Woke this morning with an upset tummy. I've thankfully been diarrhea-free (I tried to think of a polite way to put this but figured that there's no real way)- despite eating all street food and drinking iced beverages. SO- knowing that I had a log bus ride ahead I decided to take some prevent measures (ahem,imodium). Gilly and I were discussing poo and upset stomachs, and she offered up a mantra. Having just come from 5 months in Mama India, she has a mantra for every ailment under the sun. So this morning when I rose at 5:30am for my daily meditation, I repeated the following mantra:
"I freely and easily release the old and joyously welcome the new."
Well don't cha know it, don't cha know-- it worked. 20 minutes of meditation, repeating this mantra, and poo-be-gone! And just in time...cause I've arrived in paradise! Beautiful Kratie!
Kratie is a gorgeous province spanning the magnificent Mekong. In one word, the town is charming. Today we arrived in town a little after noon. We rented a double room with AC (one of the only rooms left) for $15 (7.50ea). Traveling with Gillian is not only more enjoyable, but it's cut some costs as well which is fantastic! Our room is cute and VERY clean with an immaculate bathroom! Our hotel is right on the Mekong and we have a beautiful large balcony and sitting room on the second floor- where I enjoyed relaxing and reading, taking some tea and enjoying the sunset. And theres free WiFi, for which I'm clearly a sucker! Once settled in Gilly and I parted ways for a bit. I cruised throughout town, in and out of the local market and peeking at the menus in town. I stopped along the Mekong for a coconut, and this is where I met my new friend, "Paul-Line". Paulline is a lovely Khmer woman, 35 years old, who speaks about as much English as I speak Khmer!! Our hour long conversation was confusing at times, but we got by through big smiles, charades and fits of laughter. She helped me with my pronunciation of Khmer words, and we even added a few new phrases to my repertoire, my favorite being "som dong muy" ("one coconut please"). Another that I learned was "muh pet" which means friend. I said goodbye and vowed to cone visit my MuhPet, PaulLine, for Som Dong Muy the following morning!! Headed back towards the hotel and stumbled upon a little man selling something in banana leaves. Couldn't understand what was inside, but I was able to understand the price- 500 reil (12 cents) so I just gave it a go. Well- my curiosity paid off because it was the most delicious thing I'd ever tasted! I walked up the road, enjoying my treat, then quickly turning around and hurrying back for one more!!
Met up with Gillian around 4pm. We took some tea upstairs to chat, enjoy the breeze and watch the sunset. We talked about our love for Twilight and how the romance is mesmerizing, we talked about our own love lives and about our upcoming trekking plans in the NE.
Had a loooooong, leisure, chatty and thoroughly enjoyable dinner @ Red Sun Falling - an expat owned place up the street. Amazing Khmer food and delicious "chips" aka French fries.
Wrapping up the night now with a few sips of brandy before hitting the sack. Tomorrow the TukTuk picks us up at 10am for a full day of adventure and dolphins!!