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Natasha Demiankova  Traveler 🌏 Co-owner of Simple Things vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio in Kampot, Cambodia 🌿

Among other things, my activities today included making friends with a man who has no arms but runs a cool school and drives a motorbike like a pro, figuring out why a coffee machine started sporadically electrocuting people, and talking with 4 different airline companies to book a very smartly planned planned, but logistically confusing trip (beat the system in the end though). Nepal in 2 weeks, Moscow in mid April! // Сегодня я как-то чётко поняла, что перелёт Пномпень-Катманду мне кажется обычным делом, а не просто смешным набором букв. Москва, снег, выборы – вот, где настоящая экзотика.

Marina exercising her knee on our roof and getting ready to kick some ass at basketball. You Khmer boys better be prepared. She’s coming back soon and she has a new basketball jersey. // Марина курсирует по крыше на фоне инфернального заката и тренирует повреждённое колено, потому что, сами понимаете, нет ножек – нет баскета.

Waterfall day. I don’t have a hot shower at my house, but I get to see places like this. Seems pretty fair to me, universe. // Выбрались на природу.

Sometimes you just get tired of climbing the damn stairs and have to take a power nap. // Когда нет сил взбираться по лестнице, можно и вздремнуть на полпути.

Yep, it was as cool as it looks. // Крутые вьетнамские склоны.

Here’s some wisdom after spending 1,5 months in Vietnam: if you’re wearing dry clothes, feel relatively warm, and have food options other than dog meat, you’re having a grrreat day! // Бухта Ха Лонг: каяки пустуют неспроста, холодно! (Но мы-то покатались, конечно).

Turns out it’s not always sunny in Vietnam. This view is worth wearing four layers of pants though. // Красиво и очень холодно: в северном Вьетнаме в декабре можно выжить только в четырех слоях одежды.

Riding in the clouds of Vietnam. // Дорога в облаках.

That’s me, navigating through the deep waters of other people’s feelings and doing a mediocre job. (Not that I have anything against this particular boat. Sorry, boat. You just happened to be in the picture). Also, yes, I am alive and in Cambodia. Will go to Vietnam in a little while. Life is still complicated and great. Sending hugs to all the random corners of the world where you people are right now. // Эту фотографию я посвящаю своей бабушке, которая скучает по моим фотографиям в инстаграме. Краткая сводка новостей: все хорошо, я в Камбодже, скоро поеду во Вьетнам, жизнь бьет ключом, иногда прям буквально вот бьет, но вообще все хорошо, а что не очень хорошо, рано или поздно станет лучше. ❤️

Home at last. // Родные пальмы.

I drove to the beach today after 2 hours of Muay Thai, my clothes soaking wet from sweat; I parked the moto, went into the sea, and kept floating on the water that looked almost like oil paint in the nacreous colors of the sunset. I was watching the sky changing, thinking how my salty sweat becomes salty sea water, how I almost can't feel my body because the water is so warm. I'm grateful that I noticed this moment in the midst of the white noise of everything. (I'm still punching the next person who says that I'm "living the dream". That's why I'm doing Muay Thai. To cut the small talk short.) // Москва, для вас меньше лирики, больше конкретики: приезжаю 15 сентября на две недели. Судя по тому, какая погода меня встретила в мае, ближе к октябрю рассчитываю покататься на санках. Скоро увидимся, короче!

I've been running Simple Things by myself (without Andrei and Marina, but with our Khmer staff) for 55 days, and tomorrow my "low season shift" (which has been anything but low) will be over. Marina will be back, and I will hug her, and then swear a lot in Russian. It's been a weird experience — I get a lot of those lately: living above the restaurant, in the yoga room (ironically, sleeping near the yoga mats is the most yoga I've done here), working 6 days a week, all day long, dealing with all kinds of random problems that Cambodia is so generous with. This rhythm didn't leave too much time for thinking, but left a lot of time for feelings. The feeling of complete loneliness, while being constantly surrounded by people. The numbness that comes with the routine: different people, but the same faces. Anxiety – there was a lot of it, because some shit went wrong almost every single day. Gratitude – for every sincere interaction that I've had; for every little piece of help that I've gotten, in all possible forms; I am so bad at asking for help, but so grateful for it, especially when I don't even have to ask. The feeling — the moment — when you suddenly truly see someone, among all the people who come and go, and when you are truly seen. This is the most precious one for me; the other stuff will fade with time, but not this. The feeling of love, and being loved. Turns out it can blossom even in the most unfavorable conditions. The feeling of how random, chaotic, and elastic reality is — anything could happen, and it can be right now. The overwhelming heartbreak when people leave; this is the worst one, and the other stuff will fade with time, but not this. The feeling of being just so. fucking. tired. But in the end, if I had to cry from exhaustion in the middle of the night, with a scoop in one hand and a bucket in another, water slowly flooding my kitchen, for all the good things that had happened to me during these 55 days, I'd do it all over again. (Okay. I would need to sleep for, like, a week at first. And then I'd do it again).

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