5.40pm - Quadrilogy
Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
77Trip End Dec 13, 2010
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One day considering the noble past, the next back to the noisy present. My final morning in Siem Reap, I decided to indulge once more in my new favourite pastime, quad biking – I'd heard from a girl in Fiji that she did it in Cambodia, and she said it was really cool, so I figured what the hell, it’s cheaper than it was in Hawaii or Australia, and it’ll definitely be interesting to do it in a completely different landscape.
And indeed it was. I was with a sweet Aussie couple, Mai and David, who I instantly warmed to purely because Mai looked so much like Danielle it was almost eerie to hear her open her mouth and speak with a Melbourne accent rather than a Horsham (Crawley) one - although I’m guessing with a name like Mai, she was of Vietnamese extraction rather than Thai. Close enough. They all look the same anyway! *
So we had a bit of good chat about Oz, and I told them the story of Justin and his annoyance at my preferring Adelaide to Melbourne. They laughed heartily and then told me very mock-
We had a couple of hours of biking, which we spent driving mostly along backstreets and through tiny village centres. It was mental to see these palatial mansions built right next door to these places that were little more than shacks, but that was mostly as we were just coming out of Siem Reap (there was a lot of this juxtaposition on the bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap as well). As we got further out, it was mostly small but neat-looking wooden houses on stilts, maybe with a hammock or two strung underneath or between two trees. It actually looked pretty cool – during the day when it’s hot, people hang out underneath the houses, as it provides reliable shade, and a line of trees will define property lines without dividing people from their neighbours. The one- or two-room houses above are kept clean by everyone leaving their shoes at the bottom of the stairs, which is pretty common in Asia.
After spending a little time in a very bouncy and extremely fun field that was practically custom-made for quad biking, our two hours was up and it was time to head back to base. At the guesthouse, I packed up and brought my bags downstairs (with the help of a kind Dutch man who saw me about to try and traverse the extremely steep stairs – he clearly intuited my innate clumsiness and leapt into the fray insisting I let him take my big backpack). The next few hours were then spent in the most excellent way: drinking 60p beers, people-watching, and emailing Lowri. My plan was to basically get half-cut by the time my bus came at 8pm, because it was a sleeper to Sihanoukville. 10 hours in a confined environment is never much fun, but 10 hours overnight is just mean. Therefore, the drunker I was, the better I'd sleep. It was $8 for the bus or $15 to stay another night in Siem Reap and do the journey in the day, so I sucked it up and saved the time and the $7. Don’t worry. I shan’t spend it all at once.
* I’m not a racialist. I just like to say such things to annoy Dani, who is my extremely beloved friend. She’s fine with it, and gives as good as she gets. Don’t berate me.