Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27
Welcome rains are pouring down on us. We arrived at the Sambor Village Resort about an hour ago after a long first part of the day. The shuttle bus picked us up from the Khemara Angkor Hotel about 9am before setting off on a two hour drive to Kompong Thom. This Buddhist temple was built during centuries ago and even today, the village surrounding it looks primitive. However, once again, we were greeted by smiling children asking us to buy their wares for $1. I did not have any money but borrowed $2 from my roommate Hillary, so that I could oblige the little boy and girl that walked beside me, telling me to, “Be careful Madame” as I approached every little groove or bump along our trail. The $2 bought two very bright and colorful scarves that I’m told their moms probably made.
After touring the ruins and taking photos, we were driven to a local restaurant to eat as the locals do. A young woman served us smoked fish, cooked with its head still on, along with a spicy mango sauce (more like a cabbage slaw), soup, a sticky white rice and vegetables. The experience was great because we got an authentic Cambodian meal. The problem is we were seated outdoors in a hut-like structure and there were flies, mosquitoes and other small insects crawling around on the table and getting in the food. The drinking water was warm and I noticed on the pork in my soup—hair bristles still on the skin. At that point, I lost my appetite a little bit.
I am now in my hotel/resort room watching a rather large lizard crawl in and out of the very small openings in the beautifully crafted ceiling. Actually, the entire room looks like a piece of photography out of a Bombay catalog. A deep red and maroon scarf is tacked onto a frame hanging on the wall like a majestic work of art. The floor is made of a smooth peach tile and has some sort of art painted on a section of it. The beds are firm and the bed posts are made of a dark sturdy wood. No creaking, squeaking or any sound that might make one question the sturdiness of the bed. There are large white nets that remind me of canopies—somewhat romantic but in this case very practical, for during the night, they will shield us from ants, mosquitoes, geckos, worms and other creepy, crawly critters!
We all had dinner at the hotel’s dining area on the second floor of the main area. Two people served as hosts, cook and wait staff. A young woman and man seated us, took our drink orders then served us. They took our meal orders then cooked the food and served us. They were gracious and the food was good. (**The next morning, I saw our “cook” cleaning the pool. YES indeed, these people work so hard for their money.)