Friday, 14 December 2012

So long, farewell Asia. You've been great but forgive me if I don't rush back..

I don't understand why bus companies lie. If a bus journey is going to take 6 and a half hours, then say that. Don't say it's 3. We EVENTUALLY arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's Capitol city where the older western men come to find their child brides. The guesthouse we'd planned to stay at was full so our tuktuk driver took us to another. After checking the room was ok (5floors up, but ok) we went to check in and pay the driver, at which point Bryony's purse was snatched from her hand at lightening speed from a speeding motorbike as she sat in the tuktuk. Thankfully it was only cash that was lost but we all made the decision that we would only go out with the cash we needed for the day and nothing of any worth.

For my last day we thought we'd do something really uplifting and headed for one of the only 'must do' things in Phnom Penh - S21 and the Killing Fields. It was as unpleasant as you'd expect - the school-come-torturous prison was weirdly cool compared to the searing city heat and the fact that it happened less than 40 years ago makes it doubly horrible. The Killing Fields were accompanied by an audio tour which, given that we usually amble round completely clueless, was very interesting. It is so peaceful that its hard to imagine the horror and the paths constantly turn up teeth, bone fragments and scraps of clothing as the ground is worn away so you watch where you walk. We unanimously agreed that we want world peace - shouldn't be too hard.

We headed back to town late afternoon ready for lunch and asked our tuktuk driver to drop us at a cafe. Over our unnecessary cakes and shakes we realised that not only did we not know where we were, we didn't know where our hotel was, what it was called, what it was near or the street name. And having taken 'nothing of worth' out with us we had no way to google and find out. Great! At least it wasn't getting dark (it was getting dark). Luckily Lauren's beady eyes and my Gold DofE managed to get us back relatively issue free. What with our late afternoon snack we weren't up for dinner and I'd agreed to pick up a watch my friend had left in a spa. Lord only knows how she happened across the spa because it was down a very dodgy side street and was a 2hour round trip tuktuk ride away...another lesson learned - even with a map and a 'yes I know where it is' never trust a driver. They have NO idea!

As I'm still not ok with people touching my feet I thought I'd get a manicure before I left. A terrible idea for several reasons including
#1 I never like the end result
#2 I had to pack and wash my hair when we got back - nail intensive activities
Sure enough my almost painfully short, pink lacquered nails did not aid departure preparations, they look awful and I feel like a Barbie. Nail varnish remover will be purchased in touch down in Oz!

And so the time came to bid farewell to my two Brenda's (who are off to Phuket as I've flown to Bangkok). They didn't disappoint and wore their jasmine pants for a travel day . Helpfully the chap at Phnom Penh airport who said he'd checked my bag all the way to Sydney didn't actually check it all the way to Sydney. So I'm sitting in Bangkok airport, in a Starbucks (standard) waiting for check in to open for my onward flight. Only 5 hours, then 3 hours on the other side. Great! It wouldn't be right if the final journey had gone smoothly for once, it's just not the way they roll here.

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