Happy Thanksgiving! Well, it is Thanksgiving in Cambodia and it should be Thanksgiving in the United States when this gets posted. I am sorry my posts are coming at such random intervals, I have been writing them almost daily but internet access has been terrible out in the Kampot countryside. Today we headed back to Phnom Penh for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or as close as you can get in Cambodia, with Tim. That meant getting up at our regular early hour and trying to get some basic packing done before ordering our breakfast. We had been eating in the normal dining area but thought today we would eat in our family room because every time we set foot in the communal area we walk away with at least a dozen mosquito bites. With breakfast ordered we tackled the last of our packing and by the time we had all of our belongings cleared out of the upper tower and brought down to our little family room.
When breakfast came we soon discovered a guest. A lovely dog came trotting into the room and just lay down behind one of the chairs. She napped while we ate and it was nice, reminiscent of home and it made me miss my boys again. Our food was, as usual, excellent and after eating we paid our final bill and loaded our stuff into the SUV with Mr. Tech's assistance. In no time we were bounding down the rough country road towards the highway and then we were blazing towards Phnom Penh.
As we entered the city our rapid progress came to a screeching halt. With November being the height of wedding season there were all kinds of pavilions set up partially in the street obstructing traffic. Then, to make matters worse, the Buddhist temples in Cambodia are hosting major events that will bring in the bulk of their donations for the year. It is time for the elite to show off their vast financial resources by giving lavishly. All this added up to a lot of vehicles on the road coupled with a number of obstacles in our way so it probably added almost forty-five minutes to our trip.
Still, we arrived just before noon in Phnom Penh and unloaded our burdens. After a few day without it was nice to experience air-conditioning again; the dehumidifying effect was quite refreshing. With internet access restored we caught up with the world and whiled away the time until Tim got back from work. Our Thanksgiving dinner was rapidly approaching so it was time to get cleaned up so that we were presentable.
Squeaky clean and feeling human again we went downstairs to find Sok waiting to take us to the Himawari, one of Phnom Penh's nicest hotels located right on the riverfront. They weren't quite ready to seat us so we enjoyed the river view out back for about twenty minutes. The clouds reflected pink as the sun set over the Mekong and a few boats went up and down the river as we sat watching. Soon they were ready and we were invited to make the most of the buffet. There were a few things the hotel did very well and some of the others were rather unexciting; basically it was typical hotel fare, safe, nourishing, but perhaps not totally exciting. That lack of excitement didn't stop us from doing as all good Americans should on Thanksgiving, we ate until the idea of food made us sick.
Groaning around our table from eating too much we reached a consensus, we should go back to the apartment and get some sleep. So here I sit, with everyone else having gone to bed, finishing the last installment of today's events.
Before I leave you I wanted to say a word about the photograph below. This was taken outside our family room in Kampot this morning. The butterflies in Cambodia are numerous and they always seem to be dancing through the air. Having caught my eye, I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. It wasn't until this afternoon when I was reviewing them that I noticed a little white crab spider reaching out from under the flower to attack the butterfly. Had I noticed I would have kept watching to see the outcome but this stealthy attack is typical of how these little ambush predators work.
Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
20m, f2.8, 1/125 sec @ 100 ISO