The days just seem to melt away in Sihanoukville. I can’t say I did too much while there. I mostly just chilled on the beach, read books, took a several dips in the ocean for long swims, catch up on work, struggle to find a quiet place to record some work, gobble pancakes with banana and chocolate, suck down banana coconut shakes, play futbol with the locals, motorbike it with the Aussies to the local waterfall (which was littered with trash like mostly everything in Cambodia), read some more, and worked some more. Oh yeah. The first night we actually slept in strung up hammocks because the place we wanted to stay was full. That’s when I got literally eaten alive by mosquitoes. My entire body was covered. Even my eyelids had bites. No signs of malaria yet… keep your fingers crossed!!! The bathrooms at this joint were public and they were the same as the shower. An all in one sort of thing. Considering, the place kept it fairly cleanish…er. But, usually our group just opted for a nice salt water bath in the ocean. Colin (one of the Aussies) tried fire dancing with the locals.
I noticed that no matter where you go… you really can’t escape the odors of Cambodia. There are several distinct ones and they’re not pleasant. Usually it’s either rotting trash, burning trash or the smell of pee and feces all mixing in with the smell of food cooking. Yummm… Actually, right on the beach it wasn’t too bad. Everywhere else though…
There was a big private island party for New Year’s. We took a slow fisherman’s boat out to the island… about an hour boat ride. I watched the bright coastline, glittering with lights and an endless stream of small to medium sized fireworks fade away to nothing in the darkness. I watched the stars emerge from the darkness. I recognized that the sky here is just as foreign as the land and its people. I don’t know these stars. I watched the islands slowly take shape and emerge from the dark waters that stretched before me. Then, it was back to bright lights and excitement… as Western foreigners rang in the New Year in Cambodia on the private island.
Shortly after, Russell had to leave us. He’s now back in Thailand soaking up the sun on those world-class beaches with his girlfriend who is visiting for a month. We might try to meet up again when he’s back on the backpacking trail.