Island time. It’s a time frame. It’s a state of mind. “Don’t worry, we’re on island time.” There’s a good reggae song in there somewhere. It’s knowing that there’s no need to rush, and that nobody else is going to go for that anyway. Some of the things you’re used to, like reliable wifi and ice cream, are more difficult to find, so a living-in-the-now approach seems appropriate, at least, those thoughts pass through your head as you furiously write on your laptop or charge your mobile. Just be patient. You’re on island time.
Like here on Koh Rong – it’s on island time. You get the feeling that the families here aren’t looking that far into the future, or the past. Today is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow, you think about tomorrow when it’s here. Life seems much simpler this way. It allows you to enjoy the things right in front of you without the burden of all those different time frames.
Today starts in the afternoon (of course!) and you snorkel the cool waters and coral of the nearby blip of island so small you don’t think it has a name. And you see things like rockfish, and yellow-and-black-vertically-striped-fish, a coquillage or giant clam, underwater plants that resemble brown hops, and a menacing display from the many inky-black anemones parking their white-ringed and fearsome-looking spikes on the sea bed.
After an undetermined amount of island time, your captain takes you to what is presumably his special spot, gives you a fishing line on a spool, baits the weighted hook with squid, and tells you to “fish on the bottom.” And soon as you please, you start reeling in sea life,and so does the boat captain, some small, some big, some strange, and soon you have a little assortiment des poissons that your boatman will cook for you later.
After a couple of hours or so (who knows?!), your angling prowess has secured dinner, and as the sun descends in the western sky, you motor over to catch a beauty on Koh Rong Samloem, while fishermen haul in the final catches of the day in the foreground. This sunset perhaps rivals the corker you saw on Long Beach the previous night, the one you barefoot-trekked to on a jungle path that resembled a set a famous fictional archaeologist might have swashbuckled through.
But the topper and the capper is a ride out to Koh Kon, just off the coast of Samloem, where plankton exhibit a delightful property when you pass your hands through them – they display a wispy and tendrile-like luminescence. Now, real hadoukens and lumos spells are at your fingertips with merely the proper flick of the wrists. You play and play in the water, and when you tire, you ride back under the stars, which are peering over the edge of the fading daylight, and ever-so-slowly rotating, movement that gives you a much better idea of how to tell island time.