First Day in
Siem Reap...
Little girl at a fruit stand.
My fave cafe - The Blue Pumpkin.

On the main street.
October 31, 2006


I am not going to lie. Sometimes it is pretty difficult to jump back into the third-world. Especially when coming from a place that is such a
complete contrast like Hong Kong. Even with that being said, as I was traveling through China I was mostly in more developed cities –
even if some of the cities were smaller than others.

It has been close to two months since I have had to be wary of taxi drivers. Upon arrival into this city, I was already greeted with the ‘Oh,
that far from city’ and ‘Oh, place no clean’ from the cabbies that just want commission from taking me to a place that they walk me into.

The place I am staying is nice. There is a lovely outdoor area and the dining area is extremely pleasant. I am now going to walk into town.
I guess I will find out just how ‘far from city’ I actually am…


I am now totally adjusted. But some things are coming as a shock to me…

I entered a market on my way into town only to be reunited with A&W Diet Cream Soda and Diet Dr. Pepper. Somebody pinch me…could
this really be?

Anyway, I found my fave café in town that I will be frequenting more than once. It is called the Blue Pumpkin and it has such a great
atmosphere and just-as-good food and drinks.

It is now hitting me that I am darn tired! I feel like I could fall asleep at the table. I guess pulling an all-nighter in an airport in lieu of
getting a hotel room will do this to a person. At least there was a 24-hour Coffee Bean to get me through the night. They also had loads of
computer terminals with free internet. What a nice touch!

I am going to try to pull through this sleepiness…


I am now back in my room. And I am drunk. I went back to the Blue Pumpkin because I just love the atmosphere…and they had
something on their menu that looked really good to me earlier today – the fish ravioli with coconut sauce. And it didn’t disappoint! I read
more of my Shantaram book while I was there. Let me state the challenge that arises when reading while buzzed. I’m pretty sure I
remember what I was reading. I think I remember. I hope I remember. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I remember…

I never took that nap I was thinking about. Instead, I strolled through town. There are some great shops. But I know they have tourist
prices so I am not buying anything here. I am going to wait until Thailand. My thought is ‘Why waste my negotiating skills while I’m by
myself when I can show them off to my sister?’

I have a motorbike picking me up in the morning to take me to the Angkor temples. I think I am going to watch the finale of Project
Runway on my itunes (since I won’t let myself start watching Grey’s Anatomy until I finish with that series) and then call it a night. The
sound of ten hours of sleep is sounding
really nice.

I’m also realizing that I miss Suzanne. It was great having a friend again. Someone to really talk to about real topics. Plus someone to laugh
with. And also someone to teach me about the foreign country I was in.

Meeting people is easy. Getting along with people is almost just as easy. But actually
becoming friends is something much rarer. I had it
with the peeps from my Trans-Mongolian trip (I even remember one night when Catherine and I stayed up for about four hours just
talking about real stuff – not the fluff that is normally talked about with new people). I have a feeling I would have become tight with the
peeps from my cooking class. Though I didn’t get much time to spend with them, I still keep in touch with four of them. They were all so
much fun to be around!

I have said this before and I will say it again. This is almost the downfall to building tight relationships along the way…it makes you sad
that those bonds are no longer around. I just need to keep remembering that these aren’t people that were only in my life for that period
of time. These are people that I am going to keep in touch with for a long time to come. When I get back, my door will
always be open to
them and vice versa. There is a part of me that
knows I will see them again.

So maybe I should just get over being bummed that they aren’t around right now, huh? And it’s totally silly as my sister is meeting me in
just five days from now!

Okay. I’m officially over it.

It’s now time to find out who won Project Runway…
Back to Cambodia.