I fell on my back and fish ate my toes

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
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Trip End Feb 27, 2013


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, January 31, 2013

In exactly four hours from now, my alarm is set to go off so I can begin my what is sure to be a colossally not fun trip from Siem Riep, Cambodia to 4000 Islands, Laos (Don Det Island to be more specific).  The bus leaves here at 5:30 am and is supposed to arrive at 5 pm...well, we all know how that works...plus, a border crossing and bus change!  Ha!  I'll be lucky to arrive before 8pm.  Ahhh, cannot wait.  Apparently my plan is to exhaust myself so that no matter the uncomfortableness of the buses, I won't care because I'll be so sleepy. 

This all means that this is my last night in Cambodia and what a day it has been.  Sunset at Angkor Wat, a lovely bike ride (apparently my body has become numb to the torture I insist on engaging in), dinner with old friends that I met in Sihanoukville several weeks ago, some traditional Khmer dancing, had my feet cleaned by fish, another massage and a pedicure (whoa!), then a quick taco that was delicious.  Man, I could get used to this!  I even found contact lens solution today and some candies I've been craving!!  Success can be measured in so many ways. 

I also managed to fall full out on my back today.  It must have looked like I was participating in one of those 'team building' exercises where you 'trust' your team to catch you as you fall backwards.  In my case, I was alone (except for the lucky tourists that witnessed the event).  I was in photojournalist mode and was walking backwards...in an ancient ruin site...shockingly there are stones laying about.   I stepped back and my right foot hit the rock.  To save myself from toppling over from the backward momentum, I jerked back with my left foot.  Unfortunately, the rock had planned for this and was sufficiently big enough to catch my left foot too.  With no way to stop the momentum and nowhere for my feet to go, I literally went flying backwards, camera in hand, and I'm sure a pretty priceless expression on my face.  I landed square on my back, a bit shocked and a bit "Jasmine, you really just toppled over like a Jenga stack in public."  Thankfully, I was fine...just some sticky grass souvenir thorns in my already accosted bum.  (I also ran my front bike wheel into a tuk-tuk today on my bicycle...it
really is difficult to know that someone is turning right when they
don't use turn signals).  Just never ends.

Before I sign off, I must make mention of this 'having your feet cleaned by fish' deal.  Wow. What a creepy experience.  Claude talked me into it because it was only a $1 for 15 min plus you got a free can of beer!  There aren't much better deals than that.  Oh wait.  The deals where creepy tickling fish with giant mawing mouths aren't gumming your feet might be better.  I tell you what.  It took a lot more nerve than I thought I'd need to put my feet in there!  Even as I would bring my feet near the surface, they'd swarm towards my 'meal-feet' with their slimy fish mouths just waiting to chow down.  I'm getting the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it.  Then, when I actually put my feet in there, oh boy!  It felt as if I was being tickled by hundreds of different little feathers or maybe hundreds of tiny electric shocks.  I was jerking around involuntarily from their little nibbles.  I learned that I apparently have sensitive feet...at least to fish nibbles anyway.  After about 8 minutes or so, I began to be able to tolerate it.  I never could actually look down and watch them eating my dead feet skin.  Gross to the max.  While I was suffering, a group of 3 people, two Spainards and an Englishman were watching.  We convinced them to try it and they freaked out just as much as me.  The English guy was hilarious---just like me, his fists and teeth were clenched and he kept saying how he couldn't believe how ticklesh it was.  It was so funny watching someone else go through my torture.  :)

As for tomorrow...I embark with fish-cleaned painted toes.  I hope that Laos is as fun as Cambodia was.  I will really miss the unparalleled friendliness of the Cambodians.  Even in Siem Reap where tourists are all over the place, messin up their natural rhythms, they always have a smile for you.  They make Southern U.S. people look like curmudgeons!  I have a feeling that in a few more years, the Cambodians will have hardened and not be as inviting.  I've heard Laos people aren't unfriendly, but they tend to be more aloof.  This will be a shock for me I think.  On the flip side, I hear there is great coffee in Laos so I'm keyed up for that!! 
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Comments

alan on

:)P

Joan Olevsky on

Enjoying your trip.pictures and comments so much. Feel I don't need to make the same trip. Ha, couldn't manage the bike or the steps.

jware
jware on

Oh you'd be fine---you don't have to take the bicycle or make the steps...and, you don't have to sleep in a dorm room with a shared toilet like me. Especially in the bigger cities, there are really nice places to stay and airports so you can fly in and stay.

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