I made it to Phnom Penh. It was another culture shock. Which probably has something to do with the dirt side roads and seeing the guy walking the elephant down the street. It was hot even more hot than BKK. I made my way to the hostel that was booked through the school I was attending for my training.
As soon as I arrived a bunch of Cambodian guys in street clothes took my bags. I freaked and asked what were they doing? It turns out they were the bag boys. The place looked sketchy. The hostel had an eating area with tables and people could order food and drinks. Tourist sat leisurely. I decided to stay and see what the place was like. They did book me a single room with air-con and my own bathroom so I couldn’t complain to much. After I got settled I met some other students doing the training. They were cool people. I told them I taught in Korea as many had never taught before. There were all types at the hostel French, American, Japanese, German, you name it. The food wasn’t half bad either.
The training was to start the next day. We were to meet at a local university. I got up and ordered a coffee and sandwich from the hostel restaurant. All the teachers were there so we walked down. It was close by.
We arrived at the university. There were many Cambodia students there. Cambodians were skinny and fit people there were many at the university. It was hot but they had air-con so I was happy. The instructor was an older American guy, he was kind but tough you could see he had seen a lot of life good and bad. He was also the owner.
The days of training were long. We’d break for lunch then head back for a an hour or so of training. It would pour rain everyday, then it would get hot again. At night we would order beers from the hostel and talk with the other guests. They had a lot of stories. Travellers and adventures some good some not good but the variety of folks could keep your ear all day.
One night the instructors took all of us out one to some bars. The instructors knew where to go. I tried not to drink to much. I didn’t like hangovers so I had to be careful. One of the bars was all Cambodian women. They were nice and I liked one of the barmaids. She seemed cooled but it was hard to tell if she was just being nice as her job or because she liked me. Everyone was having fun.
After a few day I needed to find an ATM and one of the hotel workers took me on his moped. Afterwards he took me to his house for dinner. The house was very small and cheaply built but it was knew. His wife was already cooking. He had a cooler of very cold beers, popped one and handed it to me with out asking. He popped one and started drinking. I never drank this early. In college I was a drinker but those days were long gone. He drank it down quickly.
I tried to keep up but it was no use. I was getting sloshed.
The his brother showed. Apparently, it was a the manly thing to do. Drink fast. Some food came. It was some kind of meat and very delicious. It was like an appetiser. The food didn’t help calm my buzz. More beers came and more food came. I’m not really into food but this was quite good. Finally it was time to go. I was drunk and glad to be out of there.
Soon the training was over in Cambodia and we headed to Pattaya together on a bus. On the way to the bus I lost some luggage which I didn’t figure out till it was too late.
Yep, travelling just sucks sometimes, and you have to suck it up.
Our bus ride was comfortable. we stopped for lunch at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There were people that lived around the restaurant that were very poor. It saddened me to see how people lived. They were just getting by and it made me grateful for what I had.
When we got to the border we had to cross and change busses. It was pouring down rain at this point. Like buckets. By the time we gathered our luggage and got on the other bus we were soaked. Luckily, my back pack was water proof so my computer didn’t get wet.
Our bus went to Pattaya where the school had booked a room at a hotel for us. Pattaya was like Bangkok, but different. There were a lot of foreigners there ant the city had a seedy reputation. At first I didn’t like the city but later I warmed up to it.
We rested a few days before our second half of training and we all took a trip to Ko Chang island.
It was nice and our instructor knew the island well. He took us to a very well. The hotel was nice but cheap. The weather was cloudy but the beach was nice and calm. It was good. I needed some calm in my life. My job in Korea was sometimes tough and I needed a break. I went out to the beach in the morning alone and went body surfing. The water was warm. There were only a few people on the beach. There were some bungalows as well but they ween’t fancy.
I walked on the beach alone. I had been a bit of a lonely most of my life, I don’t know why. I thought about it for a while. I saw some other couples on the beach and it depressed me a little that I didn’t have anyone to go to the beach with or to go to the movies with or do anything with. I shrugged it off and walked on. I came to some huge rocks then turned and walked back to the hotel. All the others were up by now and walking around or going to the beach. I headed to my room and took a nap.
After a few days we left after a few days we headed back to Pattaya and started our last leg of our training. After our training I would explore the city. There were vendors selling t-shirts, watches, you name it. Tourist were everywhere. Bargirls tried to get you into their bars. People were everywhere walking. The city was loud on the main areas but the area where we stayed was quiet and away from all that.
One night we all went out to a popular club to watch the ladyboys perform. The others talked me into going so I said “yes”. It was a popular place. They sang and danced and the show was good. I ordered a beer with the others. They looked like real women and even had some talent. We had fun but I wanted to go home early I was feeling tired. I left and got on the Baht bus to head home. The Baht bus is a cheap car that goes around the block and you can get on and stop anywhere. After I got on the Bhat bus I felt very tired. I wanted to sleep right then and there.
After I got home I had trouble finding my bed. I was confused and disoriented.
After I found my bed I slept very hard.
The next day I realised someone must have spiked my drink.
At the bar they served me the beer opened already. I had heard of these things happening in Thailand and the tourist walks up in the bathroom with no wallet. Thankfully that didn’t happen.