This is what happens when too much time between an actuality and the writing of it occurs: enthusiasm falls asleep.
The second half of the journey to Siem Reap was even bumpier than the first and involved changing trucks, waiting for hours as a tractor was taken apart in front of my eyes then tied to the roof with fraying ropes, and a long long journey straddling the stick shift as the Khmer woman next to me (with much shorter legs than mine I must say) fell asleep and the driver appeared to doze off sometimes, too. He drove barefoot, smoked constantly, and looked at the world with drowsy eyes. He'd pat my thigh when we'd hit a particularly deep ditch in the center of the road.
Made it to the town bruised yet alive, and ready for plenty of beer at the Red Piano with Robert.
There may be some more news from Cambodia in a few months or so.
A brief note: met Jef from Anxious Dog this weekend, at 3 Alleys pub in Itaewon. Anywhere with Hoegaarten on tap, however irritating most of their customers, is worth an extra thousand won. It's been years since I've been interrogated by someone with that kind of intensity. A good time was had by the both of us.
We parted ways in front of Itaewon's KFC. I avoided greasy temptation and crossed the street.
And behold! I spotted Jeff from Busan and his partner in crime, Jane.
As soon as she heard I'd painted the Justice for his office, she mock-harangued me for ten minutes for forgetting to sign the painting, and we made a U-turn to Seoul Pub. They'd just left Bliss wine bar, where they'd downed a Long Island ice tea so strong it likely would've killed me.
One reason I enjoy living in Seoul is you occasionally meet westerners who have "real jobs"; they're doing something in Asia that actually requires discipline and passion, i.e., something you're not handed straight away if you've the right passport and skin tone.
Jane works for the Korea Herald paper in Seoul, and Jef's a lawyer. They both seem to work their tails off. Jeff bowed out after an hour or two, after we'd caught up on the past 6 months and he was certain I wasn't going home with one of the men at the bar. Jane managed to shoot some pool, conduct an interview or two, and introduced me to most everyone at the pub.
Walked out of the place at 5am or so, unaccompanied, with a bunch of flowers in my hand.
Dearest BF, you're going to have to leave town more often.