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Published: October 11th 2008
We caught the bus to Phnom Penh outside of the Penh Chet Guesthouse at around 10am. The bus was your normal run of the mill aircon bus, although the seats were a little small. The trip was about 4 hours long with two stops in between. Along the way we managed to try some barbecued frog and bananas.
When we arrived we decided to check back into the Paragon Hotel. We originally stayed here when we first flew into the country. The hotel is basic but clean, and in a good location along the riverside. Balcony rooms are USD$25 but other rooms can be cheaper. The only bad thing is that sometimes there is a very bad odour in the lobby. One time I asked them what the smell was. They replied that it was probably due to some cooking going on outside. Well unless someone was cooking wet canine, I'd say it was caused by the two dogs they keep in the lobby.
We went to dinner and the usual kids selling books kept disturbing us. Then one girl came in. We looked at each other for a while and I thought it was Gia who I meant
on my first trip to Phnom Penh but I wasn't sure. Once she said her name it became obvious, even though she did look different. She had aged of course but more apparent was that her skin colour was now noticeably lighter. Anyway I asked her to eat with us once again, although this time there was one major difference. Last time I ate with her, I was with Michelle so it probably looked like we were a really nice couple eating dinner with a street girl. This time I was with Chris so it probably looked like we were a couple of paedophiles eating dinner with their next victim. Chris did say he noticed a few disgruntled looks pointed in our general direction. Anyway it was good to see that she was doing well and her English had improved dramatically.
Talking about disgruntled looks during dinner but this time I was the one giving them. When we first arrived in Phnom Penh on our trip we had dinner at a local restaurant, the Khmer Borane Restaurant I think. There were a group of six tourists sitting at a table. There were a couple who were both English and
the woman started ordering food. The waitress was having trouble understanding her and was trying to explain that her English wasn't very good. The woman rudely screams at her, "isn't there anyone in this restaurant that can speak English?" I jokily said "yeah I can" but she didn't hear me unfortunately. I mean these tossers come to a foreign country and expect everyone to be able to speak their language. Then a bit later on the man of the couple starts complaining about the size of his rice dish. He goes, "what's this crap, where's the rest of it? Look at the size of this, I'm not paying 4 quid for this, take it back"....or words to that effect. This twat comes to a third world country with people begging in the street literally a few feet from where he's sitting and he's worried that he didn't get the same amount of rice that he usually gets from his local curry house in Essex? Twat!
Anyway the next day we went to the National Museum in an attempt to get a bit of culture into us. Anyway we weren't there 10 minutes when Chris said that his brain was
starting to hurt and that he needed beer. So we went back to the riverside and had a relaxing afternoon. A balut vendor happened to come by so I tried one. A balut is a fertilised duck or chicken egg with an embryo that is around 16 to 21 days old. It's formed enough that you need to pick out small bones and feathers while you're eating it. I had tried one in the Philippines before but the one I had here was much better. They also gave you a small vegetable based side dish, lime, and fresh herbs. The one I had in Cebu was just the egg.
We also went back to the Central market because someone told us we could buy spiders there. We bought a few and tried them. From what I read, the body part emits a brown goo when you bite into it. However these spiders weren't gooey at all so maybe it depends on what type you eat. They weren't bad, abit a little oily. However I don't think I'll be making them a regular part of my diet anytime soon.
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