A walk to some wats

(By Nate)

Sleep came easy last night, a little too easy.  We crashed at about 7:30 only to wake up fully charged at 3:30 this morning.   During the witching hours, we were able to find and book our next stay.  McKayla and I also decided we’re going to try to have a morning workout routine. Not sure if the downstairs neighbors appreciated the 5 AM jumping jacks but the combination of jetlagged and motivation can lead to some unusual decisions. 

You guessed it, we were the first ones at breakfast this morning. Eggs with fresh bread and fruit – yum! While I went with tea (just Lipton bags nothing special), McKayla went with a smooth tasting French press coffee that also doubled as jet fuel.

Grandma Rita had wanted us to check in with the American Embassy first thing to let them know we were here. Turns out not only does the embassy not give a shit about us being in the country, we couldn’t even get in the gate. It was just like the DMV – by appointment only and only open four hours a day, Monday through Thursday. It wasn’t a total wash, though, because on our walk to the embassy, we stopped at two different wats to enjoy buildings, artwork and statues. (A wat is a Buddhist temple in Cambodia, Thailand or Laos) 

On the way back we stopped at the central market and holy shit was that overwhelming. For a guy that’s not too keen on shopping in the first place,  I was the one pushing to go there. I’m not sure what I was expecting but that wasn’t it. So so so many colors, sounds, smells and people trying to sell anything you could imagine. It was like three Walmarts if all the rednecks were Cambodian, all the aisles were 18 inches apart and the majority of it smelled like fish. I don’t think I have the words to describe this place and the insane amount of organized chaos throughout. Jewelers were inside the main building in the center and then it fanned out exponentially from there. Clothes stands were everywhere, electronics, household items and food had their own sections. When I say food, I’m talking about raw (often alive) meat, fruits, veggies, fish and crabs.

After leaving the market empty-handed we settled on what must’ve been our one hundredth offer for a tuk-tuk ride of the day. For three dollars he puttered us back within a few blocks of our Guesthouse. We didn’t want to get dropped in front for risk of making Tang jealous. The guy is always here and always offers us a ride and always seems just disheartened when we tell him we’re going to walk. Tomorrow, Tang, tomorrow we will go to the killing fields.  I said that three times today.  


Categories: adventure, Cambodia, travel

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