Does My Mum Look Big in This?

5 Feb
Boys With Their Toys

Z and friends outside the Kampot Caves

“I think you should wear something a little more slimming tomorrow, mum,” was tactfully meant.

“God, mum, your tummy sticks out almost as far as your bum and your bum is MASSIVE. Where’s your phone? I’ll take a picture and show you,” came straight out of the Viz Spoilt Bastard handbook.

I think, on balance, the kinder version was crueller, although the beauty of utter rudeness is that one can respond with high dudgeon/childish insults/patronising therapy-lite explanations about how “It doesn’t make Mummy feel very good when you say those sorts of things” (no shit, Sherlock).

Or threats, obviously.

Unsightly things happen to a Western woman’s sense of self in these parts. One weighs down longtail boats and the backs of motorbikes, being larger in all dimensions than the driver. The clothes in the markets start at teeny and go up to  small.

From being on the tallish, thinnish side of things and the kosher side of the clothes rail in the UK, where the average size is a 16 and the actual measurements behind that magic number are getting larger year on year, one is suddenly elephantine.

Plus, let’s face it, I’m eating a lot.

Anywise . . . we took this idyllic trip out to the limestone caves above the fields outside Kampot, with a Buddhist temple on the way up, a seventh century Hindu temple inside, flocks of bats and one of those sharp, fast sunsets behind a hill across a plain where they farm the traditional way.

Drawing Water

Drawing Water

A guy called Wat drove us. And three local kids — two of them nine — showed us all round.

I wore flipflops and a dress. Two big mistakes.

Did we want to see some “rock diamond” (quartz)? We did.

Would I be OK? Of course I would.

Seeing the quartz involved following in the footsteps of three nimble, skinny nine-year-old boys, one of them loudly channelling Indiana Jones, the others keen to display their superior chops when it came to (eg) swinging on vines over water.

There was scrambling up rock faces, wriggling sideways and bent double between sheer walls, crawling through tunnels, and general hopping from rock to rock by torchlight.

Normally, I love this sort of stuff.

When followed, however, by an anxious, younger, slimmer, smaller gentleman, and clad so anything even mildly athletic would invariably expose one’s flabby white arse, the experience was painful, to say the last.

Wat’s upward shoves before I had even begun to scramble were functional in intent (mortifyingly, rather less so in effect).

The tone of the gesture fell somewhere between a young man assisting an elderly and infirm relative and a plumber clearing a blockage in a largish pipe. Any erotic charge/sex pestery [delete according to desired feminist stance] was not so much absent as actually inconceivable.

The low point, I guess, was when he stood at the base of a descent and invited me to jump. He’d catch me, he said.

I declined. I could think of few things worse for the female ego — and, for that matter, the male — than squashing a gentleman flat.

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4 Responses to “Does My Mum Look Big in This?”

  1. Caroline February 9, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Haha! I am right with you there. This time last year I turned down a much larger and quite broad-shouldered gentleman’s offer of carrying me to his car for fear of doing him permanent harm. He was quietly mildly insulted I think. Ah well. If Zac is cheeky to you again, sit on him.

    • MummyT February 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

      wilco! think the ho chi minh trail may have shifted some pounds, although buses that stop every hour and a half for snacks are doing my tummy no favours…

  2. Snap June 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    It’s the sugar, it’s the sugar…well atl east that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. They seem to put sugar in everything.

    Love your blog, have been reading to the hubby, from the beginning, while catching up with your current happenings.

    What an adventure!

    • MummyT June 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      LOL!!! they do! The boy and i both like drinking lime juice and soda. No sugar. Probably THE single hardest drink order to get across in Asia… They’ll bring it over. We’ll go. “No. NO sugar.” They take it away and add MORE…

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