Sabaidi | Travel Thoughts

Sabaidi:  Lao for "hello."  

Sabaidi is a collection of travel thoughts, photos and experiences from the past ten years of wandering the globe.  

It's a random wandering of travel thoughts, inspired by instagram picture posts and memories.  

Click through below for some travel adventures.

#TBT Travel Memories for Frosty December 28

It's a cold, frosty day in Kingston, Ontario.  A proper start to a true Canadian winter.  

And, as much as I love the snow, especially when it is sunny, I am not a fan of windchill and extreme cold weather warnings.  I have spent my chilly Thursday inside, re-living memories of ten years of international travel and dreaming of new adventures. 

On my Instagram, I posted three photos to celebrate memories of travels past.  Here they are, complete with a current shot of the snow.  Scroll down for more information about the photos and why I posted them today.

 

ALotWarmerInside.JPG

Kingston, Ontario, Canada December 28th 

Currently -17 C with an extreme cold warning of -30 C or colder as the sun sets. 

Although, it doesn't look that uninviting with the brilliant blue sky, the crisp white snow, and the festival holiday decorations lining the street. 

And yes, I'm sure that there are many colder places in the world today.  Hopefully one day I'll have a chance to visit those places (with tons of proper protection and proper boots!!!).  

For today, I shall stay on the other side of the window pane.  Here are the three memories, all from warm weather countries....

 

 @lovetheartinyourself  August 2008

@lovetheartinyourself  August 2008

Ubud, Bali August 2008.  This offering was left on the pathway to the rice field, just south of the Ubud main street.  Taken with a Canon point and shoot, I was impressed with how the digital camera could pick up the movement of the smoke.  I have always been attracted to the vibrant colours in the offerings and intrigued by their place in daily ritual and culture.  This picture brings me back to the tranquility and warmth of the island paradise.

 @lovetheartinyourself March 2004

@lovetheartinyourself March 2004

A highway south west of Mexico City, March 2004.  This picture was taken the last Saturday of a month long teaching/travel adventure during my alternative practicum with a disposable camera (now those were the days...before cellphones and pocket photography).  I remember our guide talking about business men stopping and picking up flowers for their wives.  I don't know if that is true or not, but the romantic notion has stuck with me all of these years.  This picture does not give the colours justice.  It was truly a piece of heaven on the highway.  

 @lovetheartinyourself August 2008

@lovetheartinyourself August 2008

Borobudur, Central Java Indonesia, August 2008.  Standing at the top of the 9th Century Mahayana Buddhist temple, in complete awe of the the size, the carvings, the lessons and knowledge, and the overwhelming sense of peace.  Words cannot probably express the overwhelming sense of awe being in the middle of this architectural work of wonder.  Click on the this link to find out more about this unique UNESCO Heritage Site


A Cooking Adventure in Battambang

This article was originally submitted to BookMeBus in the hopes that we would get one free ticket to take the mail van back to catch our flight to Luang Prabang in Siem Reap.  It’s a short commentary on our cooking class adventure on August 10th in Battambang.  

Yes, we did receive the full list of receipes for our cooking adventure.  It’s totally worth the experience.  There are a ton of cooking schools in Battambang that work on commission through hotels/tuk tuk drivers to get tourist students to large classes.  Our class was limited to 8; however, Jo and I were lucky because we had a private class for the two of us.  I can’t really see this experience with twenty people.  It would be probably similar to the twenty people art class that I took in June that was awesome, but I really spent the time laughing, chatting, and doing my own thing. A private class for 10 USD where the money goes directly to the family who runs the restaurant is good for me.    

D6915FEB-4E66-4C66-A5E4-694047CB8A11.JPG

Three hours, four dishes, multiple stories and memories

My friend and I were treated to a delightful morning at Coconut Lyly’s in Battambang learning the basics of Cambodian cooking, cuisine, and culture.

Taking a cooking class was one of the items I researched when preparing for my trip to Cambodia from Canada.  The area that I live in Canada has a multitude of South East Asian cuisine, but not a great deal of Cambodian dishes.  After spending a week in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, consuming as much Cambodian cuisine as possible, I was excited to spend the morning learning the basics.

Coconut Lyly is at the centre of Battambang - Cambodian’s second largest city that has a cool arts and culture scene.  Upon arrival, my friend and I picked our four dishes to prepare from a recipe book.  We decided upon spring rolls, chicken amok, green mango salads, and Coconut Lyly’s signature coconut dessert.  Within seconds of deciding, it was off to the market to pick out our ingredients.

At the market, Lyly (who is a trained chef from Siem Reap) walked us through different fruits, vegetables, meat options and helped us pick out the ingredients for our lemongrass paste.  We were “not going to be lazy today” and make our own lemongrass paste for the chicken amok.  He also gave us fair warning about behaviour in the market, which included not standing in the aisles or hovering too long over a stall.  I learned this lesson the hard way when I was tapped on the upper leg by a fellow Cambodian shopper trying to get through to one of the fruit sellers.  It was harmless but unexpected.  Shopping means business in Cambodia! 

One of the coolest market discoveries was buying coconut milk.  The coconut goes into a machine to create this fine powder and milk is collected.  Pure coconut milk is the most delicious thing in the world!

After our market adventure, we went back and prepared our dishes.  Lyly explained all of the ingredients, the proper cutting/preparation methods, and how to perfect a spring roll.   After spending an hour preparing/chatting about Cambodian life, the education system, living and working Cambodia, our food was ready to cook.  I quite enjoyed our food preparation session as I gained great insight into Cambodian life, the value of family, and the importance of work ethic!

The flavours of the meal were complementary and out of this world.  We felt accomplished, satisfied, and ready to go explore the art galleries and public art spaces that Battambang has to offer.

Overall, we would highly recommend this experience.  Ten USD (writing as of August 11, 2017) gets you a four course meal, full receipe booklet, and an unforgettable experience.

 

4529DC23-76B8-4C83-ABB6-11244117138D.JPG

5:22

Phnom Penh, View of the Waterfront, August 4, 2017

IMG_1498.JPG

5:22

There is a peacefulness in the morning that you can’t really capture on film.

This is the last moment of quiet throughout the day, a time when the soundtrack of Phnom Penh is dominated by silence, accented with the occasional rooster or horn.  No hammers, no tire screeching, no petrol.

The boats of the Mekong frame the distance, gently balancing their cargo on top of rapid currents.

The sun luminates the sky, transforming grey strokes to a colour wheel of crimson.

A painters delight as pigments burst onto the scene and dominate the sky, penetrating the atmosphere for moment with a vibrancy before disappearing in an instant.

 

5:40

Cars make a constant swoosh on the road below me.

The rooster above resumes his role as nature’s snooze button.

Our sky is ready for another day.