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Distances Dissolved

19 June 2007 (Cambodia) by Kendon Glass


Photo: Entrance to Angkor Wat

Language Translation Disclaimer

In search of a foreign yacht heading south, on Friday I cycled onto the plush holiday resort island of Phuket. Having been on the road now for several years I have become as frugal as ever with my pennies and in this neck of the woods camping on the beach or sleeping in Buddhist temples is mandatory. My time living and praying with the monks in Tibet and South East Asia has made its mark on this journey east. I continue in my vain attempt to corrupt my composed hosts with every manner of worldly delights, most recently resorting to wafting chocolate beneath noses during meditation, but still no cigar.

Saturday the tables were fortuitously turned on me. While visiting the yacht clubs on this island, I ran into a fellow Brisi boy who through his kind offer to put me up has done an excellent job of corrupting me himself. Only a few nights ago I was caught in a torrential downpour, cycling in the dark while looking for a bed and cheap eats, now Jim has given me license to eat him out of house and home. Having not ventured into the world of refrigerators, cupboards and wardrobes for quite some years, their inner dimensions have taken on the form of Dr. Whos Tardus. What is really interesting is the timing of all this. Due to an agonising two week cleansing diet Jim is off the English Breakfasts and tasty creamy Thai coconut curries. By eating through me Jim has surmised that it will perhaps make his journey through hell and back that little bit easier. I of course agreed wholeheartedly and in a selfless display promptly volunteered myself to the cause. From my stomachs viewpoint there is a large dose of synchronicity to all of this, perhaps even a sprinkle of irony as well. 

Here is a journal from Cambodia...

Distances Dissolved

On returning to the bike after lunch, taking the opportunity to wipe the sleep and mud crust from my eyes I decided to walk for a distance. That was when I met Paul.  He was Norwegian, a tall strapping athletic type, with all the staying power and toughness of a cross country skier.  Having cycled all the way from his home in Oslo, he had been travelling the line for two years.  It just so happened that his end point was a few hundred kilometers down the track at Bangkok. His journey was all but finished and soon he would be flying home. For that reason alone we were united in our excitement and trepidation for what lie just over our respective horizons.

It is indeed a profound moment when you meet someone and it becomes clear at once that you have an indelible connection that exists beyond words and cultural barriers. Explanations and small talk become trivial where that something earned is instantly acknowledged in the eyes.  Trials and tribulations bind while glorious mountain passes and friendships are forged over every metre along separate ways.  The furthermost distances of separation on the planet dissolve when travelled through the depth of the human soul where robust bridges are built with enthusiasm, compassion, appreciation and joy.  Whether it is in our every day existence or through adventure sought, this shared immanence is inside all of us, waiting patiently to be cultivated, to remind us that we are all one.

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Photo: Buddha

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