Cats, dogs, markets and ahh . . . pizza!

I’m starting to appreciate the benefits of spending a large percentage of our time in the Sunset Bar :

  • We have saved ourselves several dollars by doing so. In comparison to Siem Reap town, every beer or iced coffee we drink saves us $0.25 and $0.20 respectively, and food prices are at least $0.50 cheaper at the Sunset.
  • All the staff know us and chat to us, so we get the chance to be a little bit cheeky with them and get the odd Angkor beer they ‘forget’ to add to our invoice, as well as mountains of free peanuts! The guesthouse feels more like home than merely a place to stay. If you eat at a different restaurant every night I think you’re treated more like a tourist, in comparison to being treated like one of the locals if you re-visit the same place.

Kotoe and I had breakfast up on the veranda and then spent the rest of the morning relaxing on the bamboo terrace outside our bungalow. We fed mango to the fish and watched their little mouths gobble it up like they’re gasping for air. We also entertined ourselves by watching the antics of the resident dog and cat. In one instance the cat and the dog would stand facing each other, eyes locked together in a threatening stare. The cat, all hairs raised on the nape of her neck, would growl (as much as a cat can growl) at the dog, each animal looking as if it were about to leap at the other – teeth and claws at the ready. In the other instance the cat would instictively jump into the rafters outside our bungalow (an area just below the roof designed for hanging laundry from) as soon as she saw the dog, and then realise she was scared of heights! She’d give a frightened wide-eyed look one minute and look shakily don at the ground the next. Eventually she’d edge her way down the bamboo as if she was sliding down a fireman’s pole, her claws clumsily steadying her descent.

In the afternoon Kotoe and I fought our way through the hoards of tourists and avoided numerous puddles at the local market, the pungent smell of fresh fish permeating through the establishment. Kotoe sampled a fried bug of some description. These apparently taste like a cross between pork scratchings and salted peanuts but Kotoe didn’t agree and spent the next few minutes too busy gagging to describe the flavour herself! We bought a huge papaya, a couple of mangos, some coffee and a can of condensed milk – the ingredients for our 2 favourite things, mango and papaya fruit salad and coffee with milk.

We wanted to catch the boat to Battambang tomorrow (for the spectacular scenery and ride across Tonle Sap lake) but unfortunately we were informed that the water levels are too low at the moment, so the bus was our only option ($6, 6 hours).

We stopped at Easy Speaking for a mango and papaya shake and struck up a conversation with Kesuke and Tien. Kersuke is Japanese and Tien is Korean and we recognised them both from the bus station at Kompong Cham. Kotoe then proceeded to teach me to count to ten in Japanese. So that i don’t forget, and so that you guys can learn (if you so desire!) I shall write them down phonetically :

  1. Itchii
  2. Knee
  3. Sun
  4. See
  5. Go
  6. Rockoo
  7. Nana
  8. Hatch
  9. Cue
  10. Dew

After our successful shopping expedition to the market, we met Kesuke and Tien for pizza at Ecstatic Pizza, and then the four of us headed back to the Sunset Bar at Garden Village. After our large pizzas we were all feeling a bit ‘buri buri’, so slicing our mango and papaya, opening our can of condensed milk and making our very own fruit salad, was both a difficult chore and a delicious experience.

Photo is of the cute little resident cat at Garden Village, Siem Reap.

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