Waking from the marathon of illness-induced sleep after Day 5’s taxing activities, I was thrilled to finally feel 100% recovered. This feeling lasted until breakfast. That’s when I realized my appetite wasn’t all there yet and my stomach was still in the throes of discontent, though thankfully less so. The husband was more like 55%.
With a rare morning to ourselves, we gave Luang Prabang one final exploration before returning to our room to pack.
At this point, still feeling gastrointestinally compromised, I used my stomach as an excuse to drink one more can of soda. (Coca-Cola this time – much riskier than the Sprites I’d had the night before. My previous pop addiction was fueled by vast quantities of Coke and Pepsi – one in the same if you ask me – and my personal favorite, Mountain Dew.)
Then we said a somewhat reluctant la kon to the city and country we’d grown to love and headed to the airport. There, we discovered a few important things. First, it appears that if you are a customs official in Laos and your babysitter cancels at the last moment, you can bring you child to work and keep him in the passport control booth with you. (We didn’t even try to get a picture. We know better than to piss off a customs agent.)
Second, we learned that, no matter where you are in the world – developing country or not – airport prices are airport prices.
Finally, we learned that there is an order of precedence for boarding airplanes in Laos:
It’s important to mention here that in the course of this one short morning the husband managed to acquire two beloved pieces of clothing – a Beer Lao t-shirt he’d bought at a store in town, and an Arsenal kit (that’s British for uniform) gifted to him by our guide, Choy, at the airport. (Choy is also an Arsenal fan.) It’s also relevant to note that the husband didn’t put these items in his carry-on bag as any normal person would. No. Instead he tossed the two plastic-wrapped parcels into the overhead compartment on the plane without telling me he’d done so.
Ergo, when the plane landed in Siem Reap I stood up, handed him his carry-on from the overhead bin, took down my own, and we alighted from the plane. It wasn’t until we were standing around the carousel waiting for our luggage that the husband realized something was missing.
What ensued was a bit of a storm in a teacup as people were erroneously and unjustly blamed (me), other people were radioed (the flight crew), and still other people were left behind to wait for the precious parcels to be delivered from the plane (the husband and Choy). The upshot of this mini-melée was that the husband stayed with Choy, who was bringing our luggage to the hotel and checking in, while the rest of us accompanied our new, Cambodian guide – Bun – to Angkor Wat for some sunset oohs and aahs.
In truth, this blunder had worked in the husband’s favor. Knowing we were going to spend much of the following day at Angkor Wat, we both desperately wanted a little free time at our new, well-appointed hotel/resort. T-shirtgate meant that only the husband got it.
Golden hour photos achieved, we experienced our first taste of crazy Siem Reap traffic en route to the hotel. I know there are worse places out there, but for us, this made, say, New York City traffic look like an orderly, tranquil parade. The husband described it as something out of Mad Max.
Shortly after I got to the room (to find the husband stretched out on the bed watching soccer – a sad, recurring theme on this vacation), we were off to dinner. I couldn’t tell you the name of the restaurant, but it is known for it’s traditional Cambodian hot pot.
Though the husband was still feeling poorly and didn’t eat much, this is where I discovered I had finally kicked my food-borne stomach bug in its little bacteria-ridden butt. I dug into the meal of multiple meats as if I hadn’t eaten in days… which for all intents and purposes I hadn’t. Kinda like SE Asia’s take on fondue, the communal dish had me scarfing down the not unfamiliar beef, pork, and chicken, along with fish, shrimp, squid, and rubbery alligator which, much like the conch we gnawed on during our Belizean honeymoon, makes one suddenly understand what it would be like to chew on a bike tire.
I, sated, but the husband still undernourished and moderately nauseated, we collapsed into bed wondering what adventures the Cambodian part of our travels would bring.
Read more about our Dust-Farm-Pail List SE Asia adventures:
- Things We Learned from the Travel Medicine Doctor: Laos/Cambodia Edition
- And We’re Off…
- Southeast Asia to Midwest America Jet Lag: What Fresh Hell is This?
- Blog Buddy Meet-up #1: Luang Prabang, Laos
- Laos, Days 1-2: Cycling & Sightseeing
- Laos, Day 3: The Journey to Nong Khiaw
- Laos, Day 4+: Hiking, Remote Villages, and One Really Bad Indian Meal
- Laos, Day 5: Queasy Kayaking
- Day 6: The Journey to Cambodia and a Meal for Adventurous Carnivores
- Cambodia, Days 7-8: Wat a Fabulous Couple of Days!
- Cambodia, Days 9-10: Spending New Year on a Sacred Buddhist Mountain
- Blog Buddy Meet-Up #2: Bangkok, Thailand