of children jumping up and down desperate to get your attention. A wave back was all it took for them to go crazy. You got the impression we were as much of a novelty to them as they were to us.
We docked and got onto a bus which took us up a mountain to watch the sunset. The sunset was OK, but not out of this world fabulous, and I found I had to stop myself from saying that I have seem better from your deck. I can see now why you travelled with photos of the view, because trying to explain to people where you live is very tricky.
Back on the ship now for another few hours of sailing. We cross the border into Cambodia tomorrow!
I seem to have company at the bar tonight as well. Finally! – even if at the minute I am being anti social in the corner writing this post.
I have also spent the day wondering if being on a ship and travelling through an international border makes me any more of a pirate….
Pass my hat!
Catch you in Cambodia Dad! X