Sunday, August 17, 2008

Siem Reap

We have cable in our hotel room. Been watching some exciting kickboxing. Real nail biters. Russia responds violently to the genocide in Georgia. There is civilian atrocity all over CNN. Jurassic Park dubbed in Cambodian is arguably a better film though the Laura Dern voice is all wrong. However the Goldblum character nails the louche smoothness just fine.

The flight over was even smoother than Cambodia's Goldblum. Clouds like cotton candy and big foamy bubble baths, I snoozed a lot of the way. I don't think it was a coincidence when I awoke the second time an air hostess stood before me with a refreshing towellette - I had drool connecting my chin to my grey fleece.

A massage and a mind-altering pizza coupled with a trip to Angkor wat, an extraordinary temple, led to a weird spell of dehydration that caused me to think aloud while watching Cameron Crowe's elizabethtown back at the room. Orlando Bloom is a designer of some bullshit shoe that looks like crap. He talks on his cellphone way too goddamn much, the superficial jerk. Kirsten Dunst is sickly as the stewardess sent from God. This veiled Christian rock movie totally sucks, but it's kind of fun to sit there and bag it out after a day visiting temples and consider how much more meaningful your life is compared to these douchebags.

Beers are seventy-five cents and deodorant is three dollars fifty. We are drunk all the time and we smell. When the cocktail lounge at the pool picks up, the whole place turns into a pastel party headlined by Sergio Mendes in the back of your mind. I read Chapter Ten of Gavin's side-splittingly witty novel and Catch 22 submerged from the neckdown. Construction noise pretty pervasive. Stacks of 2x4s fall off trucks next door, jackhammers fart aggressively into the street. There's always this guy swinging a sledgehammer into a tin sheet. What's up with that. Angle grinders, motorbikes, young children playing and squeeze toys that sound like monkeys going at it fill the air. You get used to it after awhile. The air is ultra thick with humidity. Mostly cloudy, a mixed blessing as it dimishes the sun's blistering intensity, but diminishes colour possibilities when checking out the temples. Our hotel earns four stars (would be five if it had a fridge).

I sure thought Siem Reap was total chaos the day we arrived - now I'm totally digging it and I've made it 24 hours without an epic struggle on the toilet.

Shoutout to Sunsense, innovators in sunscreen Technology. I tend to avoid protecting my legs from the sun. My leghair is a type of screen made of hair, requiring vast amounts of ultra-violet to perforate the epidermis.

On the third day, I woke up without diarrhea and a curious compunction to spend money, so I procured a somewhat wacky-looking fanny pack and have it strapped to myself in all situations including those involving pre-marital relations.

The seafood salads here are the best in the world ever. De Campo rates the rice paper rolls even higher and she is not wrong. We had a gorgeous lunch inside a butterfly sanctuary. The restaurant pays poor people from the country good money to catch them. Behind my chair a gigantic neon-brite butterfly that looked like a crawdaddy with the wings of a bat, a very unwieldy flyer, grounded itself and I played an indirect part in the rescue of the big creature as it proceeded to get covered in small ants.

Our first morning my mirrored sunglasses came apart in my hands and I replaced them with rose-tinted Ray Bans for the meagre sum of $4. Just to give you an idea of the cost of things.

I've never seen so many bananas attached to one scooter.

I tried the Cambodian specialty, the Amok, on a degustation plate, and found it to next to awful. I kindly informed an English couple who had sidled up next to us at the balcony of this restaurant that the salads were good, the Amok bad. The English fella, who had a spectacular tan and a muscular build in the mold of Lorenzo lamas, kindly informed me that he was willing to give the Amok a try and that he would disregard my other recommendation about the salad also. I think he was practicing some form of reverse discrimination as I was not a man of colour.


Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm taking a trip to Vietnam. Great descriptions! jlm

boy moritz said...

Mommy, Siem Reap is in Cambodia.