As you can imagine, covering 20km in 38°C takes a while, and during this time our little group has developed their own idiosyncrasies in communication.
For example, have you noticed how someone always returns from the toilet happier? In town this became “the happy room”, in the Cambodian jungle, we went to “make a tree happy”.
Oftentimes the heat and the distance was exceedingly uncomfortable. To guage someone’s level, we’d ask whether they felt like “stabbing someone with a fork?”
As a measure of health, could you “fart with confidence?” And a sure sign that you should take the day off was the fact you “sharted”.
With many of the sights we saw in ruins, our guide explained that they had “kal-lapped”, which sounds like a cross between “collapse” and “clapping”. From here, the obvious mental leap was when we melodramatically “kal-lapped” into bed, camp, a chair, and so on.
The girls nicknamed their damp neck coolers “Babette’s” in honor of Babs who discovered them.
For some reason during this trip, we have stroked our Bogan alter ego’s; Jules inserted “youse” into everyone’s vernacular, the quest for 100 kilometres became “the hunge”, and we have systematically hunted for “kul-cha” ever since returning to Siem Reap.
Since returning to Siem Reap, we have had some great experiences besides a real shower, a throne, and air conditioning. We have each already been someone’s “special first customer”, “good luck customer”, and “favorite I like customer”. We have squeezed 5 of us (and not the smallest 5) into a 4 person (at a stretch) Tuk tuk. We have seen a proper dance show, with a coconut dance, the fish dance, the fishing dance, and several others. Oh yeah, we also shopped… just a little… saved heaps of money!
We had lunch yesterday at a charity cafe called Sister Srey, run by Melbourne sisters who train under privileged Cambodians in hospitality skills. It is another fantastic Australian initiative. To find out more go to http://heartstoharmony.org