The birthplace of Mr Bucket

Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 24, 2011

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, September 5, 2011

The journey to Cambodia's most well known beach is 5-6 hours by public bus, but we crawl out of Phnom Phen for the first hour of the journey. This is a journey of screaming child and obscenely loud karaoke videos for Kmer pop songs that all have videos with a particular formula of narrative:
- Girl meets boy but their love cannot be and she is left singing weepily while watching said boy flirt with another girl.
- Boy meets girl but their love cannot be and he is left singing, hardened with sadness, while watching said girl flirt with another boy. 
There is a brief moment when the videos are replaced by what looks like a Kmer stand up comedy show. Comedy here is obviously everyone squealing at the top of their lungs is funny voices as much as is possible.

Nevertheless we make it to our beach bungalows, (Becky: 'Its basically a shed isn't it'), and head down to the beach to swim. Before touching the sand a crowd of people engulfs the group each wanting to sell the same bracelets and food and etc and etc. Their persistence is admirable if a little tiring. 

Serendipity Beach is lined with back-packer bars and restaurants; some blaring trance music and nearly all practically empty and they all offer already discounted booze and further discounted rates mostly in the bucket shaped variety. 
Most of the group have a little frolicking in the sea, complete with banana boat, and then head home. 

For dinner we are taken down to the beach again for a BBQ at a nearby restaurant (but the BBQ is out of sight in the kitchen so we could just call it cooking on a grill). Nevertheless grilled Baraccuda is very nice indeed as is the $0.50 draft Angkor beer. 
During the meal in the open sided restaurant, children beg or try to sell bracelets (which double as head bands when you tell them you don't want a bracelet) and skip from person to person in a constant rotation. Its tiring and difficult to watch at times as there is definately a feeling of desperation among these groups. 

After eating is done the chairs are pulled back and our group has free reign of the music playing. Claire is dissapointed in the selections; no Abba, Neil Young or even Beatles in sight. She tuts but doesn't complain because as we said the beer is only 50cents. 
It is at this time that Mr Bucket is born and wow what a birth it was. Marcus becomes supremo entertainment after 3 buckets of rum and coke and another of Long Island Ice Tea (ouch); he dances with the local kids, tells Jo he she is good for looking after his camera (which she doesn't even have at one point), shouts 'WHERE IS MY BUCKET!?' every so often and eventually begins to take his clothes off demanding that everyone get in the sea. Fortunately he is not alone in his bucket consumption and a few of the group do eventually accompany him in. 

All there is to say about the evening is: WE SALUTE YOU MR BUCKET 

Eventually everyone leaves and Claire and Jo remain to finish the last of their drinks around midnight. (when we asked earlier for a closing time, the owner simply shrugged and said 'We close when you leave').
On the short walk back we stop at another bar because it is playing The Doors and Claire needs musical medicine. Its being run by a Russian couple who are very nice but who wince when we say we are intending to spend a month in Laos; the guy says 'there is no ocean' as if we obviously couldn't be aware of this fact already. 
Its 1isj by the time we trundle into bed.

 Tuesday, 6th:

Just what Mr Bucket/Marcus needs! A boat trip! 

The trip takes us to 3 islands nearby that have next to no development on them other than a tiny collection of wooden huts. Prus island is easily the best; when we arrive we swim and then after lunch take a short walk to the other side of the island to a completely deserted beach with great waves.  Marcus watches the bags/throws up for a while but like a trooper manages everything that everyone else does for the entire day. 
Swimming in the waves everybody pretends that they aren't going to the toilet whilst talking to someone... or was that just Jo.  

The other highlight of the trip is our guide. 18 year old 'Diamond Blue' (which is the English translation of his Kmer name) is quite taken with Claire; he asks her if she likes Asian men (dropping the Asian out of that question would have been interesting in itself), and discusses how she should try blowing cigarette smoke out of different bodily orifices. When he spots her later that night in the town, he goes in for the hug and Claire experiences one of her favorite things: the awkward moment.  

For dinner Claire and Jo head to, on Miss Sophie Allan's advice (yes that is SOPHIE ALLAN) to Monkey Republic. The food is terrible Sophie! but to your credit the drink was fine; didn't see any of those special cigarettes you mentioned either... 
We leave still loving Sophie Allan, and forgiving her completely. 
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Sophie on

Sophie allEn allEn allEn!!!!!

Also i recommended monkeyrepublic to sleep at!! They don't do The spesh cigs there- its in pnom Penn that we got them!!! Oh the confusions ..... Xxx

jlaire on

I was writing your name phonetically. honest. (Claire's fault)

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