Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Pill

The damn thing can really fuck off. After managing to aqquire twoc ondom accidents in about a fortnight (Durex too!) I decided to play it sfae since I was fucking so often and take the pill. The downside for me is that I get pretty shitty cramp. And I'd like to blame the 1-ish kilo I gained on that damned thing too, but I know that'll be nothing more then a lousy excuse for eating too much. But honestly, you can't help it, good food and great service in restuarants that would have at least ensured a minimum price of $12 back in Singapore have a full meal for $10! Amazing. And the food is really, really yummy too. Drinks are so cheap getting tipsy nightly has started to become a habit.

I like Saigon, but cannot wait to leave it either. There's just not very much to do, and I'm glad we're staying in a rather nice hotel this time, as opposed to the crap we got in Phom Pehn. You only get really nice places or really shitty places there. I was quite pleased at managing to get a decent discount (about 30%) off the place we were staying, along with some other additionals. Bargaining for a hotel room is really something else. I like ordering room service and eating on the bed.

The pill was giving me pretty nasty cramps last night, and I took one of those non-drowsy pain-killers, and ended up waking in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, and definitly not feeling like reading Patrick Suskind's Perfume -so far, it's one of the most stomach churning novel's I'ver ever read, and it would only have upset my already very irritated tummy-. I rolled over to Ethan's side of the bed (we never sleep together. Sleeping together is one of the nonsense you only ever watch on TV. It doesn't give you a decent nights sleep, that's for certain) pushed him onto his back and mounted him, then promptly went to sleep after that (nothing like a workout huh). The next morning, we were playing trying to see who could figure out where the War Remanants museum was (they* wanted to call it the American War Crimes museum, but you can imagine what problems that suggestion caused) and he got to it first.

'You'll have to pay up,' He told me.
'I already did, in advance.'
'Oh yeah, that was weird. What were you dreaming about, you never did that, but I'm not complaining...'
'I was bored and couldn't go to sleep.'

I thought about it, and realized I would get pretty annoyed if he did likewise with me. The frequency has simply been too often, and there are points when I would have just liked to be left alone. Was in a pretty shitty mood for most of the day. Not only was he insistent on going to a propaganda filled museum, but nearly insistant that we should go there exactly at 1, when they opened after lunch. That left about 30 minutes on the street (hot, polluted) with which we had nothing to do. I eventually told him quite... hmm... candidly... to piss off and that we should hang around at an airconditioned cafe. I drew something pretty in my sketch book, and the waitress asked if she could have it, of course I gave it to her. Ethan said she must have thought I was a bitch when she took my order (I insisted a couple of times to leave the sugar out of my fruit shake)... I was bitchy to him, certainly, because he was making me go some place I didn't particularly care for, and making me wait for it to open.

I honestly had enough of deformed human beings in Phom Pehn. I hate seeing ugly people, and ugly things. I know they exsist, and I pity them and ocassionally donate money and buy their handcrafts. But I hate ugliness, in fact, I absolutely abhor it. Maybe that's why Phom Pehn was such a torture, everything about it was gross. The streets stank, the people crawling (literally) into the little gardens of the riverside cafes stank, the nicest place in the entire city was the Foriegn Correspondence Club.

Saigon however is much more beautiful. The city is polluted, but not as badly as Bangkok, but it's got all these lovely shops and cafes in the boulevards around the chic hotels and international offices. And the art... the galleries are so many and filled with some of the most beautiful paintings, and at incredible prices too. But there's not much to do really, and they don't have something like the Bankok BTS (not that I know of anyway) or the river cruise, so pretty much everything nice is concentrated in a couple of areas, and it's not much of an adventure.

I cannot wait to go to a beach and chill out once again. I hope Hoi An will prove to be absolutely worth the trouble we'll be making to stop by the beaches near it, and to spend a day at this (so claimed) world cultural heritage area.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Onion Rings

At breakfast yesterday, I got quite pissed off at the fact that another girl in the guest house we were staying at was paying $8 a day for the same room, while we paid $15 (there were other people paying $20). I suppose first wolders are not too familiar with bargaining for accomodation, but suprisingly, if you do, you can shave off about 30% of the first quoted price.

We got about 20% off eventually, which I'm not going to complain about. I approach everything I pay for with the same principal, it's not how much it is, it's what I think it's worth, but of course this is also influenced by how much things are generally, and what other people are paying, generally. But bargaining is addictive, and Ethan is definitely addicted to it. He'd hassle over a few dollars, and splurge a large amount of cash at hand (which we do not have much off, since *gasp* there are no ATMs in Cambodia) on fancy dinners. I do not complain of course, but it makes me sigh and roll my eyes.

Getting off at the bus drop off (there is no station) in Phom Phen, there were all these young kids (about our age) hassling us, offering to take us to guest houses and so on. We (or rather, I) eventually settled on two boys who'd take us around on their bikes to find accomodation and to take us to the Killing Fields tomorrow. If I had to give travel advice to any one coming to Cambodia on a budget, it's this: Find a guide your intuition says you can trust. Of course, there's always a risk, but the ones we've had so far have been very friendly and immensely helpful. He helped us get Visas to Vietnam much cheaper then we would have gotten them otherwise, considering that we wanted them done in a couple of days, and helped us out with our transport to Vietnam.

I can't believe how relaxed this whole trip has been so far, considering the level of planning we approached it (close to nothing).

Aside from flirting with the guys (I actually find the boys here quite attractive. firstly, some of them are really cute, and secondly, they are just cool. They really know how to live it, they're laid back when they need to be, but work really hard when they have to). I do most of the bargaining and dispensing of money; apparently the boys here find fair chinese girls a real dish, and I've been cheekily asked out to dinner a couple of times. When my driver (we've rented two motorbikes for today and tomorrow, one for each of us) bumped into some of his friends at the ferry terminal, they started making dirty jokes about us, and in english, specially so I could understand.

But honestly, I think the people here are amazing, and I'm still completely impressed with how incredibly bilingual they are. Most of them even pay their way through a language school. So shame on me for not even being able to cope with Mandrin, although I was a full-time student, and didn't have to work to pay my way through it.

I was never really that keen on visiting Cambodia at first, but it's proved to be immensely amazing.

Time to check on emails! And don't worry, I'm still doing a-lot of weird kinky things. I'll write about what heppened when I got really bored in Pat Pong the next time.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Not Being Alone on V-Day

My first valentine's day not being alone was kinda cool. We watched the sunset in what seemed to be an ancient sacrificial pit (I made that story up about one of the ruins at Ankor) and had dinner at a fine dining restuarant in the small town -it's so small you can walk around it in an hour- of Siem Reap. As much as 'fine dining' can possibly get here. As with Ko Chang (on Thailand), I'm amazed at how the local people are capable of running their establishments. Mainly the guest houses and restaurants. The interiors are all very coordinated, and everyone can speak some english -some of them can do it very well in fact- and something like one in 5 people who work in the tourist industry can speak another foreign language fluently.

We entered Siem Reap via a malfunctioning minivan on a malfunctioning road at about 11 pm at night. It was a horrible ride, to put mildly, but it was interesting. The people in the rural areas are so poor it's shocking; nothing I'd think I'd ever see. But getting nearer to the city, I was quite surprised to realize that given the chance, these people could modernize and take advantage of every opportunity that came their way really, really fast.

The minivan stopped us off at a guest house we didn't plan on staying at (actually, we had not planned on anywhere to stay at yet) but we decided to book the place for our entire trip, firstly because the people were cool and didn't look like they'd steal your stuff, and secondly, it was a pretty nice place as well. And we thought we'd stay at a cambodian establishment because I'm a self-righteous bastard and absolutely insist on making sure all our tourist dollars stay in the country. If you're coming to Cambodia, take the bus. It's very uncomfortable, but you'll not regret it. The journey into Siem Reap is very beautiful, the desert landscape is stunning, and watching the people going about their activities is quite an engaging activity. Also, all the bus companies are owned by local people...

Our guesthouse has about ten young cambodian dudes (some of them are really cute) hanging around in the lobby all the time, and it's been great talking to them and learning a little more about what everyone in the city's trying to do in order to make a living (learning a foreign language and saving up money for a Tuk Tuk so they can bvecome tour-guides). And what they do for romance; all the guys that drive the tourist around have had affiars with their charges. I helped our driver with his spelling when he was drafting out a valentine's letter to his english girlfriend. Of course he knows she's not coming back, but he says what the hell.

It's a great morning, and I'm going to the really cool bakery just down the corner for breakfast. Not going to spend such a wonderful morning in an internet cafe!


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Should Be So Happy

My parents have taken to Ethan quite well. Actually, infinitely much better then they took to the Ex. They didn’t ask him anything much at all, my dad had a conversation with him about anti-Semitism, finance ministers and other boring things like that. For some reason or other, my parents didn’t seem particularly interested in the least where our traveling was concerned.

We landed sometime in the middle of the afternoon and Checked In. Walk about for a bit before ending up (oddly enough) in front of Mr. Big’s place to catch a cab. There were other nice white boys with their girlfriends, oranges in hand and huge hampers with XO in them. Ethan looked at me like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me most people got those when they went visiting!’

‘Do you think we have to get some oranges?’ He asked.
I thought it might be a good idea, but then again, my parents aren’t the vaguely traditional sort. They just like having fondue once a year at home, with a lot of ngo hiang and other relevant festive food like so.
‘I think I’d rather be on time. My parents don’t care anyway, and I think I’d feel odd if you tried too hard.’

He was god awfully nervous when he got into my place and I stashed him into my room immediately. I realized that I actually missed my things quite a bit, and it felt really good to lie on my bed, listen to my CDs and hear my sister talk. Apparently she’s been suspended from school till March for putting up a picture of her snogging another girl while straddling her upon a table. My parents didn’t think it was a big deal, it’s just a bunch of girls (there were another couple of people involved) whacking around. My brother’s school never says anything about the boys snogging each other in photographs; they’re just kids whacking around to get laughs out of their classmates, that’s all.

But ah, they think pictures like that ‘disgrace’ the school and the country. Odd. Kumar (cross dressing drag) nearly a national symbol.

I’m listening to Norah Jones’s first album now and feeling very nostalgic for nothing and for everything. I miss Martine a little, I’m already missing Ethan although sometimes I think he’s too much (must you feel like fucking through an 18 pack in 4 days?) I’ve no idea why, but I’m actually getting bored of it, it’s just too much, and too boring. I’ve tried nearly all the novelty things I could come up with, from bondage to raping the virgin Mary and all, and this morning I was like, ah what the hell. I’m not really in the mood but since fucking feels great anyway, whether or not I’m in the mood, s’allright.

‘I bet I’m not the first one to tell you you’re a completely monster in bed.’
‘No. You’re the one that tolerates it the most though. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.’
‘Yeah? But then you’ll just keep on bugging me trying to find ways to get me horny.’

I don’t know what to say. He’s very nice, sweet and unbearably well-mannered in comparison to me. It was his birthday a couple of days ago, and that morning when we woke up he kissed me, fucked me then lay down beside me on his stomach and said, ‘I’d like to invite you to the Banyan Tree tonight. It’s my birthday… and you’re company will be the best present I’ll be getting.’ And he kissed my hand. I thought that was kinda… charming. And I cannot believe I got his birthdate wrong.

I had a rather pleasant evening last night, too much food, as expected, but great nonetheless. He got to do some of the less risqué activities I have lined up for some of my nights. Which is to say, beer and prata (very oily pancake) and a lot of bawdy laughter with a couple of other blokes.

Off for a swim before half an afternoon of sheer boredom with the prissy my-kid’s-behaviour-is-better-than-yours mother’s side of the family.

The G-Spot tried to call me some time ago. I really miss him. The laid back disposition, the concerned amusement with my antics and lifestyle; But I think he’s having a great time in film school. Maybe I’ll see him soon, who ever knows these things.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Too Many Stories...

I finally managed to write a little today, but it isn't much, and I don't feel like posting it at the moment. When I finally get some time to myself, maybe I'll do it. For the moment, Ethan stays by my side nearly always, and he peeks at my screen at times, which I do not have a problem with, if he does not have a problem with it either. I think he may have glanced upon an email Martine sent me earlier in the day, which ended off with a some rather tender endearments, but did not say anything about it.

Everyday here draws me closer and closer to him (E of course). I think it's amazing how just a few days can make a person feel so completely different to you. From a tender friend over the telephone and over the internet to a sensitive, considerate lover I want to be deeply tender to. He kisses me all the time, and listens to me (in most cases, I'm usually right anyway) intently. Etc. etc, other things boyfriends are supposed to do; I'm an easy person to comply with anyway.

I finally find the sex enjoyable, my period being just over, and also... I don't quite know how to explain it, but I suppose it's better after I started becoming used to him, and actually wanting to make love to him.

I asked him if he was really returning back to Europe on the 9th, and he said of course, unless I wanted to get rid of him. Of course I didn't. Initially I thought it might be a problem, being with someone for so long, and being stressed out with travelling (I really dislike it. I like destinations, but I don't quite like going to them very much).

The beaches here are amazing, and every single one has it's own character. After sunrise and sunset, my favourite things are the many cafes and restuaruants you can find along the shore line. I have never, I swear, been to nicer places for brunches or dinners. The brunches are the best.

I was at this fantastic place right on the beach near ours; inhabited with the coolest, most beautiful people you could meet on the island, all tanned, browned and baked and chilling out to the freshest tropical fruit shakes you can possibly imagine. They're from every single country you can imagine that stuck in the death of winter at the moment, have fantastic tattoos, interesting accents, and engaging behaviour.

The whole atmosphere of the place is made as if for people to be engaged with one another. You sit near back to back with other people and get to listen to their conversations (if they speak your language in the first place) and they don't seem to mind; it's unavoidable anyway. All my favourite albums are on their CD rack - Stuff by Massive Attack, the Gotan Project, Khaled, Ani-D, mainstream music for the non-mainstream crowd, if you know what I mean-.

What I like best about the cafes along the beach is that you don't have to sit on a chair if you don't wish to. I like how I can lie down in a hammock after dinner and a cocktail, with Ethan sitting by me, and being affectionate with him, without anyone caring.

I have turned extremely brown and happy.