16.05.2010 36 °C
Left the Hotel at 8.25am despite being told to be ready for pick-up at 7.30am to head to Battambong. Feel horrendous again as I got abot 1 1/2 hours sleep. Thought it sweet when J told me I had told his girl to not let him have much sleep and she would do the same, so we slept in and missed out bus! Managed to wake up with a little help from a 7.10 call from J.
Battambong first impressions - seems to be a nice, quiet place. Ideal for a chill-out period. One of the Tuk-Tuk drivers in Siem Reap had told Battambong is his home town and the people are very friendly here, much more so than SR. I found the locals friendly in SR so that sounds positive.
Not many restaurants, bars or massage parlours around here, all the things we hve become very accustomed to seeing a lot of! Seems to be only brothels available to drink in at night. Chiva has arrved to see J again. Found a decent pub/bar to drink in called ?. Was having a quiet one in there, when a very drunk Cambodian lady turned up and asked either me or J play her at pool. J went first and won easily - I played her afterward and also won easily. She bought J a drink to be fair. She then sat with us and told us about her life. She told us she was staying in a hotel, I asked if it was nice and then upon leaving, she asked if I wanted to go back to her hotel room. She was attractive, but so wasted and anyway I wouldn't have because I'm seeing I again in a few days.
Had a fun ride on the bamboo train, which was a sheet of bamboo on wheels, with a small motor to power it! We had to get off several times as the 'trains' coming the other way always had a bigger load (ours was just me and J). A dark but interesting trip to the 'killing caves' followed, where we learned a little more about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime.
The next trip the day after was also fun. Saw a crocodile farm and poked them with a large stick. The driver offered us to get in the pit, we politely declined his offer. Then a boat ride on a nice lake, with a lovely supper afterwards of beef, deer, chicken and wild pig in soup.
Today was another good day here in Battambong. We didn't get up early (J was with C in another room anyway) but we didn't have to, because we didn't have plans until 3.30pm, when we were due to help teach some children at a local orphanage. It was a great experience! Me and J were split to two different classes at first. I had some young children, 8-12 years old roughly, who spoke very little English. It was quite a challenge and we didn't get much further than reciting the alphabet, but interesting nonetheless. The second class was more fun because they were a little older (13-17) and most could speak decent English, so we could have a bit of banter. It was also the last one of the day so me and J took it together, with the help of one of the volunteer teachers obviously! Was hard to think of a question to ask them at the end when put on the spot to think of something. Finished up with us all singing 'London Bridge' 3 times with C leading the way at the front and ending the song each time with a piroutte! Great fun.