Day 191 - Going Home

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
6th Day in Cambodia; Phnom Penh - Kuala Lumpur - Beijing

Shimou slept late while I woke up early to get a post up, just in case our 5h layover had shitty internet, and because the posting time would pass while we're in the air. 

Siem Reap > Phnom Penh

We managed to get Shimou a fix of Thai food, which was much overpriced compared Siem Reap, or even China. The scale of cheapness was Siem Reap < China < Phnom Penh. In general, go to Siem Reap, screw the capital unless you're here for the beach or the really creepy killing fields. Seriously, it's a field of skeletons and death.

Cutting It Close

On the Dot
We are almost out of funds, $39 USD left, 15 for lunch, 1.50 for a bottle of water (steep, right? And you can't drink from the sinks), $2-3 for the tuk tuk to the restaurant, and $8 to arrive at the airport.

On recount, we had 12 USD left at the airport, which is about where I expected. We planned the cash out quite well, if you ask me. Good job, Shimou!

Ignoring Ads

Odd Statue
I can be an obstinate sonofabitch. On the flight, they force us to watch 1 min of ads before any movie and I purposely stare off at the wall, away from the screen until it's over. Don't force your stupid ads on me, person trying to make a living! I'd rather stare at nothing than see your product glamorized!

Traveling Children

Kuala Lumpur
From the Air
I'm going to make a parallel here that usually sets parents teeth on edge. It's a mistake that I sometimes see them make. From my veritable wealth of parenting knowledge, here it is: parents who treat their kid like they would a dog. They're so cute, let's dress it up and laugh as it does silly cute things that kids do. Don't stop or stifle them, ever! It's all just this endearingly awesome thing that is unique to our oh-so-special little snowflake! I say this, of course, because there's a spoiled child sitting in front of me who keeps throwing tantrums, which the parents barely address or even accidentally encourage by laughing at him being difficult. Man, at least apologize to the people sitting in the seat the kid's laying into, like it's a down-on-their-luck gambler and he's here to collect.

Giant jewelry welcoming us at our layover
Options and Satisfaction

We play musical chairs on the plane, me and Shimou. My first seat was OK, but hers is the aisle, which you'd think would be more comfortable. It wasn't. Funny thing is, if I had one seat and no option, I could make due and accept it. Since I have options, I have to go back and forth, finally deciding that sitting behind the annoying - but smaller- kid is better.

Language Learning

People keep telling me that Chinese is a really difficult language, and yeah, it's hard, but I don't feel it's insurmountable nor dramatically harder than the other languages I've studied. Hell, this is easier because I know how to approach it and I'm committed, both of which I was lacking in the past when studying French. It's the commitment that matters more. Right now I kind of see it like fitness. If you keep failing at reaching your goals, you either can keep trying new approaches, or you can give up and become unhealthy. Likewise, I could give up on Chinese when frustrated and never learn it, or I could continue chipping away at this difficult language and eventually reach a level where I could converse freely. Time is on my side!

We land, and I am very, very happy to be away from that kid. 

Into to the Grey

Getting back into China has always been a worry in the back of my mind. With all the issues getting here the first time, I was still a little wary of having to try re-entry. My visa in my passport says "one entry only" and a strike through it. The Director confirmed a while ago that it did allow for multiple entries, but I don't have any documents proving it. And our phones have no money on them because the money never rolls over. And we have to be in different lines for inspection. one for locals, one foreigners. I'm on my own here, baby.

Shimou's Mom's "Nothing" Meal
Luckily, I'm one of the only foreigners and everything goes smoothly. Perfectly OK, and without a problem. We catch a cab and are immediately thrust into the colourless smoke that is the Beijing landscape most of the time. When there's no smog, Beijing is a wonderful sight to see... it's just so rare. Maybe that makes it all the more special.

We stayed at Shimou's parents for a bit, eating dinner and taking the subway back to the apartment. It's good to be back "home" and in relative stability.

Editing Music

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