Day 1 in Cambodia: We explored the hotel. And by that I mean the swimming pool, mostly.
Day 2 in Cambodia: We explored Angkor Wat, and I explored Angkor Thom while the boys headed back to the hotel for further exploration of the swimming pool.
Day 3 in Cambodia: We "explored" HBO, mainly. And the Cartoon Network. The Discovery Channel. And the National Geographic Channel. Then back to HBO.
Well, it seems to have something to do with Day - 1. Or -2. Or anytime up to a week ago or so, which is when I think Hudson contracted what we think is "Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease". (Not to be confused with hoof and mouth disease, which we are pretty sure he does not have. Seeing as he has no hoofs).
If you happen to be a grandparent of Hudson's - please
Aside from the 24 hour stomach flu Hudson had when we were in Hawai'i, this is the first time we have so much as contemplated taking him to a doctor. Considering the state of Cambodian hospitals, we have however chosen what we think is the better alternative. We are keeping him inside, away from the dust and grime of "real" Cambodia. We have A/C and the cartoon network in the hotel room which seems to have entertained him quiet well. He hasn't even been swimming today. We bought some generic Polysporin and are applying it to his boo-boos regularly to help speed healing and ward off any possibilities of infection. He's drinking lots of apple juice
Just to be safe, I plan to scour the hotel lobby during happy hour tonight to get a second opinion. I would be willing to bet my airplane ticket back to Singapore that there is at least one retired (western) doctor staying at this hotel (it's pretty swanky - the waiters put napkins in our laps and all). I just hope I get to them before the 2 for 1 drinks take hold :).
Aside from the unfortunate timing of Hudson's ailment, we are finding Cambodia incredibly.... complex.
It's beautiful. It's also heart breathtakingly poor.
Our hotel is beautiful, cleaner and better looked after then most places I have stayed in in N.A. It's on one of the main road in Siem Reap - which is paved (kind of). In a few places it has signal lights which are more or less (more less, then more) obeyed. There is an Apple Store across the road. (I have not been inside, but Karl described is as being "Full On"). Also, for our shopping convenience, a Tissot watch shop just down the road (also explored by Karl and not me - just for the record).
There is a very western looking supermarket across the road. You can buy peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, wine, baguettes ... anything under the sun. It employs two security guards. One stands at the door and looks marginally intimidating. He sports a pair of Havaianas as part of his uniform, but I am pretty sure he could still take care of business if it came down to it. The other is stationed in the parking lot out front. His job seems to be to open and close car doors for the customers who pull up in a car, then stop the bustle of tuk-tuk, motor bike and bicycle traffic as they back out onto the road.
Dinner last night came from a restaurant just outside the hotel and cost US $5.00 (for both Karl and I), which is a step up in terms of quality and price compared to what street vendors charge. Our tuk-tuk driver drove us to and from Angkor 3 times yesterday for $15. He waited for us in the parking lot each time. I am pretty sure we could have talked him down to no more then $10, I just do not have the heart to.
Venture a block behind our hotel and the pavement all but disappears. Cheap shops, all carrying pretty much the same cheap merchandise spill out onto the road.
"Hello Lady! Lady! Silk scarf for youuuu .... I make good price.... for you mother .... madaaaaaam!"
In their sign songy voices, shop keepers shout I walk past. It's hard not to make eye contact, but I really do not need a silk scarf. Or 2 for $5. That's the pre-negotiation price. I can't help but wonder what it actually costs to make these things. Still, I can't bring myself to buy one.
We picked up a brochure about sustainable tourism in the lobby. It warns against buying from street vendors, especially children, because it encourages them to stay on the streets rather then finding gainful employment or staying in school. I am not sure if I agree with that either.
To be perfectly honest, I don't know what to think. Prone to over analyzing these types of things, I have been kept awake for the past two nights.
In the meantime, I can hear the young Cambodian pianist has begun to play/sing his repertoire of jazzy versions of rock and roll hits. The already cheap drinks are now going two for one and I have a doctor to find.
P.S. Head on over to our Facebook page for photos. The sights here truly are amazing!