After breakfast we pack our bags and make ready to leave. The painting we bought last night is to be delivered to the hotel this morning, hopefully before we leave…
One hour after agreed delivery time, but still with plenty of time to departure, we do get a call from the reception. Katja picks up the painting and behold! The tube is huge. We quickly make a new plan and jump on the bike. We’re driving like the locals now. Yesterday Katja sat sideways on the back. Today she holds the painting tube like a pro.
We didn’t really think about what day it is before much later in the day. It’s Sunday. Good thing people work all days down here, then. The post office was open and we got to send the package so we didn’t have to bring it along. Ben, you know it’s coming your way.
From there we did another little errand and then returned the bike. It took a little longer than anticipated to get the passport back. No problem at all, but it wasn’t at the rental shop as they had called in the bike from somewhere else.
A lot of the tuk-tuk drivers have asked where we got hold of a motorbike. It goes straight in competition with their trade, of course. For us it’s been great and very flexible to be able to roam freely around. The driving here is not for everybody, trust me. The rules are “There are no rules”, and that is especially true when they turn. Everybody wants an inner turn, even that mean they are crossing into oncoming traffic. It’s the most chaotic traffic I’ve encountered so far and it’s a lot more cars here than in Vietnam. Cars make for harder impact when they happen and are infinitely less maneuverable than a motorbike. Add the buses for good measures and you have a stew of hardcore driving. We survived and look forward to next driving experience.
We catch a tuk-tuk to take us to the hotel and he waits while we check out and take us to the airport. You’ve probably seen Asian people moving around with face masks. When your in dry season like we are now it’s just common sense to cover your breathing to keep out the dust. Common sense here, that is, as we never bought any.
We arrived at the domestic terminal with dry throats, but otherwise fine. Check in like a breeze and then we fled to Phnom Penh. Siem Reap has been a great place to stay. It has just about anything to offer.
Out of the airport in the big city we hail another tuk-tuk to take us to the hotel. It’s noticeably warmer here, just around thirty degrees.
On the road in to city center we see a lot of new car dealerships being built or recently opened. Porsche, Land Rover, Mazda and some brands never seen in Norway. I guess this reflects the booming economy, but fear it’s only the top percent that benefit from it.
The hotel is simple, but ok. We get info that it’s important we keep the balcony doors closed so the monkeys don’t enter the room. Right… We’re only staying here a night because we did a mix up of the dates moving out from Siem Reap. We move to another hotel for two nights tomorrow.
We take to the streets and walk towards the central market. It’s a strict dress code for visiting some of the sights in this city so we’ll do them tomorrow morning. If you found no logic in that sentence it’s Ok. I need long pants and hope to buy some at the market. There! It’s easier when you have all the pieces in the puzzle.
We dine at a little restaurant and pay only a few dollars for absolutely decent food. Go to the market to find it’s closing, and then to a shopping mall where Katja’s get a new shorts. How is that possible? We went out for long pants for me, and Katja goes home with something new. Damn it!
We tuk-tuk back to the hotel and spend the last hour on the internet before we turn in. No monkeys to be seen though.
It does get old to have to always be a monkey in a zoo. I don’t know what it’s like any more to be anonymous.