Phnom Penh Proves Again that Time is not Really Real

Today I decided to head to the Palace here in Phnom Penh where the imperial family live. Only thing today is Sunday and its not open on Sundays it appears. Whoops?

So instead I just walked another way and soon was not missing the palace at all. It was a beautiful and warm day with some clouds but mostly sunshine. I just took roads this way and that and soon was immersed in the walk itself and not the missed palace opportunity. I saw two bridges I had never seen before and explored them. I also saw new hotels going in all over the place north of the river front area. Lots of construction that a person here told me is about Chinese investment mostly.

I ended up much like before at a watering hole by the river drinking a few cold Angkor draft beers. One of my neighbors had tacos there. I could not remember the last time I had tacos but I just splurged on a steak last night so I had will power to not eat again downtown since it costs more. I did watch and have some vicarious thrills on the tacos. They looked really good! To kind of get my fix, I found a Mexican restaurant here that I will visit next week at some point.

Time does not Exist…

I’ve come to the realization that traveling like this removes the count of days and h0urs from the equation. I really had no idea it was Sunday until I found out that the palace was closed because it was Sunday. I think this is a positive effect of not having a damned thing to do and all day to do it. Whether I sit an extra hour in the morning with an iced latte or leave or go to this or that point, nothing really matters any longer. I’ve separated from the devil count of hours, minutes, seconds and how time ruled my life working.

Lets face it. The count of days does not matter folks. Its not the count that guides your lives. It what you do inside them with the moments. The priceless moments matter that you fill with things and places and people. We live our lives constrained by clocks and calendars and tick tock of time. It leaves us wounded and not able to truly enjoy what we have left.

Until we travel.

Once we travel and we do it long term, time seems to unravel. The seconds go spinning off and the minute and hour hands on the clock detach and we have been given the real gift of it all. We have the moments back and its up to us to fill them. My job before was time. Schedules and tasks and milestones and people neatly or not fit inside them. This has to be done then and then you could do that. Predecessors had to be done before you could do the next thing. Think about how it feels for a moment when a life is guided by all that BS. There’s no recovering. You’re trapped in time.

But then I left.

It was not an immediate thing. It took some months or days or something but one day I truly stopped caring whether a weekend or weekday greeted me. I had lost count this time until I found out that the Imperial Palace was not open. Say what? Oh. Got it. It was that time thing again. Well, fuck that. I don’t like time. Space ain’t much good either. Together they form a vortex. I don’t like vortices.

So I bailed and I did not even know it. And it felt damned good.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.