Although at first arrival, this place was advertised like a full on luxurious flat.
To be precise, the sign read:
- Free laundry
- Free cleaning services
- Free wi-fi
- Free bike
- Free swimming pool
- Big Room
Fact: It is a very spacious room with a bathroom (underground water works occasionally).
False: everything else listed.
Perk (that should be listed): FREE BED!
Let’s be real. At $70 per month, a girl can make do with just about anything. Sam, my local Cambodian friend, brought me here because he knew I wanted something cheap in price, close in proximity and safe. Luckily, I got what I wanted in that scope. It’s a quick and amusing six minute bike ride from work (and only one minute from street side noodles) and it’s owned by a police officer (so I guess that means it’s safe safe).
My first roommate was Clive, a fist sized spider that spent most of his time in the bathroom or in my walk-in closet (which I presume that’s what the sign meant by kitchenette). He didn’t pay rent and we didn’t really get along, but I will always be grateful for Clive as he helped me bond with my local neighbor, Song. Although Song knows very little English, so I learned a bit of Khmer and then he knew exactly what I meant when I said bhing-bhang tom tom (translation: spider big big), handed him a broom and pointed to my bedroom. One roommate down.
Then, I hosted a new employee at the hostel while he searched for a place to reside—a Frenglish (french/english) man called Pierre. He was a lovely houseguest and even bought me a local painting of the floating village to jazz up the joint. I’ve yet to figure out how to hang it from the cream tinted, cement walls, but there is something endearingly quirky about it setting against the wall instead of hanging. It seems to represent my current life status a bit better—living simply and appreciating what I have for what it is and not what it could be. Then Pierre found another flat within a week’s time, further down the street, closer to the killer dogs. He now lives for the thrill of the late night stroll. That’s two roommates down.
Just recently, my walk-in closet was turned into a full on second bedroom with the addition of roommate #3. Now, I live with a beautiful, vibrant soul from Holland called Lisa. She’a like the human version of a flying unicorn…or a butterfly fresh form her cocoon. She is truly one of the happiest, most loving, caring, engaging people I have met thus far. She is the bartender at the hostel I work at and since we always have different days off, she decided to move in so we could get the ever so special roommate quality time. We have quickly bonded and morphed our little bedroom into the Cambodian Ladies Lounge.
The stories to follow will be more than worth telling (or not).