She Came, She Saw, She Sweated

Emily came out to see me for two weeks this past month. We didn't do much as two weeks isn't a lot however we tried to do some.

She arrived on the 18th June, a reunion marred by a bit of rain that cleared up when she came through the arrival gates. I was so elated to see her again although to be honest it has only been 6 months since I had seen her previously. Immediately we got onto a tuk tuk and got out of there and back to my house. As soon as wifi was set up on the ipads that was it. A return to normality of not looking at each other and grunting in answer to questions. I am joking of course but even if it was slightly like this I didn't mind because my sister was sitting across from me! How fantastic to be able to reach out and touch a member of my family. That endless longing that most of us have for our family was filled once again by my sister this time.

I took her out on my moto upto the riverside (with her clinging to my back with dagger like fingers and shrieks of worry) and we had a happy hour cocktail on a rooftop bar which was devoured quickly and then we went to eat at a restaurant i favour. With Emily experiencing a bit of Cambodia for the first time with many shouts of 'tuk tuk!' 'weed lady' 'money please' 'you want to buy book?' All these things that are generally normal for me but for her it was a bit of a head turner i think. In the sense she's experienced people asking for money and peddling their wares but not in such an intense in your face way. I'm sure Cambodia isn't the worst at it nor is it the best but i love it all the same. So it was a long evening of catching up with her and then settling down to sleep.

On Friday, i worked and she went to see the atrocities. Which Emily said were horrible of course, it's hard to put into words how you feel when you see a tree that people used to swing babies against all the while listening to stories about how people survived or died. Truly horrific. After she had finished her day off with a little shopping at the Russian Market she came to my school and waited for me to finish teaching at my school's kindergarten.

We went home and changed put some clothes in a bag and went with Shaola and her boyfriend in a private car to Kampot they were staying for the weekend we were kicking about for a week or so. So we stayed at the same hotel i did previously which was nice to see those folks again and get a slightly better price. We arrived fairly late so went to eat and came back to bed.

The next day it was okay so we went to the local sights of a pepper field, a cave temple that was traversed in flip flops and no hard hat can't imagine doing that in England. It was nice morning with a plan to return and retire to the pool. This plan was destroyed by the rain.... something that would become a reoccurring nuisance. So we spent the afternoon inside watching movies and planning. Whilst also rueing the fact we could have staying in 34 degree heat in Phnom Penh. Never mind.

We woke up with a determined attitude to get up Bokor Mountain on our rented moto. This was a silly decision and i'd like to say we thought about it some more and decided to stay in the room dry and warm. However the determination and competitiveness in us drove us up that damn mountain. In biting wind and lashing rain we got to the top and couldn't even see the 5 star resort from 50 metres away because of the cloud and fog we were in. Parked up and got inside. I just mentioned to Emily i wanted to move the moto to a more sheltered position you stay here. So there i go off running to move it. I return to her having photos and being chattered about. Some Vietnamese or Chinese i haven't quite decided took a liking to Emily's nose size. With that they touched it and also thought to take photos with her because of this rarity. So i return from the rain and there she is being treated like a bleedin' celebrity. Camera flashes and a crowd around her. We meandered around the casino even gambled a little and broke even. Dried off a bit and then decided there was no point seeing the other attractions in this fog as you wouldn't be able to take any photos or even see them! So it was time to go back down the oversized hill. It brightened up slightly and we stopped to take a picture of the view, as Emily got back on the moto there was a huge crack of thunder and we were off faster than the speed of sound as the rain returned with a vengeance and the wind with a vendetta. As we got back to ground level we looked back and worked out what happened. At the top and where Emily took the photo we were above the cloud. As we came lower down we were below and so it rained on us. This is what you get when you come in rainy season.

We decided there was no point in staying in Kampot so thought it best to move onto Sihanoukville. This was a good idea that once again was spoilt by rain. So instead of sitting on the beautiful beaches we had a day watching movies and an afternoon seeing a pagoda with the strangest monks i have ever met. With the evening filled with a fire show, we drunk a bit and ate a lot. On our last night there was a huge rain storm which solidified our plan to return to the heat of Phnom Penh.

A short bus trip later we were back and by a pool. That was how the rest of the week laid itself out, market, palace, pool. It was pretty nice to be honest and i'm sure Emily was pleased to be finally getting her sought after sun tan. I even got to take her to my volunteer school which was slightly selfish as it was more for me than her but at least she got to see the kids i taught and saw how it worked slightly and hopefully understood why i want to go back there.

On the Monday she was off to Siem Reap to see the temples. I can't tell you much about this because i was working but she enjoyed them and of course got a bit templed out after a while but that can't be helped when it's the main attraction in Siem Reap. She returned on the friday we had a lovely meal and she paid for the desert as a birthday present to me. Then on Saturday 4th, she was going back to England. So a small climbing excursion at a kidszone type thing which was enjoyed. Then lunch and off to the airport. That was it. Two weeks over in a flash and she was gone. Although she seemed to have malted most of her hair onto my floor so at least there was that remaining memory of cleaning it up. Other than the rain, the wind, the hair, money, travel times we had a great time together and it was lovely to see her again and can't wait for her to return at some point in the future!

Link of the day: Unfortunately we couldn't do much of this,..