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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Welcome to Cambodia: The Rock Star Experience

CAMBODIA | Monday, 25 June 2007 | Views [977]

Our half-day bus ride to Siem Reap, which should have had us there by 11:00 a.m. as originally sold, lasted all day.  We finally arrived in Siem Reap, Darrin, I and our two Israeli buddies Daniel and Esouf.  We peer out the windows of the bus to see a sea of tuk-tuk drivers all holding signs, tapping on the windows to get our attention, and hungry for our business.  There are so many of them I can't see the ground around the bus, and I send Darrin out in front of me to clear the crowd.  I've devised a plan - the guide book suggested the Red Roof was a decent guest house, and that if you get a staff member to pick you up, then the driver doesn't get commission through the hotel (which means lower room rate for us).  I had emailed them yesterday to confirm a booking and a ride, but never heard back.  Unfortunately there were literally 30 guys holding up "Red Lodge Staff" signs.  What to do?  So Darrin descends from the bus stairs, and in classic form, he puts on his shades, holds up his arms/hands and addresses his audience of eager men, "thank you... thank you..." like a rock star, and for a moment he thought he might be able to fling his body on top of the masses and crowd surf.  This must be what it feels like to be famous, and stalked by thousands of fans.  We find solid footing on the ground, and make our way through the sea of men to the side of the bus to collect our backpacks.  I feel hands all over me, pushing and pulling me in all directions.  Voices ring all around me, "LAAADIEEEE... LAAADIEEEE.. you go with me.  I am Red Lodge Staff.. LAAADIEEEE... I have cheap guesthouse, $1 rooms, you go with me!"  I look up, panicked, as I'm not tall enough to see over the crowd, but I am close enough to see Darrin get pulled around the other side of the bus.  The Israeli guys are close behind, and I hear one of them say some guy just squeezed their nipple.  Makes you really want to take that tuk-tuk driver!  I see Darrin in close proximity and lunge for his back pack, and grip on.  Darrin selects one of the guys to drive us, and immediately the others dissipate in anguish.  It reminded me of a documentary of pelicans mating - the female bird finally selects a suitor and all the other males angrily go away, hurt and dejected... it was just like that.  We get to the Red Lodge, only to find it's "finished."  Our driver, who claims to get no commission, takes us to several others and we finally select a comfortable $13/night room in a guest house with A/C, TV, pool and internet to boot!  After our traveling hell for the past couple days, we're needing some creature comforts.  We take a cold shower (after all, it's only $13) a nap, and just waste the rest of the day away, finally strolling out through the muddy red clay back streets into the small town, and we're pleasantly rewarded with lots of great cafes and restaurants.  We feasted at a local family run Khmer food restaurant, sampling the local fare called "Amok" which comes steamed in a banana leaf cups... we sampled them all:  chicken, beef, fish.  I think we've just found a new favorite cuisine.  Just as tasty as Thai dishes, we were fat and happy and retreated to a great night of peaceful sleep.

Tags: On the Road


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