Thieu and I are having a holiday from our holiday, in Sihanoukville on the South Coast. We are renting a bungalow which is about 10 steps away from the beach, possibly 7 if you are running.
It's a funny thing, though. On the first day we were here I thought it was the most beautiful place I'd ever seen, with distant islands on the horizon, warm, blue water, squeaky white sand. But the longer I stay the more I notice that isn't so nice. The rubbish on the beach. The green foamy stuff that is left on the sand each time the waves wash against the shore. The tree-depleted hills in the distance.
On Monday we sat on the beach reading our books and bought food from the vendors who stroll up and down all day. Thieu had heard about the lobsters which you could apparently buy for a dollar. It turns out that you can actually buy 5 for a dollar (a US dollar, of course.)
Thieu bought 10.
I ate one, but the fried spiders were still in my head and I couldn't quite muster the enthusiasm.
Thieu ate 9.
(they are, I should add, not the enormous ones of Australia and look more like big prawns.)
That night poor Thieu was sick sick sick and will probably never eat lobster again, no matter how cheap.
He has retired to the bungalow and I have been wandering up and down the beach, drinking fruit shakes and reading Patrick White (an odd combination and I'm sure he wouldn't approve.) There is another woman who has also spent alot of time walking on the beach and we often pass each other, clutching our shoes. I wonder if her boyfriend is also lying somewhere, poisoned.