Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out for a Walk

Taking a walk is supposed to relieve your stress, invigorate you, bring you together...or so people say. Walking in Cambodia is a bit different--as for relieving stress, well, that's a stretch, it might invigorate you (if you have to run really fast from a dog chasing you or jump out of the way of a moto), and it definitely brings you together (as Darryl can attest to as we all hide behind him to protect us from the dog following us with it's face half decayed and hair flowing in dreadlocks on the ground behind it).

Several times I've tried to take the kids out but for some reasons the dogs on the street are not intimidated by me like they are by Darryl. One time three small dogs made a beeline (not of the friendly sort) for Sophie while I had Noah in the stroller. I immediately started yelling at the dogs and they beat a hasty retreat, until I turned my back. They jumped at her again trying to bite her so I reached down and grabbed some rocks and threw them at the dogs. Sophie was terrified screaming at the top of her lungs, which thankfully drew the attention of some workers in the garment factory nearby. They came running out and booted the dogs, giving us enough time to get behind the gate of our friend's house. While this scene sounds somewhat amusing it was actually a bit terrifying, especially for Sophie, who now has a healthy fear of street dogs. I just miss green space, bike paths, cool air, and the general safety we have as we move about in the U.S. (I think I need to add Canada here as well, lest I offend my father-in-law).

Having said this, our family had a great time last Saturday at a local park in Phnom Penh. This "park" is much less glamourous than a park by you, but it has grass, a place to walk, and it's not overrun with street dogs. It's hustling and bustling with the Khmer community, full of warm salty smells (and the occasional whiff of "what is that?!"smells), balloon sellers, badminton players (the unofficial sport of Cambodia, everyone can play!), young couples relaxing, and people exercising in one of the only green spots in the city.

Here's some pictures, enjoy!

The crowds busy exercising. Appreciate the space you have :).

Darryl and Noah buying a blow-up toy from the seller. Notice his helium tanks on the bike!

Noah LOVED having space to run and let it all out, much to the delight of these two ladies.

She is very serious about selling her mangoes, any takers?

Sour mangoes with salt and chili is the treat on the menu today.

This dog was safe, it was on a leash and had an owner.
This is the type of dog Sophie falls in love with.

Father and daughter enjoying dinner in the park.

These guys busy playing "sport".

Local corn on the cob.

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