Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Day Eleven (Tuesday, April 17th)

Jamie and Teri head over to airport together. But this time, Princess is going back to Seattle and Jamie is going to Cambodia.

I walk Teri to the gate and I have to admit, I feel a bit choked up after we say goodbye. My sister and I are very close, we've spent almost every waking (and non-waking moment) together and had a great time and I'm going to miss her. I kinda cry.

I have to admit, part of me just wants to go back home today. It almost feels like the trip is over now that Teri is gone. But, I'm going to Cambodia. Teri so wanted to join me but she's gotta get back to work. I tell myself that I have to go enjoy it for Teri - so I can tell her good stories and enjoy it, since she can't. And for me. There's a part of me that's quite independent, introspective, and self sufficient. But there's another part of me (probably a bigger part) that's terrifically extroverted and the idea of just me and my thoughts for four days is a little daunting.

I have two hours to kill so I go to the Bangkok Airlines Lounge and go online. A few exchanges with, of all people, Rod Brown and I end up feeling better. He reminds me that I'm adjusting to being out of the bubble of being with Teri, that all the BS going on at home is still there and that taking this trip is one of the best things I have ever done.

I also learn that the tightness in my chest, the feeling like there's a cork in my esophagus is called "esophageal ulceration." Somehow, having a name for this, and knowing that it's a common side effect of the Malaria meds makes me feel better. I need to drink more water.

The flight is called and I take a bus out to the plane. The plane says "Bhutan Airlines" which confuses me. Did I get on the right bus? Am I going to Bhutan? I guess that Bangkok airlines has borrowed a plane from Bhutan. Oh boy. Adventure.

Land in Siem Reap and am meeted by my Tuk Tuk driver who takes me to my hotel. I quickly organize some stuff and head out to the temples. Tomorrow I have a tour with a highly recommended guide but I'm too close to this world wonder not to just run over and check it out.

It is pretty stunning. I wander and shoot. And think.

The Tuk Tuk driver also takes me to the Museum of Land Mines. There's a gift shop.

View from the Tuk Tuk

Land Mines Museum.

From the guidebooks
"If natures call and you have to "go" it's much better to just do it on the road and suffer a little embarassment rather than take your chances wandering into the bushes off the road."

Later, when the sun starts to set, I take some pictures in downtown Siem Reap. It's not quite as quaint as Luang Prabang. There's more poverty and dust.

Can't get away from it, now can I?

I find an internet cafe and realize I can make a phone call to USA for only 25 cents a minute. I call a few folks and marvel how cool it is that I'm making phone calls from Cambodia. It's nice to hear some familiar voices even if the reception is bad and there's a six second delay.

I return to my hotel, The Villa Siem Reap. It's run by an Australian Lady. Tonight is the "Big Aussie BBQ" and I think that maybe I'll meet some other tourists. I end up being the only person at the BBQ but the food is good and plentiful and I'm kinda tired anyway.

I go to my room and watch CNN.com. In the USA, it's the morning after the Virginia Tech shootings and I watch the coverage.

I fall asleep thinking "I am in Cambodia. How cool is that?"