12,672 km so far.
This morning, we really needed to have a lie in. Getting up for (almost) sunrise three days in a row has really taken its toll. Especially on Stephen, who thinks the only valid reason for getting out of bed is coffee. So, by around 7:30am we were on our bikes, excitedly heading towards the one real coffee roaster in town.
Only to find it was closed for the holiday. Happy Khmer New Year.
We discovered that a high percentage of the restaurants and cafes in town (most of the best-rated places) were closed.
Oh well, we’re not just here for the food. Mostly, but not only.
This afternoon, while Stephen napped, I decided to embark on a self-guided architecture biking tour.
To be honest, the tour was kind of hilarious, because most of the architecture in town turns out to be 60s Chinese “architecture”. That is, very functional, but not very pretty, buildings.
The highlight was a row of traditional “shophouses”, the likes of which we only saw about 7 million during our time in China.
Oh well, at least now I know they are called “shophouses”. Even their name lacks imagination.
As I was parking my bike outside yet another derelict building on the tour, I noticed a little boy running along the street. He was trying to catch up with a man who had a wooden box mounted on the back of his bike.
Hmmm, I wondered, what’s in the box? Lizards? Apples? Mysterious secrets of the universe?
So I lingered to watch events unfold.
First, the boy handed over a little cash. Then the man opened the lid of the box to reveal a spinning dartboard inside. He raised the wheel and propped it in place. Next, the boy grabbed a handle in front of the wheel, and as the man gave the wheel a good spin, the boy pulled back on the handle and then let fly. WHAM.
A tiny handmade dart flew into the wheel.
The man checked the wheel to see where the dart had landed.
The boy had hit number 2, and got 2 pulls from a gooey white taffy hidden inside the wooden box.
What a cool game!
In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t give it go.
Party All Night
After dinner, as we ride the backstreets to our hotel, we come across a banging New Year’s party.
About 30 people are dancing the night away right in the middle of the small street. When they notice us, three guys form a barrier, pushing their friends out of the way to let us by. We smile and thank them, dancing a little on our bikes as we pass.
“Happy New Year,” we shout.
“Happy New Year!” the revellers shout back, their cries following us all the way down the dark street. ♥