Because I've already published a post about the more serious side of our trip to Cambodia, I thought I'd write a little about the more flippant, lighthearted lessons from the week:
1. I learned that our family is easily impressed by hotels.
We were immensely excited by the awesomeness of Mekong Angkor Palace Hotel--our beds were made and our bathrooms cleaned everyday? We got to eat breakfast everyday without having to cook it ourselves and clean up afterwards? Any problems, like the shower that didn't work and the air conditioner that didn't work--were fixed without us having to hire and pay a repairman ourselves? This is so cool! This is incredible!
That's our reaction to staying in a hotel. We were both amused and confused when we read the guestbook and found a number of guests who signed out had written something to the tune of.
"Please include more English dishes in the breakfast for people who don't enjoy Asian food."
"Wifi is weak. No cold water. Pool has too many chemicals. Breakfast is the same every day, variety would be nice."
"The staff is friendly but there is lots of room for improvement."
Our stay was completely undisturbed by any of the aforementioned problems--we thought it was incredibly awesome to stay in a real hotel instead of a YMCA dormitory, so we came up with a plan that every single one of us was going to write really positive and appreciative notes in the guestbook.
We did. Except for Angel. I was unable to stop him from writing: "I had a bit of a toothache during my visit and I was really disappointed that the Mekong Angkor Palace Hotel did not have an in-house dentist to meet my medical needs."
2. I learned that you can buy gas for your motorbike from a streetside stand where the gasoline is stored in little glass bottles.
3. I learned that bats can fly in the middle of the day.
Somehow, in childhood, when the idea of bats being nocturnal was drilled into me, it never occurred to me that someday, I'd be strolling along in the Royal Gardens in Siem Reap and would look up into giant trees filled with large bats, all of which were rather active and noisy and were flying about from one tree to the next. If I hadn't worn my glasses on that outing, I probably would still be convinced that the bats were merely birds, and that my family was just trying to trick me into thinking they were bats. In the photo, you can see that the trees are full of them!
4. I learned that it takes more arm strength that I possess in order to properly shoot an arrow.
Nope, I didn't hit the target, not even once. I was usually about 15 feet short. The only people in our group who hit the target were Dad, Shannon, and Angel. Shannon and Dad both came within half an inch of the bright red bulls-eye. We're blaming their prowess on some prior experience with bow hunting during deer season in Michigan.
5. There's not much funnier than watching little Sarah get the fish massage she'd eagerly waited for the whole week.
The innocence of youth is just the best, isn't it? Beauty School beat out of me any possible desire to stick my feet into a pool full of fish and other people's feet in the pursuit of relaxation and beauty. Sarah, on the other hand, giggled and chatted with the fish themselves for the entire hour she spent dipping her toes in the pool.
6. I learned that, according to this Before Conservation/After Conservation sign...conservation is practically miraculous.
I still don't really understand how they took that whole jumble of rocks and turned it back into a building. I'm blaming on the fact that I went with the Mandarin Chinese major instead of the Engineering major.
Have you ever visited Cambodia? What did you learn there?