Im am writing todays blog on Sunday the 15/08/2010, it will soon become clear as to why.

I travelled to Phnom Penh on Friday, after immediately finishing my last class, I had to get my bike to the garage early and wanted to take some photos at a place called Lakeside, I was also meeting Tory, a friend I met on the site Travbuddy.

I Made it to Phnom Penh without incident, dropped the bike off at the garage, then checked onto my hotel (Fairlyland Guest house). Seconds later the heavens opened, feet of rain fell in moments. It was an impressive sight, I made the decision not to venture out.

Once the rain had stopped I got a Tuc-Tuc to lakeside where I was meeting Tory. I really didn’t like Lakeside at all, It was very westernised and I cringed at every bar I looked at. When Tory arrived I suggested that we leave and go to the river-front instead. We sat for a drink and chatted. (Tory was catching a bus to Vietnam that night so we only had a few hours), during our conversation I discovered Tory was a student of philosophy. Philosophy is something that I study and hold in high regard, as a tool to help me understand my journey and path. We got on so well that Tory agreed to get the bus to Vietnam the next day, allowing us to chat into the night.

I believe there is a reason for all things, you simply have to know it. Sometime you meet a complete stranger at a time that you really need it in your life, Tory was that stranger. We shared stories, life experiences and our own perception of the world. In doing so she helped me to re-attach to my core belief system and my reason for life. A truly amazing friend who I will keep in contact with.

The next day I called my friend Sovann to make arrangements to get Tory on her bus to Vietnam. Once done, my next mission was to find an aromatherapy shop, pickup some natural oils to assist in preventing insect bites. Now this is where things start to go a little funky!

I had just gone back to the hotel to quickly collect my camera, on my way down stairs I had a sudden pain in my abdomen and left side of my chest. It was agony but quickly subsided, I decided not to make a big deal of it and jumped in Sovann’s Tuc-Tuc and head to the shops (and of course take some photos). We had gone only a few streets when I got the same pain again, however it was getting worse. I immediately asked Sovann to take me back to the hotel so I could lie down, this was maybe about 14:00.

While in my room I started to get excruciation pain, It wasn’t a good sign, but I believe in fate and a reason for all things.

I woke constantly through the day and night in pain, finally at 22:00 it had become so bad the breathing was difficult and I was feeling dizzy. The truth is, the thought had gone through my head that this could be it, however I wasn’t afraid nor was I really worried, I was however in a lot of pain. I made the decision to contact Sovann again, he came straight over and too me to a local clinic.

As soon as I got to the clinic I explained the best i could what was wrong, it was difficult now as I was gasping for breath. They immediately put me on a drip, pushed needles in my arm, abdomen, groin, took blood, and pumped drugs into me. (this continued the entire night).

Things got a lot worse through-out the night. While rolling around in agony, I asked Sovann to pass me my camera. I decided that my blog was to be about my complete experience, this is something that I had to share. All of us have weaknesses because all of us are fragile humans, we try and project strength all the time and feel as though our weaknesses should be hidden (i refuse to believe this) this was my opportunity show another side of me, and to me this is the most important thing in my life.

I apologise in advance for the poor quality of photos taken.

I stayed at the clinic until about 15:00 today, i have now checked myself out. I am sill in pain but its not as intense, I am planing on heading to another hospital tonight, but its important for me to update my blog. It cost me approximately $350 at the clinic I was at. What about all these people who don’t have money?

To my friends I say don’t worry about me, you know I am responsible for my actions, I live my life free, without fear but with love and peace in my heart. I am truly thankful for the experiences I have i life.

dxx

Update as of 21:00
I will visit an english speaking doctor tomorrow, i must sleep now, i’m tired and ache.


So on Saturday I decided to travel to Phnom Penh again, its not that I really want to be in the city, but PP has something that little bit special. I wanted to try to feel the pulse of the city a bit, get under the skin of it, so to speak. As a bonus I was also meeting Hanna and Annie, a couple of volunteers at SSF who where leaving Cambodia and starting their journey back to the UK.

I set off early(ish) Saturday morning (0700) and headed to national road number 4 to try and flag down a taxi / mini bus. I didn’t have to wait long.

I climbed onto the front seat of the mini bus, sat back and simply absorbed the experience. As we got closer to PP we had to make more frequent stops, no we weren’t dropping passengers off, it was more to do with, what could only be classed as impromptu road taxation by waiting police. The driver would hand me notes of money, we would pull over where directed, and I would hand the said notes out of the window, miraculously they disappeared and we where suddenly on our way again.

After numerous more stops, I decided to alight the minibus at a market place… Too be honest I had absolutely no idea where I was, but decided it was as good a place as any to have a wander around. I was stopped numerous times by people who pointed at my tattoos, occasionally people would take my arm and run their fingers over the ink. This didn’t bother me at all as it was all done with a smile and with genuine interest. It also broke the ice and allowed me to just sit and chat with people for a while… (albeit in my god awful khmer) but I think they appreciated me trying at least.


After wandering around a bit I decided I should go and find Hanna and Annie. I asked a scooter rider if he knew where the Sunday guest house was. He nodded furiously and we negotiated $1 for the trip. After riding around for about 20mins it was clear he had no idea at all of where he was going. We asked directions approximately 5 times before we finally found the guest house. My driver, clearly delighted with his feat of navigational expertise, attempted to demand $2 for this impromptu sight seeing tour, I handed him $1 and thanked him politely for the journey.

I checked into Fairyland Guest house, which was next door to Sunday, (If i had trouble finding the Sunday guest house, then there was now way they would understand Fairy) it was probably one of the pricier places i’ve stayed, at $13 with an air conditioned room. But the rooms where lovely and had a TV as well. ( I found this useful as I could listen to Khmer on the TV). The view was also pretty nice. If your interested in this guest house then its on street 141.

After a shower to cool down I went to meet Hanna and Annie, we headed to the end of the street for a cold drink then off to the Russian market. (ok i need to confess, i absolutely love the iced coffees over here, try it with the sweet milk. dteuk gork gaa-fay, just incase your interested).

The Russian market, like most markets is covered, because of this its hot, now when I say hot I mean its really hot… its like a sauna in there… I love it… your hot, your wet, you have the hustle and bustle of the market, the smells the noise, the chaos, what better way to start to peel away the layers of a city and get to grips with it…


After spending about an hour walking around the market, we decided to go and grab something to eat. I was still on the lookout for apple pie (I have a thing for trying apple pie in every country I go to, it brings back good memories of my gran’s cooking). We eventually found a place that seemed to fit the bill, however just my luck it had sold out of apple pie 😦 instead I was offered a sorry looking apricot crumble. I mean who puts apricots in a crumble?

I sat there for a while poking disappointedly at my unappealing apricot crumble, I would occasionally gaze out of the window and down onto the street below. I could sense that that is was going to start raining. (the air cools a little, you can smell the moisture in the air, its pretty refreshing).

As the rain started to fall I started thinking, maybe I was looking at this all the wrong way, maybe just maybe I had been presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to continue my quest in search of the elusive cambodian apple pie. Of course I wanted to find it a good apple pie here, but would I ever really find an apple pie that was as good as my gran’s baking? would I even want too? Maybe the ultimate goal is irrelevant, it could just be something to aim at. Whats important is the journey, having a reason to move in a direction, any direction at all. With that thought, I moved towards the cake counter and ordered a large piece of cheese cake.

After stuffing my face with cake and iced coffee, we decided it was too hot too continue wandering about, so decided to head back to the guest house to play a few games of cards (Switch and Shit Head, some of you will know these games).

Later that evening Hanna, Anni and I grabbed a tuc-tuc to the riverside and ate dinner. It was nice spending time with the girls, they had both dedicated time out of their lives to help complete strangers on the other side of the world. If I was wearing a hat I would take it off too them. They where now heading back to their homes in the UK and back to uni to finish their studies.

Later that night, it was maybe about 0330 – 0430 in the morning (now back at my room of course), I was laid on my bed with the lights out and the windows open allowing me to hear the city outside. Initially I could hear voices in the street below, followed by a woman singing. I have no idea what she was singing but the sound echoed through the ally-way below. I got up from my bed and stood at the window for a while, watching the street and listening. It was a beautiful thing, it was one of those experiences that cost absolutely nothing at all, yet made me appreciate and accept everything within the universe at that single moment in time….simply perfect.

I woke pretty early on Sunday, ok I woke at 0800, it was early enough. I wanted to purchase a couple of things, first off i needed a hard-drive for a server I was building at the school, I also needed another Khmer phrase book, and maybe if I had time I could look at and maybe price a scooter. This was going to be a bit of a mission so I decided to call my good friend Sovann (he’s a tuc-tuc driver and knows every where). He arrived at Fairlyland within 10 mins of me calling. I have no idea how he does it.

We managed to get a hard drive and a phrase book within about 30 mins. Ok may as well look at a couple of scooters then. 3 hours later I was riding my new 250cc XL Honda Degree through the streets of PP. Sovann being the kind soul that he is, refused to let me ride back to Kompong Speu alone, just incase I had any problems. He jumped on the back and we started the 1 hour journey back. Actually with me riding this bike it didn’t take that long at all. Sovann seemed a little worried, when I say seemed a little worried i probably mean screamed. However the noise of the engine suppressed his vocal projection of fear from disturbing my carefully developed riding style.

So there we have it, another weekend in PP, and now I have wheels to go and explore anywhere I like, who know where Im going to end up 🙂

peace & love dx


21/07/2010

June 21, 2010

Well my flights are all booked, and my leave date is set (16/07/10)… I’ve been spending the week completing DIY on my flat. Its been great, as my friends have all been over to help, and its been nice to spend time with them.

I guess the flat is the last thing tying me here, but the truth is it means nothing too me. I could quite happily just walk out and leave it, I’ve contemplated it a few times. The reason I haven’t though, is because I know that it doesn’t matter if I sell the flat or not, thats not whats important, whats important, is that I do everything I can to remove the physical ties to the life that I used to have. I wish to leave this society as a free human, to experience the world with an open mind, without prejudice, with love and compassion, to enable me to discover who I really am.

Its easy to follow others through life, too follow yourself is the real challenge.

Life is a breath, now i’m awake, I wish to fill my lungs.

peace & love

dx


Reality

June 17, 2010

I’ve been pondering the meaning of reality for some time now, try to think of a way I could articulate the way I perceive it.

Reality is the projection of consciousness viewing reality from a subjective perspective.

peace & love


Mixed feelings

June 16, 2010

So, all the flights are booked for a one way journey, my last day in the UK being the 16th July 2010.

Everything I love and know is here, yet I need to be away from it all. I really wish I understood why I feel like this, why I have to leave everything I know behind.

Its not even like its a difficult choice… All I can do is follow myself, where ever that leads me to.

It makes me feel sad when I think about all of the time I’ve wasted, wrapped up in my egotistical world, while others don’t even have fresh water, food or even get to feel love, compassion or just a bit of kindness.

I can’t say I’ve done anything significant in this world, I’ve done nothing to be proud of at all, but every day is another day to turn it all around.

I can only hope that one day my son will choose to find-out who his father was. If he does , then I hope that the actions I take now will speak louder than I ever could. We are not remembered for how we perceive ourselves, we are remembered by how we live our lives, in the actions we take, and in the memories of others. Life is never about self, its about selfless….. (I will always love you Ethan)

peace & love

dx


Finding myself

May 11, 2010

This is my first update in a while, i’ve been spending a lot of time with friends and people I love. I’ve been on quite a high recently, with the more than occasional manic session, but thankfully I’ve been able to control it before it got out of hand. (ok, for what I would call out of hand at least). The result has been a lot of energy with thousands of racing thoughts and ideas. The frustrating part is trying to get some sort of organisation to these thoughts and feelings, they move so fast at times, it can all get a little too much. Its not been easy, but I’ve attempted to look at myself during this time, to interrogate my emotions, to challenge my preconceptions and ideas, and to learn and grow by understanding my behaviour.

Knowing that i’m leaving this place has really made me think about my life here. I always considered myself an outsider, and individual, a solitary soul, and a bit of a loner.
Looking back I know that was never the case, no one created those barriers except myself. By attaching myself to this belief system, I inadvertently created it as fact within my own life.

So why did I create this belief system in the first place? Thinking back to my childhood I think I can understand why this happened. I was angry, alone, scared, and simply afraid to share myself with others in the fear of getting hurt. It was a protective mechanism used by a scared boy in a grown up world. I didn’t know who I was because I had hidden myself away behind my emotional defences. I was afraid of loosing who I was, even though I had already lost that, in my quiet desperation to have some sort of definition to my life I created the life of an outsider, I simply created the person I became.

Its easier to blame where I was in my life on external events, but the truth is that no external force was ever responsible. Not circumstances, not fate, not events in my life, not people, not hardship, not loss. I created it because I was too afraid to be responsible for myself. I was too afraid to let go, I was too afraid to be responsible for my decisions, I was simply scared.

Now I can honestly say that the belief system I used to adhere to is no longer valid. It got me through very dark times when I was a child, but through my journey into adulthood it resulted in me sacrificing too much of myself. I’m now creating a new belief system. A new but very simply system, and that is that I can make a small difference in the world.

One thing I have learnt through out my life, is that if you really believe something enough then you can make it happen. I am now looking at life in a different way, i’m still that same boy on the inside, but this time I feel complete and although I have fears, I am willing to face each and everyone of them. Out of chaos can come order, from the dark and murky can come clarity.

Believing in oneself is probably one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learnt, we are all the student and teacher of self, we just need to fully believe it.

Peace & love always dx


It funny how life plays out, life is never how we really expect it to be.
Over the last last year I have been making peace with all parts of my life, facing and dealing with the emotional baggage that I picked up along the way. The indian shamans call it soul loss, or soul theft, where part of your-self is lost, attached to another moment or person within your life. The problem with this is that you never really feel complete, you never feel whole, there is always something missing.

I spent many years trying to fill that void. Sometimes with material possessions, other times with relationships. Being incomplete I would project myself how I thought others wanted to see me. It never worked out, the void was always there, I would always feel like something was missing.

I made the decision to forgive, to forgive not only others, but also myself. To do this I started to contact all of the people who have had an influenced in my life, ranging from love to loss, from loyalty to betrayal. Its was easy to blame others for the problems in my life, how could I ever put such an important thing in the hands of others.

This part of my journey has not been easy , i’ve wanted to give up on many occasions. The hardest part has been reconnecting to the moments that had intense feeling associated with them. The moments that where hidden away deep inside. Facing these moments brought back many memories and emotions, each one having to be re-lived.

I have no regrets in my life, and I accept full responsibility for all of my actions. As i go through this process I look forward to being able to look back, all of these moments and emotions are a part of me, I need to be apart of them. Today was emotional for me on different levels, by facing it I have be able to re-connect not only to people I love, but also too myself. Every moment shapes us, every action defines us. What once was baggage is now something else, something new, something positive.

Peace & Love

Dan x