martedì 9 luglio 2013

Life Fragments at Angkor Wat

                                                                    Cambodia, Angkor Wat

There’s no rest for the tourists who visit Angkor Wat.
Temples as large as cities are waiting in ambush, exciting the curiosity of hasty travellers and tireless explorers, condemning them to wake up at sunrise and march till sunrise,unsuccessfully escaping the sun and the thousands of fellow tourists packed in increasingly crowded temples. Staircases, domes, statues, altars and lakes, bridges and sacred groves. Dozens of pages of history, a heavy feeling of helplessness, a sorrow for not having enough time to contemplate everything.

Today, on my third day, I realized how much I have changed during these months.
Abandoned the list of Wat, Ta, Preah [1]  to visit, today I allowed myself the luxury ten hours of sleep. I decided not to hike to the river of a thousand lingas and I had a slow breakfast, enjoying banana pancakes to the rhythm of Beatles.
My “to do list” forgotten, I rent a bike and I left.
Once in a while, with no self-imposed tour de force to respect, riding through the trees lining the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat, I discovered the magic of these places. With no rush, no more running and stairs-climbing, I took the time to look at chickens and butterflies, to stare at monkeys and dragonflies, to smile to Japanese tourists and Cambodian families.
"Do you want ten postcards? One, two, three, four ... ".
 Smiling, I followed the chant of children at the entrance of the temples. I turned off the sound of thoughts and I walked to temples already seen, so different if looked in a different way. Tiptoeing without making any noise, I collected fragments of other people's days, women squatting in the rice fields, men sleeping under a tree, children greet each other, shouting "Hello" as loud as they can.
And I realized that it is not running that I will find my joy.

[1]  Names of some of the temples of Angkor Wat

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