The thing I’ll miss most is picking absolutely any restaurant I want and having a sit down meal alone for like, $5.
What I won’t miss?
SE Asia food service.
Struggling to get a menu (hello?), hovering while looking at said menu (can we have a minute?), dishes coming out in all sorts of orders (go ahead and eat without me, guys), no free tap water (large Chang please!), Nescafé as coffee (here is some hot water and an instant coffee packet, enjoy!), completely inconsistent food from the same restaurant (fresh baguette today, white toast tomorrow) and finally, being unable to ask a server any question about a menu (“does the curry have a lot of potatoes in it?” “potatoes.”)
Oh, so many things.
The food makes up for it though. I really can’t complain.
I vowed to start day two with the thing I adore the most in my life – a steaming hot cup of black coffee. The Little India neighborhood in which I was staying in Singapore didn’t have much in the way of Western breakfast, so although Duncan and I canvassed the immediate area we were stuck with our only viable option: Wendy’s. I paired this winning beverage with some sort of a potato curry roll, booked my flight to Cambodia, and by 11am was on my way to the airport.
I landed in Phnom Penh around 3 in the afternoon. The directions that the hostel provided only said “jump in a tuk tuk” so despite my original reservations about the local transport I did exactly what they suggested and found myself in a covered cart hooked to the rear of a motor scooter. The ride from the airport took around 25 minutes and I probably cried for most of it – not because I was sad or scared, but because it was one of those moments, the kind that completely overwhelms every brain neuron to the point of “Holy shit, I feel so alive.”
Traffic in Phnom Penh seems to have no rhyme or reason to it. Stop signs don’t exist and traffic lights are rare. People drive the wrong way down the street. Somehow it works though, as all the drivers seamlessly merge into lanes and appear to communicate through an indecipherable morse code of honking. It feels much like an amusement park ride with all the jerking and yanking – except its not the Cyclone, and its not Coney Island. Like a true pro, my driver delivered me in one piece, but after the previous night of jet lag-interrupted sleep, I only lasted a few hours before dying on my own, falling asleep for the night at a raucous 6:30pm.