Sunday, February 21st, 2016
We squashed our silly argument, and shared my leftover burrito early in the morning before eating again downstairs during the hostel’s free breakfast hours. Once we got packed and freshened up, we waited outside for our bus to take us to Battambang.
We shared a minivan with an American who was originally from Boston, but recently switched coasts and moved to Seattle. We’d continue talking as the driver picked up more and more people from other hostels. He’d share stories of his travels through South America as we waited at the bus station for more patrons.
Our slow and mellow driver transformed into a speeding maniac as soon as we were out of city limits. This would have been more startling had we not been in this position many, many times before. Our former “Oh my God, we’re going to die”-reaction has transitioned into a “Hey man, no worries”-attitude. I’d find myself laughing at the sad noise produced by his car horn. It was definitely on its last leg.
I tried to make my sweaty carcass as comfortable as possible as I rested my eyes with my head on the window, occasionally glancing outside at the grassy countryside sporadically sprinkled with palms. My head was killing me.
We took a break at a side station for a rest stop and snacks. I gave “Hot Pot-flavored” Lay’s potato chips a try. They were gross as I suspected. I wasn’t a fan, but I thought maybe someone else would be. So I shared them with the local children who kept bashfully approaching us saying, “Hello!” before giggling and running off.
We returned to the bus and talked more about travel and politics with our transient bus pal. A little bit passed the mid-point of our trip, the bus driver turned up his music and put the party lights on. We were suddenly in a mobile nightclub. We stared at one another in confusion as our buddy asked us, “How was this a good idea?”
Upon our arrival to Battambang, we’d get a tuk tuk ride from a guy named Scorpio who had a tattoo on his arm to match. He told us that our ride to our hotel was free under the condition that we schedule a tour with him tomorrow. He suggested that we ride the bamboo train, which I initially wasn’t so keen on, and then he’d take us to the bat temple.
We agreed, set a time, then checked into “Hotel Star Battambang”. I scarfed down some vegetarian fried noodles, while Trevor enjoyed vegetable curry at a place called “Coconut Restaurant” before returning to our room.
Jump Back to Part 5: Central Market, Skateboarding & Burritos
Jump Ahead to Part 7: Dysentery, Motorbikes & The Well of Shadows
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Tips, Hotel Swap & Cheap Beer in Phnom Penh