Thursday, and our day off from the temples. We wondered what to do with the day, should we see the floating village on stilts? Or drive to the nearby mountain? Decisions, decisions. None of it quite took our fancy, and nearing the end of our holiday we decided to have a simple holiday-do-nothing-day.
After breakfast we lounged by the pool, I read about the new iPhone 5, we had nice drinks, we swum, read some things. A whole lot of nothing really, and it was especially good. The fake waterfall trickled as we rested, the water was cool and the heat much more bearable. Around the pool small yellow, white and black striped birds danced, flitting between the tree branches. And a trail of ants, as ever, ran about the place, as busy as ever.
Ready to do something by the afternoon, we went out for a short shopping trip. Our room had a lovely paper mache sculpture that looked like stone, I liked it and wanted to see more, so we took the tuk-tuk over to the artist’s studio and had a look. We bought a Bayon looking sculpture, a face protruding from a wall, with vines all about the place – it resembled the temples, was original, and it looked great. Getting it home in one piece? That’s a problem for another day!
We also stopped at a terribly touristy mall, of our own choosing, where the staff followed us around, despite our asking them not to.
It had been drizzling throughout the afternoon, but it cleared up in the evening, and we returned to Siem Reap. A warm, dry night, this place felt radically different; it had life. After perusing the night market we sat down to eat at the Cambodian BBQ.
Five meats; chicken, beef, squid and the more interesting snake and crocodile. In the middle of our table stood a nested barbecue. The meat and side dishes come out raw; using chopsticks or tongs, we pulled apart the raw meat and placed them, sizzling, onto a metal dome. Beneath the meat, water, noodles and vegetables formed a broth, and there was a side of rice. We waited patiently for the meat to cook through, small slithers, one at a time. The food wasn’t gourmet, but the experience was novel. We washed it all down with some Laosbeer.
Vesna drove us home again, as we devoured our Blue Pumpkin ice creams.