Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Temples; Crocodiles; Bars and Noodle Stalls

After the mine museum, I figured I had two more temples in me. The driver took me to one called Banta Sreay. It was the smallest temple so far, had some big carvings inside. Worth about 30 minutes and we split.

Next was Ta Prohm, probably the freakiest of all. The broken down temple had monstrous trees, which looked liked giant snakes, growing out of it. Some of the trees were close to 10 feet in diameter.

As we were driving home, I saw a sign for a crocodile farm. Next to the crocodile farm, separated by a brick wall, was a swimming hole filled with kids. Classic. Some of the crocodiles were up to 15 feet long. Of the 200 or so reptiles, only about 5 moved while I was there. They were all asleep.

Bars of Siem Riep

The town has the same type of bars as Phnom Penh, only on a smaller scale.

Dance Club: Zone 1,teeny bopper bar with great music
Hostess Bar: Blue Wave (It was a sketchy part of town.
I walked in and walked out. )
Dance Club with professionals working the floor: Sok San Palace
Brothel: I was told, but did not verify, that there's a Chicken Ranch just outside of town.

Other highlights
- Happy Herb Pizza: there are a bunch of these in Cambodia. The happy herb can be marijuana or, I've been told, magic mushrooms.

Zone 1

One night Barry, his girlfriend, his favorite tuk-tuk driver, and I went to Zone 1 to dance. Most of the crowd appeared to be under 20. There were lots of young guys dancing together. A group of about five guys danced over to me and asked me to join them. I danced with them for a while. They danced waving their hands around, I-Dream-of-Jeannie style. Then one asked me where I was from, how long I was I was in town, the usual stuff a bar girl would ask. We danced a little while longer and I was starting to get a funny vibe from him and his group. I don't know the cultural subtleties of the Cambodian gay community. Was I giving him the body language for "Let's go to your hotel and play a quick game of hide the banana?" I started to get uncomfortable and got Barry and his girlfriend into our dance circle and I gradually backed out.

Sok San Palace

This club offers a unique mix of entertainment: a nightclub, massage, and restaurant. I went to check out the massage section. There was a lounge area with guys sitting on comfortable chairs. Across from them was a giant fish bowl-like window with masseuses that you could select for your massage. The manager of the massage area started pressuring me to sit down, so I just left.

I joined Barry and his girlfriend in the dance club. There were several go-go dancers. At least two of them were girly boys. We had a drink, watched some pros work the room, and left.

One Night at the Noodle Stall

The next day I went for a run and started to feel like crap afterwards. I was coming down with my third cold of the trip. I was treating my cold with very spicey noodle soups and juice. I went to a local noodle stall for my evening dosage. There were three guys sitting on one side of a card table and one attractive teeny-bopper sitting on the other. I sat with the guys. She looked at me and smiled. Then she moved to the seat opposite me. Then two of her friends came and sat down next to her. I noticed that out of the three of them, two looked kind of masculine and the other looked feminine and very attractive. The feminine one kept looking at me and smiling. She moved down closer to me.

"You want massage?"
(I thought to myself: how considerate, this attractive young woman wants to soothe a weary traveler.)

"No thanks, I don't feel well, I'm going home after I eat."

"You go home alone? Me go hotel you."
(how sweet, she even offers home delivery)

"That's really very thoughtful. Why don't you try this guy, I hear he's got lots of money. [I point to 14-year-old boy sitting next to me]"

"Cambodian man no have money."

"Are you only interested in money? I thought you were attracted to my good looks and charm? No money, no honey, is that how it goes?" I said with a smile.

She didn't understand a word I said but pressed on.

"I give massage at hotel you."

"How about if I give you a massage and you pay me? I've been told I have great hands. For you, only $5."

She made a clucking sound.

We both smiled and I left.