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Published: April 4th 2008
The morning after our first night at The Golden Hotel near to The Golden roundabout, which was a stones throw from a long golden beach I was amazed that I had not needed to wear ear plugs all night. I was awoken with my first medical emergency in 18 months, a massive chunk of metal filling had fallen out of Stu's mouth, his lower back molar was striped of its enamel filler leaving a big black hole that could be seen from Pluto. Its funny as Id not long ago read about the CT Clinic here in Sihanoukville, amazingly I knew where to go. The dentist was next door to the 24 hour GP clinic in town and Stu got seen immediately, his original crumbling tooth was inspected, cleaned, his old filling analysed, re enforced then welded back into his mouth with some funky lazer gun attached to a small fire arm, no anaesthetic, no tears and no big bills, $10 is all it cost. What a bargain, so I decided to indulge in a touch of tooth shopping and got mine cleaned while I was waiting, the second dentist descaled, buffed and double checked all was ok, my pearlies were
gleaming inside and out, this also cost $10.
The beach was beautiful BUT the people on the beach drove me insane, the locals over stepped personal space and grabbed all body parts, insisting you need threading, this is like waxing except by using cotton thread weaved like cats cradle where faint white hairs get plucked by very nimble fingers. I shaved my legs from navel to big toe every night just to avoid the huddles of women and bitchy lady boys who without notice or consent touch every single threadable follicle. My body language gave off a Fort Knox vibe but they still touch your legs, arms, toes, bikini line, even between your thighs and higher up, tummy, eyebrow, top lip, back, I was under attack and feeling shity.
The other problem with beach life here are the begging kids who are meant to be at school, school is free, organisations around this area stress NOT to give them anything, if you want to help them to donate to the many active charities who all have fantastic craft shops to support the schools and orphanages in and around the area. Sadly its the parents who encourage them to
skip school and beg, if you are seen to give money to one child then another child will have a tantrum in front of every other tourist, poor or disabled person along the beach, its a right old carry on. Fights brake out if you buy just one pineapple from one fruit seller and not all the rest, who then insist you said you would buy from them, when you didn't say any such thing. They refuse to leave and beg even more, you tell them “I have no money” they point to your bag and attempt to open it up for themselves. I only took out $5 a day to avoid any nasty situations, but it happened anyway.
The other thing here is they plonk themselves down in huddles on your sun lounger, start peeling fruits and touching your non existent microscopic white hairs that they can clearly see as it apparently grows like some bind weed all over our bodies, while they do this another kid goes through your stuff. I heard too many examples of this while I was there, luckily I was wearing my protective red and white wrist bands from the water blessing monk
from Phnom Phen which must have given off super cover force field around me, as thankfully I had nothing stolen. Sadly a lovely English girl I meet was robed at 3pm on the beach, they grabbed her boobs, bum and then bag, she was very traumatised by it, especially as all the shack owners watched and did nothing to help. Another guy was distracted by a young dancing kid and his digital camera was stolen, another guy had his back pocket lynched of cash..
One morning I felt ill, Neptune was certainly in retrograde as I felt pulled from the inside out. My tonsils looked like chunks of fluffy white marshmallow bits floating in a mug of hot chocolate, my tongue swelled up and all I could taste was my own lament, I felt silly sorry for myself. I had a temperature of 40 for two days and the room felt sweating hot and spinning. I was dry then wet, hot then cold, boiling and freezing all at once. Stu bought heaps of paracetamol, made many cups of tea, the hotel maid turned me over once a day with the new clean dry sheets, the bathroom had a bath,
our first since England, I lay in 10 cms of freezing cold water, then the next day boiling water. I had no interest in anything, my body could not move but my mind was spinning yarns.
I became so ill I allowed myself to watch day time TV, I flicked the remote and found such gem programmes as Oil, Sweat & Rigs
and the European synchronised swimming championships
. I watched the Taiwanese version of Ready Steady Wok
where a crazy screaming man wearing a bright red kilt and over gelled hair chopped up a common breed of dog with a side dish of Pac-Choi, the fame hungry contestant over woked the lot, the whole meal was made in 20 seconds, he didn't win as it looked like a cindered heap of road kill including grass verge all served upon a frizby of charred rice. I watched the riots in Lhasa unfold and could not believe the footage of monks throwing bricks through shop windows. FREE TIBET. I was meant to be resting.
After three days of this I was not getting any better, I thought I had the mumps, so I ended up in a tuk tuk back
at proper 24 hour CT clinic. I saw a doctor he took my pulse, temp, BP, looked down my throat, grimaced a bit, smelt my mouth, pulled my tongue apart scrapped it, looked into my ears, listened to my chest, then weaved his fingers through my hair? I asked if it was dengue fever, he said I didn’t have a rash anywhere so no, I asked if it was malaria he asked was I taking medication for malaria I said yes, he said he didn't think it was malaria, was it strep throat, scarlet fever ummmm maybe! He then gave me industrial strength antibiotics. It cost $10 for consult $6 for drugs which wiped me out completely.
I force fed myself ice cream. IF VISITING SIEM REAP CLICK HERE TO VISIT ODA ORPHANAGE Orphaned & Disabled Arts IF VISITING SIEM REAP CLICK HERE TO DONATE BLOOD KANTHA BUPHA CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
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