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Saturday, November 23: Day 215 – Tale of Two Travelers

We awoke early to watch the UIndy volleyball matches. Their season is coming down to the final matches. UIndy was victorious. They are hoping for a NCAA Division II bid. We will know on Monday as the field will be set.

UIndy just purchased a retired Greyhound dog for the live mascot program. Grady was introduced this week and was welcomed by other are live mascots from the area such as Tripp, the Bulldog from Butler University. I can’t wait to meet him!!

The hotel uses these long stands of leaves very decoratively. I never know what to do so I am liking these ideas.

I got a massage this morning. When I went to the spa, my masseuse was feeding the fish. They were leaping out of the pond.

My massage was awesome. I would like to continue getting massages once back at home. I notice that a lot of my neck muscles are starting to relax since I have stopped working in the lab.

After the massage I joined Rob at the pool.

A Japanese lady was walking nonstop around the perimeter in the rocks which made lots of crunching noise. Not sure why? I think that she was patrolling for next available lounge chair.

Rob and I are often in conflict about our travel experiences. I want to sit on plastic chairs, eat something that I can’t pronounce, and support the local culture. Rob likes to travel like a pampered Westerner. I want to get as deep into the culture as they will allow. Rob is content to view it from a distance. We compromise….and, as he rightfully points out, I love massages and infinity pools!!

We decide to walk to the mall and maybe even take in a movie if there are English subtitles. Google gave us an interesting route.

We finally arrived at the AEON Mall, and it was packed with many people of all ages. Phnom Penh is like two different cities, one where poor people live amongst trash and try their best to make a dollar, and those that have lots of money. There is a large population of Lexus automobiles here.

Here is the culturally relevant video arcade. This game looks like Dance Dance Revolution with drums!

The movie was sold out so we walked back home. There was a Christian Pakistani refugee family that had made and was selling food to make money. This seems like an example of out of the pot and into the frying pan to leave Pakistan for Cambodia.

We take our food and look for a place to get a drink and sit down. Ironically, there is a Krispy Kreme store. So what an experience: eating Pakistani food in a Krispy Kreme store in Cambodia.

Rob had gone to the pool and I decided to turn on the TV. Sumo wrestling was on. The announcers were speaking English. They were very comprehensive in describing the upcoming match with the more experienced Nishikigi versus the young larger Mongolian newcomer named Shodai. They announced weights, heights, previous matchups etc. Then they got into their football stance and Go. It’s over in five seconds and looked like the objective was to give the opponent a wedgie. Shodai wins!!!! The announcer exclaims, “What an exciting event. The fans are going wild.” Really?

This had to be the fastest competition yet. I loathe watching three hours of soccer when the resulting score is 1-0 and the viewers talk about how exciting it was.

Excitement is long-suffering in soccer, and there was hardly an opportunity for excitement with Sumo wrestling.

Later we set out to experience the night market. We came across the food court!

I got a sugar cane drink. She fired up her gas powered press and sent the sugar cane through three times.

On the last time through the press, she added a lime. It cost 50¢ and she gave it to me like this.

We headed back to the hotel restaurant. Rob got Australian Ribeye. (I got macaroni and cheese.) The meat in Cambodia is very tough and chewy. They wait to process the cow until the cow is very old and has worked very hard. In Kansas we fattened them up and don’t let them work or even want them to run because it will affect their weight.

By the way, I was hoping that I might drop a few drop a few pounds by now…but no. It must have been those Krispy Kreme donuts!!!

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