After having lived outside of Australia for many years, I find myself becoming nostalgic for certain things Australian and nothing brings a lump to my throat or a tear to my eye quicker than Australian country music, a genre I was never all that fond of when I lived back there. One singer who, to me, epitomises Aussie country/folk music is John Williamson and I have a couple of his albums in my collection for those times I’m feeling homesick and want to become maudlin, or when I have an Aussie mate staying. When I watched the memorial service for The Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin on YouTube and Williamson sang “True Blue”, I had to sit back from my laptop for fear the tears dripping from my chin would short out the system. True story. “So what’s that got to do with eating breakfast in Kampot?” I hear you ask. Well I’ll tell you…
We were eating breakfast outside our guesthouse, a newly renovated and very charming old French villa, and here’s a picture of me above doing just that. The breakfast too was very French, fruit juice, fresh baguettes with butter and jam, coffee and fresh fruit, delicious. A very French breakfast outside a French villa in the deep south of Cambodia. Imagine my surprise then when I suddenly heard the dulcet tones of John Williamson singing “Give Me A Home Among The Gumtrees” booming out from the small Cambodian rice shop on the opposite pavement, (picture below).
The music certainly stopped me in my tracks and when I realised they were playing a complete John Williamson album I had to go and investigate, this was just too weird. I got up and walked over and the music drew me around the corner like a hungry fish to a well baited hook. There I found a small car with the doors wide open and the stereo blaring, I’d located the source. The Cambodian guy who owned the car is shown below sitting eating breakfast and sharing Williamson with the whole neighbourhood. I didn’t hear any complaints though, in fact everybody looked happy and seemed to be nodding along to it. I asked him where he got the album and he replied, “G’day mate, bloody good music eh!”
Yep, we Aussies get around a bit leaving dollops of culture wherever we go. Or should that be spelt “kulcha”?