Cambodia. Phnom Penh

I just love this city. I can’t really say why, but after weeks of remote places, I love this buzzing lively atmosphere, finally some Xmas decoration, and so much to see.

Last night I had seen a newspaper article in the Phnom Penh Post about a photo exhibition. And although I stopped calling myself a photographer a long time ago, I am still very much interested in good photos. And this topic #iambeautiful was really catching my eye.

C.nation photographic studio’s founder Sok Visalbrosit, also known Cheky, said the#iambeautiful exhibition was being run alongside a social media campaign to combat suicide, domestic abuse, depression and bullying by increasing people’s self-esteem.

I can so much relate to this topic. As long as I can remember I was unhappy about my body. When I was a teenager, I thought of myself as too skinny, than as a young woman as too fat, than there was a short period when I felt good about myself and then after the birth of Lara and Alina I have never reached the point again where I would look into the mirror with delight and self acceptance. And no positive affirmation has helped to change that. And even travelling now is not doing the trick. Stéphane has really lost weight. But me – not a bit. So anyway, I wanted to go and see those photos and although I was a bit disappointed by the smallness of the exhibition, it triggered a conversation with my daughters.

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DSC_1573[1]#bellyandfat

I might be oversize in some shops, but I still want to look nice and pretty and yes also sexy. I am not size 42 anymore and have never been a 38, or a 36 but I am a human being and don’t want to be reduced to my appearance. I am strong. I did carry my babies for a few months and later carried the worries and anxieties of others on my strong shoulders. My stomach is digesting just about any food and I hardly ever getting sick. My body went through two pregnancies, two natural births, three brain surgeries, two radiation therapies and is still going strong!!!!

After visiting the exhibition we were very close to What Phnom.

Set on top of a 27m-high tree-covered knoll, Wat Phnom is on the only ‘hill’ in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong River and discovered by Penh. The main entrance to Wat Phnom is via the grand eastern staircase, which is guarded by lions and naga (mythical serpent) balustrades.

Today, many people come here to pray for good luck and success in school exams or business affairs. When a wish is granted, the faithful return to deliver on the offering promised, such as a garland of jasmine flowers or a bunch of bananas (of which the spirits are said to be especially fond). (Lonely Plantet)

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inside

It is beautiful inside, very calm and I was not dressed appropriately  🙁

DSC_1606[1]The rest of the day we just wandered around, went to the Central market, looked at very very expensive watches, ate some street food and looked at some of the Xmas lights when it was getting dark. In Phnom Penh the modern meets the old. Rich meets poor. Expensive meets cheap. The contrast is huge. On one street corner you see the people hardly getting by and right opposite you have the shops of all the big brands. Electrical stuff is so cheap here. I could finally get myself a decent digital Canon camera, but … is it really worth it? But we bought ourselves a solar charger. That is a power pack that we can recharge by just leaving it out in the sun. We would have needed that, when we were wwoofing. 🙂
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even here people can’t read 🙂
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in our favorite juice place

People are friendly. I don’t feel threatened even when wondering the streets at night. I am careful but I would do the same in London or Berlin. And our guesthouse is fun to „come home“ to at night. Great music and a cold draft beer – what else do I need?