Nina’s Travel Rule #50: I’m Not Traveling, I’m On Fucking Holiday

Look! A totally normal holiday snap!
Look! A totally normal holiday snap!

As back-story to the previous post, and also ’cause I’ve been been back two weeks and am in a serious serious post-holiday-blah phase, let me herein describe for you the first four days of my recent jaunt to Cambodia.  In which our fearless heroine will: engage in a ridiculous, unnecessary, and utterly unanticipated four-day bender; spend not one, but two evenings drinking “whiskey” in a sewer; befriend the Crack-Pipe; out-drink not one, but two Irishmen; and massively fail to abide by Travel Rule #50.

So it’s winter in Perth.  Well, it’s kinda spring now, but I’m still cold.  And apparently one can fly oneself from here to Phnom Penh for like, $365 return in the winter, so fuck it!  I’m cold, it’s cold, everything is dank and cold, and I’m going to fucking Cambodia to sit my pasty-ass self on a beach, get brown, and catch up on my reading.  Dammit.  And if one more person asks me “Cambodia?  Do they even have beaches?  And aren’t you going to see the _______?” I will punch them.  No, I’m not going to see the tomb / temple / monument / Killing Fields, ’cause yes, they have lovely beaches, and no, I’m not traveling, I’m on mother-fucking holiday.  Dammit.

So blah blah, midnight flight, awkward 8 hour layover in Singapore, but like, $365 return, people!  Also I got to experience the absolute highlight of my budget-airline-flying career.  Or, as I phrased it to the Facebook:

“Dear mr ragingly gay Jetstar flight attendant: I love you. I particularly loved when you said, ‘No iPhones, iTouch, youTouch, weTouch, anything you want to touch, allowed’. Well, that or when you said ‘It’s 30 degrees out in Singapore. It’s hot, hooot, hooooooooot. Just like meeeee.’ I don’t know if you’re on crack, joy, or jet-lag, but keep it up sir!”

And I’m here!  Phnom Penh!  Where I, immediately upon arrival, step outside and order a delicious iced coffee.  I mention this because :

  1. Iced coffee is unavailable in Australia unless one is willing to explain to ass-retarded teenage baristas exactly how to make it, which does not actually guarantee the acquisition of said delicious iced coffee;
  2. Iced coffee is widely available, cheap and non-requiring of extended, asinine explication in Cambodia; and
  3. The moment I took a sip, I remembered the last time I’d been in Cambodia, on which day I got such horrific food poisoning that I threw up in:
  • a hostel (Siem Reap)
  • a rickshaw
  • an airport
  • a plane (yes, I made it to the damn bathroom)
  • another airport (Bangkok)
  • another plane (yes, I once AGAIN made it to the damn bathroom)
  • another airport (Surat Thani)
  • a taxi
  • a ferry
  • and another hostel (Koh Samui)
  • #fuckcambodianbuckets
  • #ninasneverlearn

Whatever.  It was delicious.  So 2 hours later, my dear Irish travel buddy, The Langur, showed up.  Now, I’m not traveling here.  I’m on fucking holiday.  Dammit.  So why do I have a travel buddy?  Because if you actually want to go sit on the beach for 18 days with your own awesome self, you should never ever ever mention these plans.  To anyone.  Fail #1 on Nina’s Travel Rule #50.  But whatever, The Langur is awesome, he can totally invite himself on my beach holidays anytime.  And when did I realize this?  About 2 seconds after he stepped out of customs, verging on dead drunk.  It seems while I was having Breakfast Beer in Singapore, he was working his way through the entire contents of the OneWorld airport lounge in Kuala Lumpur on his magical free pass.  Good on him, say I!

So we hopped in a taxi, said “Sihanoukville, please, and no we are not paying more than $50 for the three hour journey!” and were off.  For a solid 10 minutes….  At which point we realized we needed the things.  Like, all of them.  So yeah, we totally made that taxi dude stop four times on a three hour trip for beer and toilets.  And fruit.  And more beer and toilets.  Etc.  But like, not our fault!  Did I tell Cambodia to invent Black Panther beer at 8% alcohol?  No I most certainly did not, and it’s hardly my fault the shit’s kinda delicious! So we rock up to the One Stop Hostel, seriously one of the awesomest hostels evvvvvvver, at like 9pm, The Langur is no longer actually in charge of his memory or limbs, and I’m just a tad worse for the wear.  Nothing serious, but I don’t really see this evening managing to last much longer.  And then we met Crack-Pipe…

cambo whiskeyAfter an amazing interlude wherein The Langur failed to eat noodles in a quite spectacularly messy way (he does not remember this, but I have video :)), he, me, and our new Kiwi hostel buddy decided to go out.  You know, ’cause Sihanoukville.  So out we went, friends were made, fire was danced with, oceans were swum in, sunnies were lost, The Langur was pumped with espresso, I discovered that strong-ass Cambodian whiskey-coke is A DOLLAR, and fun times were had by all.  Well, until about 4am, when I decided it was high time to put myself to bed, realized that I still had The Langur’s wallet / phone / passport combo in my bag, remembered that he’d wandered off with a potential lady-boy dance partner (whatever, she’s gorgeous) and probably doesn’t actually know where we live or what our hostel’s called, said fuck it, and walked home.  He’ll be fine?

One Stop Hostel Savior Pool...
One Stop Hostel Savior Pool…

Scene: circa 10am the next day, hostel pool, your Fearless Adventuress sat in the blazing sun attempting to un-hang-over / brown herself, as she is on motherfucking holiday, let us remember.

Enter The Langur: “Umm, can we fill in some holes from last night please?”

Me: “Ohhhh, yes please, let’s do that stat.”

Enter the Hostel Kiwi: “Urghl.  Urghl??  I have not been to bed.”

Me: Rather obvious chortling sounds. Whatever, they’re both still alive.

After some rather entertaining hole-filling-in, it was discovered that The Langur recalls nothing except getting in a tuk-tuk and saying “hostel”, which apparently brought him here.  Winning!  With no wallet.  Losing 😦  But there was plastic in his bag, which tuk-tuk-man was happy to take to the ATM with him, where he pulled out “who knows how much money”, gave “who knows how much money” to tuk-tuk-man, and then passed out.

Much more entertaining though, was Hostel Kiwi’s evening, which involved: a decidedly NOT lady-boy lady, an after-party in a Cambodian shack, something that someone just perhaps may have smoked out of a water bottle bong, and an early morning escape run from some deranged junkies.  Hostel Kiwi being forever after known as Crack-Pipe, clearly.

Me and Sunnies #2, shortly to be thrown in a sewer. You can't tell here, but the sarong-cape situation did NOT keep me dry.
Me and Sunnies #2, shortly to be thrown in a sewer. You can’t tell here, but the sarong-cape situation did NOT keep me dry.

Sunday was basically a repeat of Saturday (why why whyyyyyyy is the whiskey-coke a dollar?  Ninas can’t say no to dollar-whiskey-coke, dammit!), and by Monday we’d decided to flee this horrid town to the (supposed) safety of the “party” island next door.  Lovely, lovely Koh Rong.  So the three of us got on the ferry, met another Irish who we’ll call P2, and settled in with our beer and our beautiful day.  Well, except P2 and me, who had decided to sit in literally the only spot on the boat getting spray.  Like, we’re completely saturated in minutes, everyone else is dry as a Mormon in Utah.  Typical Cambodia.

And it turns out Koh Rong really is very nice, gorgeous, blah blah, except that the second we landed this happened:

Hotel Booking Lady: “Can I help you with a room?”

Me: “Why yes, please!  We’d like something with a pool, air-con, free wifi, free brekkie, and TV showing the Rugby World Cup.  Oh, and we’re not paying more than $6 each.”

HBL: “…”   20 second pause…

“Erm, there’s no air-con, TV, or pools on the island.”

Me: “Fine.  Then we want the cheapest possible thing you have.”

Which is how we ended up paying $3 each to sleep in a cat-infested attic full of sand, random Cambo squatters, and dead fish.  Seriously.  Well, not that we paid, actually, desk dude was waaaaay too busy rolling a massive joint and worrying about his dwindling stash of Happy Cookies to actually check us in or take our money.  Whatever, typical Cambodia, clearly we need more whiskey.  Thankfully Crack-Pipe and I had pre-planned, I mean like, whiskey on the island’s, like, twice the price (stupid islands), and Nina is totally not paying $2 for a bottle of whiskey when she can pay $1 and bring it over.  Obviously we bought 6 for the 4 of us for 2 days.  And then this happened:

Dear everyone, yes, Cambodia does indeed have beaches.
Dear: Everyone.  Yes, Cambodia does indeed have beaches.

And yeah, we had to open the whiskey with a pen, but I mean, what sort of functional cap does one expect for $1?  As well as the next bottle.  And the next…  It was somewhere in the middle of our third bottle of whiskey, long after P2 had died (I win!  One Irishman down!), upon returning from my Coke run (-ca cola, clearly), that I realized what was actually happening.  Omg it’s Day Three in the Cambo, and we are actually sat in a ditch, filled with a sewage pipe, drinking whiskey and flinging sewage-sand on each other.  Goddammit, what has happened to my holiday??

By Day 4, The Langur had had it. Every morning thus far had seen him whinging and grumping and spewing such nonsense as, “I’m never drinking again.  At least for a day,” but on Day 4 he actually meant it (for a day).  And that is how Nina won again, Two Irishmen down!  And ended up drinking in the same damn sewer, into which she threw her third damn pair of sunnies in as many days, sleeping with a cat, and stealing a Cambodia flag off a third-story flag pole.  Whatever, Crack-Pipe couldn’t get it off, and I’m good with knots, had to be done 🙂  I mean, BAD backpackers, BAD…

Side Note: Why the fuck do I never get nicknames?  Everyone I write about on this ridiculous blog has a nickname (I love you, The Langur, The Crack-Pipe, and The P2!) except me.  I mean, I answer to Texas, shit, I answer to all sorts of random phrases, but I never ever ever get a nickname! Please feel free to suggest away, although I may ignore y’all 🙂

I think the next morning was when we decided we needed a minder.  To monitor our 4-day bender.  One minder each,  actually.  Like, how much could it possibly cost to hire some local to tote my shit, book my bookings, scooter me around, run my errands (mainly the whiskey shopping), and generally extricate me from things like sewers, dank-ass boats, dank-ass attics, etc.  Oh, and also get me back on track with Nina’s Travel Rule #50, which clearly I’ve been breaking the motherfuckin’ shit out of for days now…  So like, $20 a day?  We’re totally down.

And I think it was Day 5, upon returning to Shit-vil… I mean Sihanoukville, that I realized I’d only slept about 20 hours in about 5 days and death was clearly imminent.  Well, I think that’s what I added.  Turns out I’d been on the wrong time zone for 5 days, ’cause my phone was confused or something?  Still unsure, but defo needing the sleepy time…  So what did we do?  Went to the “cinema”, contracted possible leg herpes / staph / worms, drank beer, watched Apocalypse Now Redux (oh, such a brilliant, brilliant choice, me), ate the Happy Pizza and passed out for a solid 14 hours.  But that is a story for another day…

And what have we learnt?  Nothin’.

The sewer ditch. Surprisingly funner than this appears...
The sewer ditch. Surprisingly funner than this appears… And, no, I do not know what that green gunk is.
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