I'm currently sat in a hotel that goes by the name of Riverside Suites, it's a small although I hate the word; 'boutique' hotel. When you get past all the descriptions and reviews trip (which are all positive by the way) and you actually come to visit this hotel you realise that it's probably one of the best hotels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. If I'm honest it's one of the best hotels I've stayed in during my travels across South East Asia.
Oh yes I'm relaxed here in beautiful Cambodia, with an apartment perched on the mouth of the City at Preah Sisowath Quay. The apartment is a stones throw away from the Royal Palace and overlooking the Mekong River and the developing land behind it. I'm at ultimate peace here, the apartment is chic but comfortable, stylish without being extravagant. The people here are wonderful albeit the local Tuk Tuk and taxi drivers are a real pain in the backside. Food and amenities are cheap, there are some pretty decent restaurants too all the way across Sisowath Quay, some super touristy places where you'll pay 6-8 USD for a sandwich. On the other hand there are restaurants where you can get breakfast buffets for 2 USD and dinner buffers for 5 - 10 USD per person depending on your 'class' of dining. You can also get local hawker food for way less than 1 USD although I'd be careful after seeing the state of some of the markets round here.
This place gives me freedom, privacy and the sense of indulgence which when walking or dining on the front of Sisowath Quay can be morally put to the test. When you're tucking into a 10 USD steak that would cost you five times the price back home while women with missing teeth holding babies barely covered in tattered cloth asking are you for money. They don't go away either, they will sit at the edge of the street or on the curb and I feel atrocious for saying it but pester you all night, trust me it will be the last time you dine outside for a while.
Anyway, I don't want to talk Cambodia too much, that will be subject to another post entirely. I just wanted to give you some pretext for the reason I've done more posts than there are days as of late. I also want to be forgiven for talking about another girl so shortly after things ended with Cindy but it just turned out that way. That's life sometimes.
I want to go back to end of June, early July it was a couple of weeks after I'd broke up with Cindy and I was feeling pretty low, appalled at what I'd done to poor Cindy and encumbered by my remorse and guilt. was feel. It was a Friday night and I was going to the bar at the Big D's main office in Singapore and I was meeting up with my roommate Enrique, an awesome America guy called Claude (not sure If I've mentioned Claude before but oh man that guy is epic) and an Italian guy called Giovanni who I hadn't met before. When we met at the bar Claude informed me, fully aware of my recent separation that he had invited a friend to the bar tonight, a very pretty Chinese girl, for the moment I'm only going to refer to her as Chen or The Chen, mainly for the clandestine atmosphere I want around this person while openly talking about her on here. Obviously.
I wasn't interested in anything female that evening and solely wanted to consume as much free alcohol as possible before the federal facilities police of the office kicked us out. I do remember however her being very beautiful dressed all in white with Jet black hair, pale skin and contrasting red lipstick. The physical attraction for me was instant, how could it not be the? The girl was beautiful. When she sat with us it was immediately clear she was educated and by educated I don't mean to sound like a pompous upper class aristocrat, but I mean the girl was properly educated and had a brain which had free will and the ability of free and radical thought. Originally from China but now holding a lion passport, the Chen had traveled with her family as part of her fathers job and had spent time in the States, Singapore and Thailand i believe. The effect of a high class education and this traveling to a member of the Peoples Republic of China has produced a one off voice box with an accent like no other. Some say German, some say America, some say South African, some say Martian. It's a hard one to pin down. Nothing of the Chinese remains in her vocal chords, listening to her speak her native Mandarin tongue to her family is a favourite past time of mine these days as it sounds alien but just lovely.
I paid her must less attention than she deserved and to be honest pretty much had fuck off written all over of face that night, actually I was a pissed with Claude for bringing a girl, shamefully we have what we call a 'No Taco' rule on Friday nights, our way of saying that no girls are allowed on board the party train until we're all trashed enough to decide that girls should be our number one priority.
After a few drinks I loosened up and started chatting with her and actually formed an upgraded attraction to her, she was physically stunning but also intellectually attractive. I felt she tried a bit too hard on the first night or maybe It me was caught off guard by the outspoken Chinese with a love for Uncle Sam.
By the time we got kicked out of the free bar it was just after 9pm, about 9.15pm to be more precise. We were all pretty hammered, we'd hit it pretty damn hard and I'm sure shots of Don Julio had been involved. I extended the invitation to The Chen of our migration to an Indian Belly Dancing bar in Boat Quay, about a five minute walk from the office which she didn't hesitate to accept.
Many more drinks and several hours followed, some of those hours were spent embedded in a corner of a staircase on Boat Quay with my hands on the legs of a beautiful girl. We kissed a lot, for short lustful bursts and for long passionate intervals. It was awesome, it was the first night for two weeks straight I didn't think about her.
That was that, I'd met The Chen, I'd let her go home with her mystery intact that Friday night without regret, I'm long passed the days where I want them on the first night.
I was hooked, taken back by her beauty. I was captured by her free spirit, her intelligence and I already loved her smile. Good things happen with this, I write to you nearly 8 months later and can confirm up to now everything is good, not ideal but could be worse I guess.