We're taking a day off, letting our aching muscles recover from a long day yesterday. Tomorrow, we start our three day tour at the temples of Angkor. In the meantime, we're checking out the city on our unloaded bikes.
I can already tell that Siem Reap is going to be hard on our budget; there is so much good food here! This morning we splurge on some breakfast pancakes and iced coffee at a nice place. Sitting at this little cafe in rattan chairs, watching the world go by, I can't put my finger on why, but I feel like we've time traveled back to the 1950s.
Just down the road at the Psar Chaa, or Old Market, we have an atmospheric walk through the stalls. Crooning, sing-song voices call from every direction, greeting us and every person that passes by with "Hello suhhh!", "Hello lady!" and "You want to buy somesing?"
Later in the evening we head out for dinner, excited about the western options available to us. We settle on Happy Herb Pizza, who serve up two of the best pizzas we've had since leaving home. Apparently, if you ask for your dish to be "extra happy", they'll put a dash of super special herbs on it for you. We opt for a normal pie.
On our way back, a block from the hotel, we pass what looks to be a laundromat, or a used clothing store? They are blasting music into the street from some loudspeakers in the back. Taking advantage of the moment, I give our room keys to Tara, and hang out and do some recording.
I can't tell if people are doing their laundry, or working, or just hanging out, but everyone gives me non-stop beaming smiles when I sit down on the concrete next to them.
As I sit listening to the incomprehensible voices around me, comfortable in the cool night air, I am filled with the sensation of being very, very far from home. Leaning back to soak the experience in, I feel privileged to be here, with these radiant, friendly people.
I am the luckiest person alive.