Rope, Duct Tape and Mice, Oh My!


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Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville
July 21st 2008
Published: July 21st 2008
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We honestly didn't mean to do it! Let me explain. In Cambodia, you pay for things at the end of everything, including your hotel/ living arrangements. So, as we awoke on Sunday morning at 5:45AM and waved good-bye to our hosts, we completely forgot to pay for our room (and they did wave back, so we weren't sneaking out). As we were waiting in the overcrowded, unairconditioned bus station (buses don't leave until they are full, no matter how long you wait) we realized what we had done and promised to make amends.

We arrived in Sihanoukville in about 4 hours of our departure and quickly found some place to stay, as the dark clouds were quietly rolling in. We found a little bungalow for $5 total and jumped at the chance to save a few bucks (we usually spend $5-6 each). The room looked decent and at this point we were all very tired and hungry and so we put our belongings down and went off to find something to eat.

With full bellies we hit the beach to walk along the shore. We had talked with many travelers that spoke highly of this part of Cambodia. It was shortly after our stroll began that we realized everyone at the beach was laughing at us, pointing, coming up to us, clearly making a big fuss we were there. A small child even found a piece of trash, which there was lots to pick from, and threw it at us! We thought it would be best if we head back and nap before we decided what our plans for the following day would be.

Awaking for the second time today we were optomistic we took a wrong turn and head back to the beach, this time turning right instead of left. We found some cozy chairs to sit in and with books in our hands, sat and read for several hours, occasionally taking a break to watch the waves roll in. Definitely more backpackers on this end of the beach. Getting hungry, we reviewed the menu and saw that pizza was an option. We each ordered our own little pizza and waited patiently for it to arrive. Hungrier and hungrier with every passing minute (food takes a long time here) our pizzas arrived, steaming hot. It was much to our diasppointment when we took our first bite and realized the sauce was ketchup and the tomatos brown, and not very sure what kind of cheese it was, we instantly, in complete unison, placed our slices back on the plate. Cambodia is NOT the kind of place where one wastes food, so with each passing child begging for money and water we gave a piece to each. At one point, there was even a toothless, legless wonder amongst the sands dragging his body to our table. It would have been nice to talk with this man, hear his story, but he did not speak any English, but appreciated the pizza very much, even having to spit his napkin out not realizing it wasn't food. We thought, at last we could sleep knowing we made amends for the hotel we stiffed for our accomadations the night before.

As nice as this room seemed, I knew I would not have gotten any sleep without my bug net, so after several knots, lots of cursing, my net, though partially off the bed, hanging from lights, walls and gadgets, was hung with the rolling eyes of my dear friends Macaela and Courtney. Imagine the shock we were in when, in the middle of the night (3:36 exactly) mice were crawling on them, in their bed, on our TV, trying to get to our bus ride snacks of peanut butter crackers. The three of us, screaming, trying to turn on the lights, jumping around, finally found the switch and comfort in the lights. We quickly got out more rope, duct taping it to the wall so the nets would hang and keep out any night visitors. We sat, in the middle of our nets, lights on, keeping our bodies away from the edge as if on a boat hiding from a shark. Finally, the sun rose and we lowered ourselves back to sleeping position, afraid to close our eyes

Tonight, when you sleep, even if it is terribly hot, give thanks for your bed, pillows, hot showers, clean sheets, food and miceless houses. We are not sure of what awaits us tonight, but rest assured we will be vigilant. With each lesson learned we grow stronger and wiser than before.

Pictures will be posted of our nets, however, hopefully there will be no pictures available of us running around at night, saving ourselves from whatever comes to haunt us.

Thai Kho and Crew

PS I just counted 13 geckos on the wall.

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21st July 2008

Howell!
Sounds like an awesome place. I can't wait to hear where you end up next. I am fully enjoying all of your blogs.
21st July 2008

Remember I said...
Remember I said how much I hated snakes??? I hate MICE and RATS equally the same! Ugghhhhh! I literally got the chills, gasped and held my hand to my mouth in an awwwwwwwing motion! Dear Lord Kristin Howell! What is wrong with you!!!???? Get home right now! That is disgusting, I'll reimburse you all $5 if you get a better hotel. PLEASE! Oh Kristin, I'm so not picking you up from the airport and I'm so hosing you down before you even think of getting on my street, let alone anywhere near #54! I'm afraid to even tell anyone this story. I hated this blog although I've logged on 20 times in anticipation of it. Kristin, I've been reading them to Grammy, what will she say now??? She already blames Eric and Mike at school for "brainwashing" you into this trip. (FYI Eric and Mike, Grammy is a sweet old lady but has a vicious streak if pushed!) I ran from a bumble bee this morning, swear to God. But I did sit with Jaclyn and watch a baby bunny eat it's breakfast. Nice of you to share your version of pizza with us ---- or maybe not. Is 6 weeks up???? We love and miss you and I love love love this blog! xoxoxoxox P.S. Michelle and Joe asked Rob and I to be Cameron's Godparents! I'm so excited!!!!!!!!
21st July 2008

Geckos are lucky
Some people think that Geckos are great luck and they welcome them into their houses. They eat the bugs in the room, and keep things clean. Keep up the great stories and great spirits. Eric.
21st July 2008

OMG!!!!
Your stories keep getting more amazing with each new day! I thought how nice finally a beach and some pizza for Kristin and her friends....NOT!!!! Did you ever find out why the people were laughing at you???? Stay safe!!!! Debbie
21st July 2008

Now you're MacGyver?
Wow, it sounds like you had quite a night! I'm not sure I will be able to sleep tonight after hearing that story. The idea of mice crawling in my bed it probably one of my worst nightmeres. I am proud of your bravery and strength. I am continually impressed by your courage. I miss you.
21st July 2008

you have got to be kidding me!! I knew I didn't like this idea!
21st July 2008

I am in complete amazement
Hi Kristin, Billie shared your blog with me and I just read the whole thing. You are on quite an adventure and I find it completely fascinating. I couldn't stop reading it! Thank you for sharing what MUST be a life altering adventure. I will be thinking you and the stories you have shared with us. I wish you all a safe and fulfilling "vacation". - Valerie
21st July 2008

I am visibly cringing...!!!
What am I afraid of more then anything??? MICE! I think I would have passed out had that happened to me instead of the three of you! It might be best of you continue to pay the 5 or 6 dollars for a chance at not being mice infested! Then again if you can survive a convent Kristin you can probably survive anything! Can't wait to hear more (I think!). Still missing you! Be safe!
21st July 2008

Good God!
I Hate mice! I'm so tired and grossed out for you! I could never travel like that!!!
21st July 2008

Hey...I am curious why people were throwing trash at you....Was that because you were on the wrong side of the beach??? I got a little confused on that one..Rope,Duct Tape and - - - -. I can't even say it...Please make sure when you come home empty everything before you come upstairs...Oh My!!!!!
21st July 2008

Crazy
Okay Kristin Howell........you have officially been labeled as insane!!!!! I would be on the first plane home heading to NJ if I saw mice! I am laughing and screaming inside at the thought of this little experience. You really make us feel like we are there with you - although I can't imagine that some of us would want to actually experience it! Continue to enjoy your time.....wow Jamaica sounds so exciting for me!
21st July 2008

Dearest Cousin!
I just can't wait to hug you when you come home....there better be a big party for you and tons of NICE photos, no snakes or mice please!
21st July 2008

Geckos and mice . . . . you will kiss the American soil the minute you touch down at Logal. I just hope you come back with all your fingers and toes. Maureen
21st July 2008

OMG
K-HO, NO FREAKING WAY!!!! Right then and there I would be up and to the boat or bus to get to the nearest airport. I don't do rodents. God bless you all. I can't believe it. Your spirits still seem high. Keep them up as you have 4 1/2 more weeks! :) PLEASE SEND THE NET PICS ASAP. Be safe. Love Nicole-friend
22nd July 2008

Diet
So your basically saying..If you want to loose wieght head to Cambodia for their pizza!! hahha.. No seriously, i should have come..i mean it would have been perfect , right b4 my wedding i could have shed a couple LB's..hahaha
22nd July 2008

Uhhh...
Maybe with my five dollars going into the pot...we can get a room without mice?
22nd July 2008

Oh. My. God.
Even in my bed here in Medford, I'll have one eye open, and every bit of me under covers. Someday I'll tell you my Russian mosquito hotel horror story, though it pales in comparison with the nets keeping the mice off you last night. Small price to pay, though for this amazing experience you're having. Thanks for taking us with you!!
22nd July 2008

Lions and tigers and....mice?
So courageous of you to fight off the beasties. You're travelling now! let me know where you'll be on the 25,26,27. i can't come to cambodia though. how's thailand?
22nd July 2008

OMG Kristin! Mice crawling on you. I would have definitely been home by now. God bless you for your courage. Maybe the Cambodians from the so called hotel you stayed in sent them to get the money you owed!!! Please be careful. Stay safe and God bless. Love ya, Carol
22nd July 2008

Hi...Between the killing fields and the m - - - I could not sleep last night. Like your sister M - - - and S - - - - - and R - - - .I don't blame your sister for hosing you down. Leave all your stuff at the airport when you come home..Please mention this to the rest of your troupe as well..Your living it and I have insomnia because of it...Love Mom
22nd July 2008

Kristen; I'm with you sister on this one. Get your ass home now. I had been really enjoying your blog and looking forward to your next adventure but I'm sorry this is just too much. Please Please before you come home get a nice room with a bath. Your grammie is going to have a stroke as will everyone else. Please take care we love and miss you.
22nd July 2008

I feel sick to my stomach....mice!!!! I would have had a heart attack. I still love my idea of a vacation... 5 star...on the beach...sipping a nice cold beverage and listening to island music. I'd love to travel with you sometime, but on my idea of a vacation!! Love, Cheryl.....Be careful
22nd July 2008

OMG I would have died if I woke up and there were mice al around me. I would have stayed up all night too. Hey but thats what adventures are for. Love the stories keep them coming.
22nd July 2008

Bad News Kristin!
Well, I was thinking of so many things that may get you to come home early. Then today, I realized what would put you over the edge. Bad news Kristin, Estelle Getty from Golden Girls died. For those of you who don't know Kristin's Golden Girls obsession, cats outta the bag now! Maybe you can come home early to mourn?? Send another blog please!!!
23rd July 2008

Quite An Education!
Kristen-This trip is something that will stay with you forever, including all the stuff that your tender relatives back home are cringing over. Travel at the level you are experiencing is far better than the cardboard Disney World most Americans gravitate to. Enjoy every part of it-have fun! Ciao, ~UB~
23rd July 2008

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I had the chills as I read this! I can't even imagine seeing mice in the middle of the night...sooo creepy! Did you find another place to stay? I would have ran out of there screaming!! Hopefully the next night was better. Looking forward to reading more!
23rd July 2008

So Dave, Dante and I went to York zoo in Maine..... We saw lots of animals that were from South East Asia..... and I was thinking of you..... Umm not sure what to say about the mice thats just gross....what if they nibbled through your net YUCK !! Be Careful Love Ya Andrea
23rd July 2008

What a humbling experience for all of you and for those of us who are in our comfortable homes reading your blog. Thank you for reminding us that we are lucky and blessed to live in the US!!! Please stay safe!! love Judy
24th July 2008

OMG I can't bare it anymore!
I'm not sure if this book is a fiction, non-fiction, thriller or cartoon.....I'm not even sure I like it but I can't stay away! What is wrong with you, don't you like to vacation at a nice beach resort with a nice margarita in your hand.....Oh boy Kristin, I love you dearly but I certainly don't know where you came from! Please be careful, Hail Mary and Our Father are looking over you.....
24th July 2008

Well....?
I gotta figure out where I'm going next and you're not helping. Let me know if you want to meet in Bangkok and then head to greener pastures for a few days. I gotta make arrangements today or tomorrow!
24th July 2008

Mice are nice
I bet they were looking for a tasty treat from America. Who can resist a good old fashion Cupcake. :) Hope your rooms are better now, and you don't have any more surprises like that night.
25th July 2008

Hurry up and blog!
People are emailing me at an alarming rate since it's been a while since the last blog. Get to a computer and update us will ya!?! We are all anxiously awaiting! We miss and love you and are so depressed that tomorrow is only TWO weeks you have been gone! We want it to go by much quicker. xoxox
26th July 2008

Nicole
I know, I know, I know!
26th July 2008

Cousin Maureen
I'd like to think of this as a non-fiction adventure story, but there have been days I questioned it.
26th July 2008

Pino
Thanks for the comment. Watcha been doing all summer? Down the shore I suppose.

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