Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Planting Rice in Cambodia

Kampot and Kep weren't even in my initial plans, but nothing has proven really concrete in this trip, other than mindset of staying for at least 1 year.

I was driving around Kep, until around 2pm, I thought there was nothing left to do; And since I can have the bike until later in the afternoon, I thought I might as well check out the countryside of Kep.

Along the way, I saw the detour for the pepper farms and did a quick check. Then, back in the highway, I thought about heading further towards the outskirts and onto the border to Vietnam.

Then I saw a family doing work on a ricefield; I did a U turn and asked if I can join. Luckily, along with the elderly couple, their Son, Sinan, who used to work in a hotel in Kep (and so understood a little English)  was there.

I stayed up late that night though, as there was a well attended party at MADI bar that caused me to wake up real late the following day; i had to send a message to the host family informing them that I will not make it that day, but will do on the following day.

I tried to come home early that night. Then, following day, i hitched to their place.

It took me 4 rides, and it was already a little past lunchtime when I reached Sinan's place. It was a Saturday and they won't be doing rice planting in the afternoon anymore. 

The plan was to sleep at the host family's house, but  there was a little Interrogation (will hopefully have time to write about it soon) that happened, and I ended up sleeping in the guesthouse and instead asked to come back the following day for the rice planting.

Meantime, on the guesthouse where I stayed, I met up 2 swiss ladies, whom I told about my plan the following day, and were interested with coming too. I told them that I plan to do just hitchhiking, and I'm glad that they were just fine with it.

We had some lunch at a nearly local restaurant, and rain also poured after, and so we were a little delayed. Again, we hitched towards Sinan's place, and had to transfer thru 2 passing vehicles to get there.

It was a little past lunchtime when we arrived, and I think the family was having an afternoon siesta. Then again, as normally expected from a rural southeast asian family, the all stood up to meet me and my company.

The sun was high up, and so, while waiting for it to cool a bit, Sinan offered coconuts to the ladies.

From the table outside, I could see Sinan's mom prepping up with her faming attire. I knew we have to be ready.

Sinan took some of the other hats they have at home and offered to each of us. 

We walked towards the rice field, and the ladies received their briefing from Sinan; Since there were 5 of us doing the work, we finished in just about an hour. Kurda's back was also hurting, so had to take some rest.

Then, as we planned to visit the pepper farm (since we're close and the ladies hasn't seen them), sinan asked if we'd like to go ahead with visiting the pepper farms.

We visited a farm which his relatives work at and got to try the harvest. The taste would tell you why you shouldn't wonder why 200g of that pepper would ccost ffive dollars.

Then, after the visit to the pepper farm, and a short rest back at Sinan's house, we were going to say goodbye, until, Sinan said his mom has been preparing dinner for us; Apparently, while we were away, his mom had bought and cooked fish for us.

It was not great to refuse, so we decided to stay for a while for the dinner. I was also seeing some camote (YAM) tops from their backyarrd and asked Sinan if we can get some to cook;;

I ate a lot of those when I was in the Philippines, especially when our meals were fried fish, so, was glad that I get a taste of home. It was funny too as, jjust like the first dinner I had with them the other day, I was the last to finish from the meal. 

A little while later, we bid goodbye; We walked towards the highway for yet another hitchhiking trip.

We got a truck to hitch up until the horse roundabout, and then, from there, we got to hitch up to the resort from the pickup car of the Don Bosco School in Kep.

This post is part of the #limbonisASIA tripSee link for more stories, detailed expenses and itinerary

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