What’s in a name?

11 Apr

Time for a little musing today, I think!

So, to keep you all up to date, I hopped into a rally car from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Well, it looked like a bus, but I think the driver thought it was a rally car. There are some good roads in Cambodia… and there are a lot of not so good roads. But at least that guarantees that it’s a fun trip. We had to stop for a while for what looked like major repairs to the suspension – being a bus driver out here means being a mechanic too.

We charged out past villages on stilts with ponds outside – my suspicion is that the earth for the road was dug out of the ponds, so now there are complicated arrangements of earthworks or rickety bridges to cross the ponds – some of which look pretty stagnant, and others of which seem to harbour fish and/or groups of children splashing and laughing. It’s dry season, so there’s no rice to be seen, but the outlines of the paddy fields burnt brown cover the land from road to horizon.  The driver leans on his horn a lot – short blasts to warn the motorcyclists, and long blasts to move the cows and the water buffalo off the road.

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In the towns the mechanic and hardware shops are interspersed with piles of watermelon and tarpaulins drying seed of one form or another. Barrows sell river clams salted ir chilli spiced – and every other shop seems to sell mobile phones.

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Finally, right on time, I’m in Siem Reap.  I’m not sure what I’ve done, because although the guest house has a 97% rating (the number one rating in Cambodia) on HostelBookers – it’s way out of town!

I was musing, as I am wont to do, on names… I’d even been thinking of using a ‘stage name’ for public speaking… and when I thought that thought, I got a hugely powerful impression that I actually needed to truly own my name. So many of you have noticed that I have changed it on Facebook to ‘Timothy’ – which is, of course, the name I was given when I was born. ‘Timothy’ means ‘honours God’, and it feels like a reflection of what I want to do with my life.

Hodgson is interesting too – while originally the thought was that it meant ‘son of Roger’ or ‘son of a pig farmer’, the indications are that it’s actually Norse in origin, and comes from the Norse ‘Hrodgeirsson’ which means ‘son of the spear carrier’. In ancient Viking battles, the hrodgeir was the man who threw the first spear in battle – the man who started the action. And, I thought to myself, I can live with that!

So, a few days in Siem Reap – spend a few days visiting the temples of Angkor Wat and experiencing the third New Year of the year (!) before heading down to the beach, perhaps for some diving. But Siem Reap has some surprises in store for me yet…..

I forgot to mention a couple of things about Phnom Penh – unlike Thailand, where every other shop is a 7-11 (if it isn’t a phone shop or selling dogy knock off t-shirts or sunglasses), Cambodia doesn’t have such a chain. It DOES, however, have it’s imitators, including the wonderfully named 7 Elephants stores still using the7-11 colour scheme.

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I forgot to mention the cute cats at the guest house, one of which took to guarding my rucksack and the other of which got on pretty well with Tigger and Snuff. I forgot to mention the not so cute dog (subject of many ‘do not feed’ signs on the tables)

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And I forgot to mention the Pink Elephant Happy Herb Pizza which turned out to not be as exciting as I thought.

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And I forgot to mention the technology failure which has seen my laptop screen become increasingly unreliable and is now held together with two clothes pegs and not very many screws.

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