#BEDM Day 17: The Aerial Palace

For Day 17 of #BEDM, I’ve chosen to use the topic proposed here – Wanderlust/ Travel

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I’ve always wanted to travel solo. Although I did have the opportunities when it was work-related, travelling solo for pleasure just never worked out. Until 2014.

For my birthday that year, I traveled to Siem Reap with the main purpose of exploring the temples at Angkor. I’d arrived the day before my birthday to settle in to the lovely hotel a friend found for me online and to gauge my surroundings.

The day of my birthday, I was up at 630 as the tour guide I’d booked would meet me at my hotel at 7am to start the tour. It was a warm day. Tuk tuk was the obvious mode of transportation as these versatile motor rickshaw type vehicles could weave in and out of traffic much too easily. I thought we were early but there were already busloads of tourists at the entrance to the Angkor temple complex.

The tour I booked included the usual sites that we’ve all seen on television, movies or read about in books or magazines – Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom, Angkor Wat and all the other awesome temples.

The highlight of my excursion though was when the guide brought me to Phimeanakas, a temple which is located inside the walled enclosure of the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom. It was not the largest of the temples that I’d seen and was one of the most run down but somehow, I was drawn to it. The guide told me that according to legend, the kings of the time visited the temple every night to sleep with a woman who’s actually a Naga (serpent, snake, etc…). If the Naga did not show up, this meant that the kings days were numbered aka not good.

I remember walking up the crumbling steps to the top, using my hands and knees and when I arrived, I caught the smell of incense. I was alone at the temple and my heart started beating quicker. I peered around a fallen column and saw that there was incense being burnt by an old lady who greeted tourists and handed out blessed yellow strings to be tied around one’s wrists, in exchange for a small donation. Phew, no Naga.

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Phimeanakas (The Aerial Palace)

It was truly special to be able to spend my birthday amongst such historical ruins. Like the yellow string around my left wrist, I felt blessed.

#BEDM Day 16: Staying when I want to leave

Day 16: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it.

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There’s several things about my current work situation that makes me want to throw a tantrum and storm out of the office:

  • A boss who insists on running the research centre like a training provider thereby focusing on profit instead of the mission of the centre which is to promote awareness of the purpose of the research centre
  • Colleagues who specifically express that they’re not interested in what I do because it’s not part of their job scope when all I ask is just to help answer the phone when I’m away from my desk and give basic information to the person who calls instead of answering “Call back later when she’s (me) back.”
  • Being asked to design website banners and workshop brochures even though we have a graphic designer who has been doing that because the boss wants to save money and doing this takes me away from what I’m supposed to do since graphic designing is not my main responsibility.
  • Et cetera, et cetera…

So, why not just up and go? Well, money for one. I don’t have as much as I’d like in terms of savings so I don’t want to leave without a safety net. And fear of the unknown.

Though there’s a lot of things I’m unhappy with about my current job, the abundance of my annual leave, minimal work load and long Friday lunches (1230noon till 245pm) pacifies me momentarily. So basically, this job that frustrates me allows me the time and freedom to build up my freelance work and once that’s up and running, I’m handing in my notice.

So, this is my something difficult right now, being at a job that is slowly but surely sucking my soul. Blogging keeps me sane 🙂 And also this mantra which I repeat a million times each day:

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My ‘Something Difficult‘ from 2013, which is still my something difficult now too…