I admit that I was not excited upon entering Cambodia. Our experience in Vietnam had been so much more than we had expected, and I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see the northern half of the country. I was also dreading the two full days of bus rides we’d have to endure to make it to the tiny southern islands of Cambodia.
To add insult to injury, we arrived in Phnom Penh to find dusty roads and “beware of pick pocket” signs lining the streets. We didn’t feel safe walking around at night (the first time we’ve felt like this since we’ve been in Asia), so we stayed in our dingy hotel room watching Magic Mike and drinking Cambodia beers.
But then, when we finally made it to the tiny island of Koh Rong Sanloem, we beheld a vision of barely inhabited perfection. The blue/green waters were shallow, so they looked crystal clear. And the 20 or so bungalow hotels lined the beach front. Upon arriving via speed boat ferry, we were greeted by our hotel representative, who helped us board his fishing boat with our bags and then escorted us by boat to our bungalow.
As our feet hit the water to jump in the boat, we were struck by how warm the water was. It was literally like bath water. We couldn’t help but laugh with delight as we sped through the water to our hotel. And minutes later, we were in our own personal bungalow, complete with front porch looking out on Saracem Bay.
We swam and hiked on the first day here, and made friends with two couples. Gema and Giovanni are from England and are also on honeymoon, and Lara and Alberto are from Spain. We hit it off immediately with both couples, and decided to grab dinner and drinks together. We found a cozy little restaurant down the beach (the main street for the island), and began our nice long meal.
It was hot and humid though, and people smoke freely here (who smokes anymore?). Due to the heat and smoke, Andrew began to feel lightheaded, and as he walked outside to get some air, he passed out and fell to the floor, hitting his head on his way down.
I rushed to his side, and for a few seconds (which seemed like an eternity), he was out. We iced his forehead and sat on the floor of the restaurant for 15-20 minutes before returning back to our bungalow, and then I set my alarm to wake him every two hours to make sure he was okay.
What a scare.
He is feeling okay today, save a bit of a headache, but it was really scary to watch the man I love, my pillar of strength, fall to the ground.
I think it’s good to get scared like this from time to time. It reminds us that we are human. That life is fleeting. That we must appreciate every moment as a gift.