May 29, 2011
This morning we were allowed a lovely lie in – we got up at 7! Breakfast was a feast of different breads and fruits, all very wonderful. My favorite was the rambutans! Forgive me, Professor Kosal, who taught me the name of these delicious fruits in Khmer about four times, which I keep forgetting. They are these little, furry looking fruit things that are red and absolutely delicious. I probably ate around four, maybe five? Anyway, definitely my new favorite fruit. They may be a little difficult to find in the states however. I don’t think they sell them at the local Ralph’s.
Afterwards we took the favorite mode of transportation of PWP Students, tuk tuk, and arrived for our festive boat cruise. I use the word festive because of the Christmas theme that was going on, complete with a Merry Christmas and dangling Santa’s to welcome us. It was awesome. Decorations also included a disco ball that sadly never got put to any use.
The boat ride was truly relaxing. For the most part, we all sat on the top deck with a few of us reading the books we had brought, or hanging out. Very peaceful. We stopped briefly at the Silk Village, where they use the traditional method of looming to make their silk products. There was an outstanding number of scarves and other wares available and most, if not all of the group, picked up a few gifts and souvenirs. Kosal was maybe the only truly intelligent one and bought a fan.
There was a brief stop at the local temple, a very ornate affair with lobsters at the front.
All those new scarves were put to good use and the girls were able to successfully cover their shoulders, a requirement when walking around the temples here in Cambodia.
Then it was back on the boat and off to lunch! Lunch, I must say, was the best part of the day, provided by Danny, who returned to Cambodia with the PWP group last year. Sadly, he was not here with us this time but he let us hang out at the resort he’s building, which looks like a light house. Lunch was a very traditional Khmer meal, meaning we sat on floor and ate with our hands. The rice was cooked in banana leafs, and when you unfolded your packet or rice the banana leaf became your plate. There was also water grass, chicken, and fish! All very, very good. For dessert, there was Cambodian cake, which is more like a rice cake with fruit in it, maybe? I don’t know quite what it was, but it was excellent. Also for desert was around… eight different kinds of fruit. I’m not sure if that’s really how many there were, but they just kept coming. The group also finally got to drink out of a coconut, with me sadly unable to finish the entire coconut that I was given to consume on top of everything else. I ate, you guessed it, more rambutans.
Now the group left for home on our cheerful boat, with some of us some a little more, shall we say pink? than others. We did run into some trouble, however, when it started to rain! What was first only a drizzle became what you would classify as a downpour, and left the group seeking shelter on the lower level of the boat. Unfortunately, the rain had not let up by the time we arrived back to shore, and there was a general fear among the group that there would be no tuk tuk’s to be found, requiring us to walk back to the hotel. Only one of us had brought any form of protection against the rain, which she smugly wore. The rest of us were peevish about this.
Thus the mad dash to see if there was tuk tuk’s began, in which I managed to sink my leg up to my calf in water and lost both my shoes and one point or another to the mud. Never fear, I finally made it up to the street (after going back for my shoes), and the most wonderful site greeted me! Tuk tuk’s! WITH WATER PROOF COVERINGS!
So after a fearful ride in the rain back to the hotel (it turns out that rules of driving in Cambodia are more like guidelines, and that driving on the right side of the rode with the other motor vehicles is optional), we all made it and decided that if we were already wet we might as well go swimming in the hotel’s pool. Blissful. The rest of the night was more relaxing in preparation for tomorrow because we actually have to work. I do have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Cambodia!
(photo’s coming soon!)