MP3 track of the day: Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Weather: Hot, however there was quite a strong breeze today and many clouds filled the sky.
I looked at my watch as I left my guesthouse in search of food … 10:30am. I was quite glad that it had taken me so long to get up, get ready, and get out; the morning had almost disappeared. As the chocolate pancake wasn't great yesterday I went in search of my favorite 'petrol station attached coffee shop'. As my 'usual' coffee shop was near the Vietnamese embassy – and I had no reason to visit said embassy – I went in search of another petrol station closer to home … without success. In the end I went back to a sandwich shop I had visited two days ago and looked at my watch, 11:00am.
As it was officially time for 'elevenses'; I scrapped breakfast in favor of a chocolate cake with a hot chocolate. As I sat down, awaiting for my order to be brought to me, I did wonder what the staff thought of me ordering so much chocolate; however honestly, I really didn't care. I put my spoon through the soft sponge of chocolate cake and took my first bite. It was then that I decided that electricity, space flight and toothpaste had all been useful, and clever inventions, however the person who had decided to put chocolate, and cake, together should have really got an award, or a knighthood, or something for his, or her, commitment in making this world a much happier place. You see, I could live with just brushing my teeth my my toothbrush, I could live without knowing that Saturn existed and I could live – I think – without electricity … however I was certain, as I took another bite, that living without chocolate cake couldn't be done. The same trail of thought entered my head in regards to hot chocolate; putting chocolate with hot milk … true genius.
After my thoughts I headed back to my guesthouse, to pick up my book, and then headed to my favorite restaurant for a 'vanilla shake'. I opened my book and I was lifted out of Phnom Penh (thankfully) and into a world where Julius Caesar was just about to invade Gaul. As I sipped my shake the legions of Rome were cutting their way through the tribes of Gaul. What a way to spend the afternoon, I thought to myself. In the four hours that followed I read over 200 pages; I was with Caesar as he took the senate in Rome and I was with him as he fought his way through Gaul to the English Channel. I must read more books when I get home.
'Emperor – The field of Swords' is a very good book; it takes a little while to get into (and don't be put off by the 600 pages) but its a thoroughly good story. I only have another hundred or so pages left and so I hope to finish the book within the next couple of days. There are quite a few English book stores, within Phnom Penh, and so I hope to pick up another 'Emperor' book (either 'the gates of Rome' or 'The Death of Kings - both set before the book I'm reading - or Conn Iggulden's latest 'The Gods of War') at one of these stores. If I'm unsuccessful then I'll look at getting a book about the Khmer Rouge; I do like reading about the history of the country that I am in.
It was now 6pm; I put my book away, surfed the internet and then ordered dinner. I thanked the staff at the 'three rivers restaurant' for all their service over the last couple of days and bid them well for the future. Maybe I'll return however my new guesthouse is on the otherside of town. I made my way back to my room to read a couple more chapters before an early night. It was weird to be on the eve of my voluntary work; I had booked this over a year ago and back then it seemed so far away. It's amazing how time goes by so quickly and, to be honest, I'm a little worried about what is in store for me over the next three weeks.