“May ten minutes pa sya”, Kat said. I felt sick the moment I woke up. The room was clean, I saw my clothes still hanging beside the window. It was 3AM, “Shet nakakalat pa mga damit ko”. I jumped out of my bed and fixed my stuff. I immediately took a bath after fixing everything. We went to the nearest 7-11 and bought water and lunch. At 3:45, people are starting to go down the lobby. We met the others and exchanged names, had a little chat and waited for the van. At 4:30 in the morning, our van left Rambuttri House, it is goodbye then, the short three days in Thailand was one of the craziest I had.
Tikoy said it will take six hours to reach Aranyaprahtet, we stopped by a convenience store after four hours drive from Bangkok for a “wiwi break” and quick snack. Few minutes later and we’re off. Ate Ibang joined us in our van because they were too congested in the other van(pano kaya sila nagkasya kanina?). Anyway, we were looking outside and observing the things around. Shiela was asking us if we notice the little temples beside the houses. We were laughing quietly as some of our friends were sleeping, but we couldn’t help it, “wala talaga kaming makita nung umpisa”. For two hours we were like that, we ate chocolate chip cookies and cornicks until we reached Aranyaprathet.
We lined up at the Thai border, I was carrying a backpack, a duffel bag, a day bag, and an eco bag that contains our water and food. We were supposed to go upstairs as we saw the sign but Tikoy went straight so “sumunod nalang kami kahit nasa isip ko nang babalik din kami. Hehe. Peace Tikoy!” As we walk upstairs, we were caught by a group of I reckon Europeans. We were left behind –me, Shiela, Kat, Vhik, and Golden. So we decided to stick together. The immigration was a bit slow, it took us about 20 minutes to go through. After that oh boy I didn’t know we were walking. My shoulder hurts, and I was nursing a little headache. We reached the Cambodian Border arch, had a few pictures taken, and waited for someone. I think it was the bus driver or something. During the few minutes we were there, some of us took the opportunity to take selfies and groupies. Tikoy then took a group photo of us, at first I didn’t like to join because I was sweating (sabi kasi nung direktor namin sa The Bottomline: oiliness is next to poverty daw), but Tikoy called me and shouted “kita ka jan Melvin” so I smiled. After a few weeks, I saw the photo and it would seem like Tikoy took a photo of me and not a group shot.
But of course I don’t want to disappoint Tikoy. I just like to tell her this–You should’ve asked if you want a photo, I’d be delighted to smile for you. Haha. Anyway, this is for Tikoy, if you really liked to take a photo of me, here it is…
After a few photo ops, we walked to the Cambodian border in Poipet. We filled out the arrival card, I thought (bakit ganun mas magaganda pa tindahan sa Pilipinas kesa sa immigration nila?). Me and Golden were the last ones to finish the passport control, “akala ko iiwan na ko, hehe”. After that, I walked to the bus, put my bags in front and looked for a seat. I sat beside Golden, (Sitting pretty na kasi ung iba, si Golden kasi kauupo lang kaya pwede pang gambalain), Tikoy said it will be another six to seven hours to Siem Reap depending on traffic.
Since I didn’t get a window seat, I had no choice but to listen to music. I slept after a while. The road was bumpy, which woke me up, I looked out and it was unbelievably dusty, houses are far from each other and very hot (ramdam namin yung init kasi mainit din yung nalabas sa aircon, kulang nalang alikabok parang nasa pick-up na kami). Two hours with short naps and we were still in the middle of nowhere. I observed the things outside, seems like the locals are not fond of going out, you cannot blame them because it was really hot. I slept again without minding the rough roads, it was an exceptionally satisfying sleep –maybe because I was deprived the last night. I woke up at around 2:00, We can already see some building, though not high, still at least, the place was already civilized. We stopped by a corner of a street. I thought it was another stop-over because I was expecting we’ll arrive at around 4:00. We were early, it was great. We learned we were already in the guest house.
We checked-in at Bou Savy Guesthouse, Tikoy assigned the rooms, I was really thankful because she gave us one of the first two rooms that were ready. She said we’ll meet downstairs at 4:30 to have a walking tour to Pub Street. We were really tired, I was lying on my bed, and the next thing I knew was Edge was knocking at the door. “Binago na, 3:30 na daw tayo bumaba”. Crap! We were the cause of delay. (Walang sabi sabi nagpalit ako ng damit, toothbrush, at nagbasa ng buhok, at dahil nakatayo ang buhok ko, nag blower ako! Dun un nagumpisa Tikoy!). We went downstairs, they were already gearing themselves to bike around Pub Street. But me? I was busy checking if I had morning glory. Hehe.
We started our walk to Pub Street. Tikoy said we’ll have pizza on dinner! My insides screamed “Yes! At least someone is on her right mind, I was longing for pasta and pizza”, but I think I was wrong. Hehe. You’ll know later.
Shops and bars line up along Pub Street, from souvenir shops to Angkor What? Bar, Pub Street is far from what we’ve seen at Poipet. We saw street food along the way, some of us took the challenge of eating spiders, crickets and snakes. It was not my cup of tea so I passed, maybe next time. We roamed around looking for souvenirs. We went on our own ways to shop, Vhik and Froilan disappeared at once. I saw them cross the street and then they’re gone. I kept on singing this in my head:
“Vhik and Froi
sitting in a tree,
Hehe. Sorry. I once overheard Vhik telling Froi “alam mo talaga kung saan tayo pupunta ha.” And then Froi said “OO”. A new love has just been found. Peace! Hehe.
We were waiting for Vhik and Froi at the designated meeting place, we bought few pasalubong. When Vhik and Froi arrived, we teased them. Jokes thrown at them from everyone. I’d like to say some but we are trying to keep this blog wholesome. After a few jokes, we headed straight to Happy Special Pizza Restaurant. It is so ironic that it is located at Hospital St. in Siem Reap. We all thought it will be just another ordinary pizza. We ordered Margherita and Meat Lovers. I specifically picked Margherita because I like cheese. Okay I’ll better say a disclaimer here, I was clueless about what was in that pizza the first time, all I know was that I like pizza and I nearly consumed a whole medium-sized pizza. After eating I felt nothing, quite relaxed, and unexplainably normal (Nakapaglaba pa nga ako e). But Kat felt dizzy, she slept short after we arrived at the hotel. I researched what was in that pizza out of curiosity. I was shocked! I just ate Marijuana. So that was the reason it was called “Happy”. I have learned that marijuana is illegal in Cambodia, but, police is rare. So the stores can just get away with it. Wow! No wonder a small water costs a dollar. They were out of their minds. Hehe.
My first day in Cambodia was crazy. It was out of control. But I liked it. Maybe marijuana really made me happy. It was an experience of a lifetime and given the opportunity, I will have another pizza. One thing I have learned this day: one of the perks of being a travel coordinator is making your group eat a food, then laugh at them the next day! Maybe I also want to become a travel coordinator. Masarap din mang trip minsan. Tikoy, this is a proposal. Hehe (Note from Shiela: Tama game kami dyan, Tikoy!)