Looking at the dark sky, I was collecting my courage and determination to start up my little trip walking from my part-time course class to an internet cafe. It took me about 25 minutes. The distance was quite very far. I wasn’t sure about the exact distance between the starting point and the destination.
I looked in every way I was walking down the road. I tried to convince myself that it was okay and I had to go on. Why? While I was walking forward, some people along the road stared at me with a question mark on their face. After that, I moved my look at myself and started to wonder why people were looking at me. The motor-taxi drivers who passed by me stopped and asked me if I wanted to get a lift. I politely rejected it. There after that, I knew something was going strange. Of course, I didn’t realize after I walked for 10 minutes already. It was I only who was walking. But what’s wrong if I just wanted to walk alone when it was just at 7:30 pm? I preferred walking this time.
After 15 minutes of walking, I spotted two guys. Actually, I saw many guys sitting or stand along the pavement looking and kind of like gossiping about me and my walking probably. But these two guys were different. They were walking with the same direction where I was going. They two exclaimed “Oh, she’s an Indian.” This broke my heart into several pieces. How could they mistake me for an Indian girl? I wasn’t sure because I wasn’t even as beautiful as an Indian girl.
Then, I decided to put this thinking out of my mind and carried on walking. I looked at a Vietnamese café and noticed a small probably nasty dog which can bite running out to me. I just ignored it while my body was trembling a bit. Who isn’t afraid of dogs? Especially nasty dogs? How can I know one is a nasty dog? Don’t be confused, my friend. That kind of dog, which I can’t find the right word to describe, is a kind of dog which is notorious for biting people who invade its owner’s house. But that’s okay since I pretended to see nothing. I pretended there wasn’t that dog in my way. I raised my chest, breathed a big amount of air into it and forced it out while my feet were marching like a solder who isn’t frightened by anything at all.
That’s it for the 25-minute trip as I reached my destination after all. But right now I am still thinking. Has walking become a strange thing in Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh, for native Cambodians? Those people were wrong to think I was an Indian. Why do a lot of people perceive people who like walking are foreigners? Perhaps, they even think that Cambodians themselves are lazy in walking from place to place and prefer using a quicker means to go somewhere. As we know, walking is good for health. Riding or driving isn’t a matter for me but it seems too frequent to think that riding or driving somewhere is better than walking. It depends on the distance. I remember a sentence, “If you can walk to some place for 30 minutes, do it.”
We are of course living in a digitalized world where things can be obtained for a short time. But we can’t give up the reality, the real essence that people are born, learn to speak, to walk and communicate. And once again, people should practice a lot of walking as it is a healthy habit. Do it anytime you can grasp a chance. Don’t overlook it. It helps strengthen your heart beat and maintain your health. What is great is that eventually you don’t have to pollute your environment (use the leaded gasoline) and improve your health. Anyway, don’t think it’s only foreigners who can walk. Cambodians particularly in Phnom Penh should do more exercise by walking and shouldn’t waste the limited world energy. It takes time and patience to do one thing. Hey, Cambodians, enjoy more walking, won’t you?