Our decision to leave Koh Rong was precipitated by this man, known as Dr Tee. We had been casting about, hoping to find a quiet location that wasn’t too expensive for us ($20 a night is a bit much, these days, although we paid that on Koh Lipe as a once-off), and coming up with nothing much, when we went to get Tom’s blood taken for his follow-up blood test.
Dr Tee said he would send the blood on the 12 o’clock ferry, and have the result back by 5pm. We were going on a fishing trip that afternoon, which included BBQing the fish we caught on Long Beach at sunset, so we said we’d be back for the results around seven. He said he’d be working behind the bar at Coco’s at that time. Doctoring is not a full-time occupation on Koh Rong, obviously.
Oh, and yes, that’s his monkey. It doesn’t like women, we are told, but it wasn’t keen on Tom, either. Then again, if you were a monkey, and you were kept on a leash at a bar that plays loud music until 4am every day, you might be a little dark on the world, too … read more.
We are still chilling out in our hotel (I mean hospital) in Sihanoukville, waiting for Tom’s blood tests to come back at the right level. They are going in the right direction, and we hope today’s results will be suitable for him to be released.
The hotel (I mean hospital) room is nice – air-con, fridge and hot water, and a huge flat-screen TV that we don’t use – but the room service is terrible. The hospital has no kitchen of its own, so they give you a menu from a local restaurant which delivers. Only problem is, said restaurant opens at 10 am, so the earliest food will actually arrive is 11am. Fortunately for us, Jenny is officially an out-patient and has no drip, so she can go out and buy food in the mornings.
… read more.
We are hopeful that we may escape the hospital today. The travel insurance has everything they need, so they should have issued a guarantee of payment. The doctor said this morning that Tom can leave today. He actually had his canula removed last night, because there was some sudden swelling at the site, and they wanted to change the needle. Tom argued persuasively that it was silly to use another needle when he was leaving in the morning.
Because he was no longer tethered to a drip, Tom was able to go out for breakfast this morning! He suffered strong culture shock going from the tranquillity of a hospital room with only one or two other people around to the chaos of Cambodian streets. His observation was that it is impossible to wander around in a daze in Cambodia. There are trip hazards, traffic coming from random directions, places to hit your head, and endless touts (“Moto?” “Hello sir! Hello! Moto?” “Tuk tuk?”).
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We finally escaped the hospital at around 1pm, and caught a tuk tuk to Otres Beach, via a supermarket to pick up olive oil and lemon jiuce for Tom’s gallstone purge. Jenny had to go to several pharmacies, because nobody in Cambodia seems to have heard of Epsom salts, or magnesium salts.
As she was returning to the tuk tuk, there was a motorcycle accident right beside her, and a small girl was thrown off the back of her father’s bike onto the road. Jenny rescued the girl … read more.
We have finally attained our Nirvana – a large bungalow (enough room to do yoga inside, or on the verandah), with two hammocks and a sleeping platform on the verandah, a private bathroom, and one of those “princess” shaped mosquito nets over the bed, right on the beach in a place with very few other people, all of whom are beautifully quiet at night. We can sleep without earplugs, with only the sound of the ocean to be heard (and the occasional clatter as the rat knocks over our dishes) … read more.
The trip from Koh Rong to the mainland unfolded in typical Cambodian style. We called the day before, to let them know there were two people to be picked up from Koh Ta Kiev at lunch time on their daily three-island tour. On the day, we watched for boats appearing at the beach, and asked each one if they were from the company whose ticket we held. The first four weren’t, by which time it was 1pm, two hours after we expected the boat to arrive for lunch.
We called Ray, the manager, and he told us the boat would be there in ten minutes. Forty minutes later, we called him again to say there was still no boat … read more.
Our trip to Ton Kloi was reconnaissance – our friend Mass (pronounced Mah, short for Mahommed, even though his legal name seems to be Israpong Hayeeuma) is convinced that this area has huge potential for tourism, and is just like Khao Lak was 20 years ago. He insisted that we come and see for ourselves, and if we agreed with him, to join with him in making his vision a reality.
Mass has all the enthusiasm about “starting from zero” and “making sacrifices”, but no business management experience, so the plan as to how and when the people making the sacrifices might receive a return was hazy. Nonetheless, we somehow felt it was worth checking out his village … read more.