Thankfully my male mid-life crisis only seems to strike at weekends, so I haven’t yet strutted into school wearing a large medallion and a Hawaiian shirt.
This weekend it was quad biking.
Annette and I were given a quick demo and then a five-minute test. I passed and was deemed safe to go out on my own, but Annette had to have an instructor sitting with her for the first half-hour, as her steering wasn’t up to scratch. Feeling smugly superior, I got ready to go.
We sped off through villages, splashing through puddles, hurtling over bumps and roaring past slower vehicles … such fun!
Lots of children were out fishing
presumably hoping to catch something for lunch. They usually rushed up and started waving – they didn’t seem too surprised to see two mad Englishwomen careering around the Cambodian countryside on quad bikes.
If you’ve never driven a quad bike, I can assure you that it’s not difficult, but it does give you very hot ankles.
And then you have to keep the accelerator pushed forward with your right thumb, and after a while your right hand starts throbbing and then goes numb – rather like the sensation I get when I use a power-washer for a long period of time, cleaning the patio slabs. There are no indicators and I became very proficient at indicating left with my left arm, but couldn’t work out how to indicate right without taking my thumb off the accelerator and coming to a standstill. So I compromised by looking carefully in all directions and then swerving right at the last minute if nothing was coming.
We saw several men ploughing their rice paddies with push-along ploughs.
and these ladies were sitting in a wedding marquee which stretched right across the road, preparing vegetables.
I drove through the middle of the marquee – I had to, there was nowhere else to drive – and stopped to take a quick picture.
The door-to-door fabric seller was out in one village we drove through, smiling despite carrying all that weight around in the heat.
Then we stopped at a Pagoda. This one is over two hundred years old and is still brightly painted.
We weren’t the only visitors … I think this is an outing organised by the Athlete’s Foot Sufferers’ Society.
We looked at the family vaults in the ‘churchyard’,
and watched them building a new one.
Under all that beautiful paintwork it’s just cement.
After two hours we were both ready for the advanced quad bike test –
standing up with one hand in the air … ok, so we were stationary, but even so, we’d learned some hardcore riding skills, and had the evidence to prove it.
I hear that Top Gear needs a new presenter …