Hello there peeps, sorry for keeping you waiting. You know how it is? You don’t? Well, I came back from Cambodia and am about to dish the dirt as promised except a few days after my return I went down with a shocker of a cold. Now, let me know tell you dear friends that I recall the bugger who passed this onto me quite clearly. I can still see his red nose as he coughed and spluttered behind me on the aeroplane. Rest assured I shall be taking my revenge before the week is out. That is, of course, if my lovely husband Andrew, who now sneezes uncontrollably, has not murdered me. Ah, the pleasure of returning home from holiday. Even our tummies are rebelling somewhat and trying to rid themselves of the last vestige of Cambodia it seems. So,let’s crack on with the show then, I mean Blog. Sorry, you can see I have been resting with Miranda Hart, not personally of course but if anyone can arrange that, let me know. Before we begin I should just say that Cambodia was one of the best countries I have ever visited and I am deeply eager to return again and what follows is my usual light-hearted view on life. Enjoy.
Now, where did I get to? Ah yes arrival at my stepson’s apartment with the building work, which I was convinced would not happen on Boxing Day. Yes, well, never presume. I woke at 7.a.m and for a minute I think I am alone. The beds in the hotel and at my stepson’s are so wide that you can lose your partner. After a bit of feeling around however, I soon found Andrew and let out a big sigh of relief. Any hope of getting back to sleep is dashed by the banging and drilling next door and we get up to enjoy Boxing Day in Cambodia. The rest of the day is spiffing, thank you. That evening we meet some friends of my stepson and his wife who are also holidaying and go for dinner. Ah, first complication of the holiday. What can we eat? The web advice was that all the water is poison and to avoid like the plague. Apparently, we are told, the water if drunk will turn your hair to wire This came on good authority from a monk, well ex monk. As for the food, make sure the hotel you’re in uses good hygiene. Yes, well this isn’t a hotel and I just don’t think it is common practice to ask to see the kitchens here or to meet the chef.
‘Don’t worry, the food is fine here,’ my stepson’s friends assures me. We quickly discuss it and decide that Pizza will be fine and bravely order. Oh dear… That night feeling perfectly fine I decide to stop being so nervous about tummy bugs and tell Andrew I am going to stop thinking about things like that. He agrees it is a good idea. The following morning I tell myself the nausea I am feeling is all in my mind and Andrew confirms this.
‘I feel fine and we ate the same thing. You are bringing this on yourself. Do you want to come with me later? I’m meeting James in his lunch break and we are going for a curry. The whole thing with a pint of beer only costs three dollars.’
My husband, ever the caring partner. Just the word curry sends my stomach into turmoil and I open my mouth to decline but instead rush to the loo to be violently sick instead with my imaginary upset stomach. Oh god… Andrew checks I am okay and then potters off. I am sick several times while he is out and several more times when he gets back. A trip to the temples the following day is cancelled and I find myself pining for home and a safe meal. I lay on my enormous bed feeling very sorry for myself and fighting down the nausea. Visions of being airlifted to a Bangkok hospital haunt me. Oh, God am I to die in Cambodia? A bit embarrassing if I do. What will Andrew tell people? I stress to him should this happen, he is to say I caught Cholera. One has to save face after all. That night I start to feel better and would have slept quite well had Andrew and his son not been throwing up. I decide not to ask Andrew if it is all his mind. The next day we look a little like the walking dead and decide to frighten the local community and take a walk. In the end a very good idea for it certainly blew away the building dust and by the morning we were more than ready for a visit to the floating village. Our Tuk Tuk driver collected us on time and off we went down the Cambodian motorway. A lovely smooth ride until we hit the dirt track leading to the floating village. Let me tell you a trip in a Tuk Tuk through a Cambodian village needs some doing. Several times I was sure my womb dropped out and I didn’t have the heart to ask if we could return to retrieve it. I gave thanks to God that I didn’t wear contacts because after a couple of bumps in a Tuk Tuk on a bumpy road and you nearly lose your eyeballs let alone your contacts and trust me do not and I cannot stress this enough, do not go braless. It really isn’t worth it. Plus, of course, it is disrespectful in a country such as this. I rubbed my head with 4head and prayed the floating village wasn’t much further. Andrew meanwhile was attempting to photograph water buffalo as we jogged along. I pushed my hat back onto my head in the manner of Karen Blixen in ‘Out of Africa’ and attempted to look cool and glamorous. I failed miserably.
‘We here,’ shouts the Tuk Tuk driver and we both stare perplexed at what looks like border control. I look around me and see a tiny river. That surely cannot be the floating village. Then I realise we have to pay to enter the floating village. Neither of us had anticipated this and did not bring much money with us. It is 15 dollars each and we do not have enough. The Tuk Tuk driver pays the excess and we drive through to the next village, Andrew mumbling the whole way that he really doesn’t understand what we actually paid for. Five minutes later we find out. Several boats no correction, several things that look like boats sit bobbing on the water waiting to take the tourists (us) through the floating village. I look at Andrew and back to the logs that make up the boats.
‘Is that what we have paid for?’
I ask breathlessly.
‘Yes, let’s go.’
I take another look at the boat, take a deep breath and in the manner of Karen Blixen about to go on Safari, I attempt to board…
To be continued.