Samart Day 4
Yesterday was our final day at Samart School. In the morning we tied up as many struggling dragon fruit trees as possible, planted – as Tom called it – the ‘Nate and McKayla meringa tree’ then said goodbye to our host family.
It was pretty great to get a little cultural exchange for the past few days. Most of the food was excellent, the people were wonderful and the students were respectful and attentive. For me, the most interesting part was seeing how these people lived their daily lives. A complete lack of luxury items and some things that i would have considered basic staples of life. Yet they were some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen with seemingly great family values and closeness.
We headed back to Siem Reap to stay at the Mad Monkey. It’s a nice hostel with a pool, showers and, from what we’re told, a party atmosphere. Right next to the entrance and front desk is where the pool is. McKayla and I saw it and rushed to the room to change into swim suits for finally, some relief from the heat. Right next to the pool is a bar offering cheap draft beers and just like that, we’re out of the third world enjoying drinks and a soak. Not entirely sure how if feel about it, or even how I should feel about it.
The other day, I was really craving a sandwich, just a regular meat and cheese on bread sandwich. We found a pretty fancy Khmer restaurant that had a sandwich special from 2-5:00 p.m. Get this: iced tea or coffee, a sandwich, fries and a plate of fruit for 2 (we each got all of that) for $4.50. My mind was blown; sandwich craving satisfied. We went there again today. With dinner out of the way, it was time to get down to business and find a place that would show the Packers/Bears Thursday night game tomorrow. The main issue, other than the fact that no one here gives a shit about American Football is that it airs here at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. We found and met the only American bar owner in Siem Reap; long story short, it’s a no go.
The mad monkey was hosting a black light party tonight so we made our way back there. McKayla and I dethroned two sets of beer pong ‘champions’, had a good time and met a fair amount of interesting travelers. They had two guys who worked there that I can only describe as party starters. They would start games, pour free shots every hour and try to get you to spend as much as possible. I got talked into a beer chug race with one of them. The bet – if I lose, I would have to buy and drink a hand grenade, if I win, he would have to shave off his mutton chops. Let’s just say that it’s time to charge up your clippers; those chops are coming off.
Although we couldn’t find anywhere to watch the Packer game, my lovely, talented and tech savvy wife was able to stream it on her phone; just one more reason I married this beauty. Best way to start a Friday – with a Packer win.
One night at Mad Monkey was enough, besides, tonight is Traffic Light Friday (green for available, red for taken, yellow for maybe). I can’t imagine it’s the most exciting party for a married couple in a sea of young 20-somethings on the road.
We have one more day to enjoy Siem Reap before we board the night bus to Sihanoukville. Night buses were recommended by our King’s Cup friends from the other night. We won’t need to worry about lodging for the night and we won’t waste a whole 12 hours on a bus. Win-win.
We left our bags at the Mad Monkey to gather trinkets, a fake ruby, a t-shirt and some lunch before returning to the hostel for some pool side relaxation. I got to meet a Brit named Collem. He gave me some pretty good ideas for Indonesia along with some pretty hilarious stories of his travels thus far.
I hadn’t realized that night buses meant that we would have our own bed. This thing was sweet: a bed we could share, outlets and wifi. Greyhound, you aren’t even in the same league as these guys.