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Keeping Death In Mind

March 10, 2010. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Late morning.

I pulled on my swim trunks, trainers, and a tank top and walked out of my little guesthouse room, sliding through the cramped restaurant strewn with tables, and out into the hot, dusty air of Phnom Penh. It's a hot day. It'll be good to swim after lifting weights.

I said, "No no, thank you" to the tuk-tuk drivers offering to take me somewhere in the city, pushed through the little crowd, and out onto the street. The streets in Cambodia more resemble alleyways than streets, and I navigate around people and vehicles.

I went down to the end of the street, turned left, and skirted along close to the local restaurants, half-tent half-storefront type places to get food. I stepped into the crosswalk, the Hotel Cambodiana rising in front of me. I check right and then left, and I watch left as I cross, watching for oncoming traffic.

A loud scream rings out. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Mudfest in Korea

On The Constance Chronicles

On the Daecheon Beach, mud is trucked in from the Boryeong mud flats. A small mud park is constructed with inflatable mud obstacle courses, mud pools, and clean water baths. Tubs of mud can be found on every corner along with a young Korean boy with a water hose in case you get any in your eye. The mud is said to have medicinal properties and has been used in the production of cosmetics.

A few friends and I got together and made the trek to Boryeong. We stayed in a "minbak," a korean style hotel with a kitchen attached and no beds, just blankets to make pallets on the floor. The minbak we stayed in accommodated 16 of us, by accommodated I mean, people used the one restroom available at the same time (2 boys peed in the toilet while I showered), showered together (not just with significant others), Nick slept outside on the roof, Ashley used a towel to stay warm, and people had sex with each other with other people in the room. I saw boobs that weren't mine and when someone left a stinky fart in the living room, it went ignored. Someone bought hamburgers and didn't even eat them. When there is mud involved, it gets real dirty ya'll.

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