22/12… Santa Krishna’s in Siem Reap

Sing along please:- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… there’s tinsel on the tree and a sleigh ride for you an’ me… yep Santa’s in shop windows, carols are blaring, war maimed beggars are wearing flashing Santa hats. Incongruous enough at any time, totally bizarre in 35C heat in Buddhist Cambodia, but I guess since the world didn’t end yesterday (21/12/12) we’re here in a multi-cultural multi-faith world a little longer. Also incongruous I must say was the tinsel and mistletoe adorning the Singapore Airlines plane interior yesterday – but if it’s good enough for Singapore Airlines I guess it’s good enough for Siem Reap, so Santa Krishna’s abound (local pronunciation).

Yes, you guessed it, I have arrived in Cambodia! Lara Croft and Indiana Jones eat your hearts out – coz I’m here!

Nothing much to say actually as I’ve not done any tomb raiding yet – I believe from the signs and themed souvenirs that Angkor Wat is somewhere nearby.

My trip started with 36 hours of free time – actually a great plan as a means of stopping. I’m enjoying the ambiance of the hotel pool mostly. Arrived yesterday and slept by said pool, had a cocktail by said pool, an Angkor Sling, bit weak but quite drinkable. Ate buffet dinner by said pool, watched Khmer traditional dancing by said pool and have now retired to said pool for the heat of the day. You get the theme.

Siem Reap
Siem Reap

I would hasten to add that I have ventured out beyond the pool today – this is clearly a tourist town and I quickly found Pub Street with a great variety of pizzerias, several Khmer-Mex fusion joints, French bakeries, multiple bars and massage joints.

I then found the old market – wow what a riot of veg, spices, teas, fish, meats most outside my experience and vocab. The photos will have to describe that sensory adventure. Suffice to say I’ve never seen so many recently plucked chooks with bums bare and feet in the air!

It didn’t smell bad tho, all the vendors cooking for the locals overwhelmed any bad smells with more garlic than any self-respecting vampire could countenance. Come to think of it an overload of garlic’s as much a recurring theme as the pool, maybe it’s meant to deter the mozzies?

Didn’t need to worry about bringing that third pair of long pants just in case I can’t shop since I’m oversized for Asia. See above comment on this being a tourist town, add an associated guarantee these guys know their market demographic and you’ll understand that I now have a $10 pair of cotton elephant pants, way kewl and yes my bum looks big in them, like the side of an elephant in fact.

Trying to decide if I’m lazy lunching by the pool or if I’ll be tempted by the boulangerie (Fr sp?) or Khmer-Mex fusion. It’s only a 500m walk. Will report back in due course.

Ok I’m lazy. The pool side pizza was closer so I stayed there: swam, ate, slept, finished my first book and went for a 2.5hr Khmer massage. Never had anything like it! Will be kinda interesting to see if I can walk tomorrow and the alleged aloe vera wrap was missing at the end, but I doubt I’ve ever before been so thoroughly massaged, pummelled, oiled and manipulated by a young lass using her hands, elbows and feet. Like I said let’s see if I can walk tomorrow 🙂 shame about the aloe wrap since I seem to be a bit sunburnt.

Well in a few moments I’m heading out for an early dinner in Pub Street. I am NOT paying $3 for 30 minutes of my feet in a tank with fish eating off the dead skin – disgusting!!

Tomorrow starts with a 415 am wake up call to get picked up with a box breakfast at 5 to be at Angkor Wat for sunrise. It’s a full day tour – sure will know I’ve been here by the end of that little excursion.

Pub Street
Pub Street

Author: Wendy's Out of Station

I write as a way of processing and reflecting on experience, and as a way of sharing that experience. When I travel I used to write email journals back to friends, family, anyone who’d read and risk immersing themselves in my reality for a while: writing for them was a way of writing for me. Borrowing from Graham Greene in a flip of Travels with my Aunt, I imagined writing letters to my nieces, as their travelling aunt. Crafting the sentences became a way of extruding the experience, giving it birth, drawing its meaning from my soul, nurturing it into something tangible with a life of its own. The aim of my blog is to open the world to my thought-children, to let them out of the safety of my friends and family and let them experience the world. And in the process I get the honour of taking a larger group with me when I’m wandering around India and beyond, or just reflecting on parallel truths, thinking thoughts that take me to new places new beginnings. Please journey with me

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