Beaches, BBQs, and Banana Pancakes

Serendipity Beach at Sunset

Today we had our very first day with absolutely nothing to do and no transportation involved, besides a tuk-tuk. Since I left Toronto nine days ago (which actually feels like nineTEEN days ago) we have been constantly on the go. Even when we had three nights in Siem Reap, we were doing excursions which required bus rides everyday. The hustle and bustle of being on tour is taxing, especially for someone like me who has been a relatively idle student for the past three years. I’m slowly getting used to the early mornings, lots of sunlight, and three meals per day, which I rarely got while studying.

Yesterday we went on a boat trip to a nearby island, where we snorkeled, swam, and had a chance to just lay on the beach. The visibility for snorkeling wasn’t very good, but the beach was private and our group was the only one there. The water in the Gulf of Thailand is very warm, and anyone who knows me knows I’m happiest when I’m by the water, preferably on a beach someplace, so I was in paradise. We followed it up with a yummy dinner of seafood barbecue, which is a local specialty, followed by some drinks and dancing at a local (read:tourist) bar. Food and drinks here are cheap – a vodka mixed drink costs $1.50 USD and a dinner costs between $2 and $3.50 USD. Not bad, not bad at all. I’m going to be a total money snob when I come home… “you want me to pay HOW MUCH for that drink!?”

Picture Perfect

Today, as I mentioned before, we had a day where we didn’t have to go anyplace or do anything if we didn’t want to. Courtney and I chose to sleep in, have banana pancakes (the staple Cambodian tourist breakfast!), and then get a $5 full-body massage. Then we went to a private beach with two girls from our tour, did some shopping at the market, and finished with a sunset bbq dinner on the beach. My life sucks.

Tomorrow we leave at 7.15AM for Phnom Penh. We are all looking forward to travelling by public bus, as the private bus is not our friend after the last sweaty, dusty trip. I finally got a watch, so now I don’t have to harass people by asking what time it is. I’ve attempted to keep track of how long it takes to get from each place to the next, but as everything here runs on “Asian time”, it’s quite impossible. Three hours can easily mean four. Or three and a half. You really never know. For someone like me who runs by a schedule (anyone who knows me knows I’m lost without my agenda) it’s oddly comforting to be able to let go of time and just let things happen. Except when you’re on a bus and you have to pee…

Anyway, the next time I post I may well be in another country. I didn’t get a chance to write all I wanted to about Cambodia, so I’ll save my thoughts for another post. Be well, and feel free to send me an email anytime. I still want to know what’s going on at home!



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January 2010
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