Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bangkok Reloaded... and home again

We took a rather arduous boat ride from Batambong to the tourist Mecca of Siem Reap. I really don't have much to say in words about Siem Reap. It's much better in pictures. I'll post them on the internet as soon as I get home. Or ask me to see them. That would work, too. I find the Achievements quite fascinating that ancient civilizations attained to with their seemingly limitless peasant populations. In spite of all the grandeur, it's quite sad, really.

Oh, and we also went to a cultural village/museum in Siem Reap. One of the shows we attended was a Cambodian wedding. They picked me to be the groom. So I pranced around in really fancy doodads in front of a mostly Cambodian heckling crowd. And bowed a lot. Afterward, my "bride" requested a tip for the honor of allowing me to look like a stooge. I turned her down, because I've grown a little tired of people shaking me down for money after they perform "services" that were ostensibly provided gratis. After the "wedding", we attended another show that turned out to be a fiance choosing exhibition. So Mom, my trip wasn't entirely fruitless: I learned how to get a fiance and I got married! But not necessarily in that order.

Additionally, I ate a silk worm at a local silk farm. Tonya and I had determined to eat bugs before the journey's through. At least one of us isn't all talk.

So I then took my leave of Tonya and Whitney to return home. I felt a little melancholy to bid them good-bye, as I will be returning to the regular hustle-bustle of the States, while they will remain in that beautiful country for a little while longer. But unfortunately, I do have to work (well, marginally, anyway) for a living, so it's back to auditing. But those two young ladies will be on their own, now, without me to "protect" them. So keep them in your prayers.

I hopped on a bus to head north to cross the border in to Thailand. In typical fashion, my 7 am bus didn't depart until around 9. The bus itself was curious enough to deserve mention in the Blog. It looked like a carrot in that it was bright orange flecked with dark green. And it had bright red and green Christmas colored lugnuts. So a bunch of tourists and I went bouncing along this rural road that is the only overland connection between the capitols of two countries. There's a rumor out here suggesting that the airline company that runs the route from Siem Reap to Bangkok pays off the Cambodian government to keep the road huddy in order to encourage people to fly. But I'm a tough (i.e. cheap) little traveler. So I took the bus that averaged around 30 kph through Cambodia. The bus stopped about every hour for a "break", but I've grown quite accustomed to the bus drivers providing the local cafes with some western business. Anyway, we covered the 200 km in a tidy 6 hours. After clearing passport control, a sleek little Toyota minivan picked us up on the Thailand side, and whisked us off to Bangkok in about 2.5 hours, covering the same distance.

So I'm back in Bangkok. I was going to pull the same little trick and spend the night at the airport, but I met a fellow American on the bus ride who'll take my same flight to Tokyo, and we decided to go halfsies on a little room in the Downtown. I don't care much for the bed or sleeping here, but it sure felt nice to clean the layer of dirt off me. I'll hop a shuttle at about 2 am for my flight.

So that's it. Barring any other incendiaries (I mean incidents), my little adventure has drawn to a close. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities that I've had to step at least a little bit outside of my comfort zone and see this big beautiful world that we live in, and rub shoulders at least a little bit with the beautiful people in it. I do not know why I am so blessed to be provided with the circumstances to do these things. I hope that I will never tire of the desire to meet new people and try new things, as such experiences tend to moderate my perspective on life and other people, and allow me to realize that maybe there are other people outside of Jeremy's bubble who live interesting and relevant lives.

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