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Natasha Demiankova  Traveler 🌏Currently living in Kampot, Cambodia. Co-owner of Simple Things – vegetarian restaurant & yoga 🌿


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).

Девочки с кухни любят меня подкармливать: варёной кукурузой (в количестве шести штук), или вот соком сахарного тростника (в объеме 500 мл). // Girls from the kitchen love to bring me treats. Like boiled corn cobs (not one; but six), or sugar cane juice (just half a liter, no big deal).

Работа, йога, кофе, гитара; и люди – не перестающие удивлять меня. Вот такая сейчас жизнь. // Working a lot. Drinking a lot of coffee. Teaching yoga in between work (it's still working; but let's pretend it's not). Playing the guitar in the night until the tips of my fingers are numb (sorry, new neighbours). Enjoying the small signs of kindness from strangers. And friends. Feeling a little lonely. And loved a lot at the same time. (And no, I still haven't bought any pomelos. But I'm getting there). #kampotcorners #whatsaroundthenextone

Today I went to the Kampot market early in the morning, before opening the restaurant, saw pomelo fruits for sale and thought: wow, it's pomelo season! I love them! But man. I don't have the time to eat them. Because I basically spend 12 hours a day in front of the customers, and trust me, it takes some skill to gracefully eat a pomelo. But as it turns out, I do have some free time. And now it's midnight, and I'm thinking about where my life is headed, and I'm kind of sad, and kind of hungry. My point is. Next time I'm buying the pomelo. Eating a pomelo is much more fun.

Time to go home. After an intense month of yoga training, I end up with a cold and a book in my hands – Little life, that I intended to read for the whole month here but didn't find the time. My body has done this a few times in Rishikesh, getting sick and telling me that I have to stop and just rest or think. Thank you, body, for giving me the time to read this book; sucks that I still don't know when I should stop myself. Thank you, Rishikesh, for this month. I feel like I wasn't great in some things that I've done here, but I have honestly done my best. And thank you, people, who, seeing through my weirdness and weak moments, still want to stick around. // Закончился мой месяц в Ришикеше – сегодня лечу в Камбоджу. В день окончания курса я простудилась, и все, что я могла делать последние пару дней – это читать Маленькую жизнь, книгу, которую я собиралась читать весь месяц, но все не находила времени. Спасибо моему телу за все, на что оно, оказывается, способно, и за то, что даёт мне передышки – потому что сама я все ещё не успеваю уловить момент, когда мне надо взять тайм-аут. Спасибо Ришикешу за этот месяц: у меня есть ощущение, что я была немножко слабой, немножко не дотянула в некоторых вещах, но честное слово, я сделала все, на что была способна. И спасибо людям, которые способны за моей слабостью и странностью увидеть меня.

Рассвет над Гималаями стоит того, чтобы встать в 4 утра в воскресенье. После трёх невероятно интенсивных недель. Ещё одна впереди. // Things worth getting up for at 4 AM on Sunday: sunrise over Himalayas. Just one more week in Rishikesh, and I'll go back to Cambodia. It's been one of the most intense months of my life. (And it's not over yet.)

Мое любимое граффити в Ришикеше на данный момент: загадочная нога. // My favorite graffiti so far – the foot on the right. So intriguing.

Sounds like a plan. Life seems much simpler towards the end of the second week of intense yoga training. #begood #dogood

Ганг, горы и маленькие беспокойные люди в лодках для рафтинга. На это можно смотреть вечно. // A view you don't get tired of. Ganga, mountains and tiny restless people on rafting boats.

Я тут просто постою. // Just standing here.

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