Woah there easy daisy! Now before you all go and sit in shock and awe for a few hours after reading this blog, we need to make a small apology with the lack of updates this past week, and for your information neither of us was the Australian guy that got killed in Sihanoukville in the past week (for one we're not Australian, but since when has that stopped a panic attack haha!) So this will be one of those nice elongated blogs that you get to sit down with your cup of tea and scones and generally splutter your way through, however, we get to the orphanages tomorrow and promise to be on our best behaviour from then...maybe....this is quite a bit of fun!
Anywho, for those of you with a short attention span and all, i'll try to write this somewhat like a news article, putting in all the juicy bits at the start and leaving those boring reassuring things till the end when most of you will either have choked to death on your scone (don't say we didn't warn you) or have walked off in disbelief..ahh feel much better now so lets get on with New Years Eve (well fill in the blanks with the rest of our time down there afterwards).
Anywhoodle our plans for new years eve started off somewhat early with us booking accomodation in the city around 4 nights beforehand in order to make sure we were 'right there' amongst all the action and general goings-on, so we found another place that seemed to have a fair amount of patronage much like our place in Saigon, with a door that we didn't even use the key for once; it was actually easier to break and enter than go through the hassle of finding the key...so much for double locks eh?
But, nightime soon rolled around and we had dinner at an Aussie place involving crazy amounts of western food and drink, torturing some of the bar staff (if you ever get the chance, when speaking to someone who doesn't speak English particularly well, try to create a subplot within the conversation, our one involved one of our ten pet elephants contracting cancer and dying, leaving me almost teary-eyed and the poor girl not entirely sure what was going on). This is where we became a bit lost (for the first of many times that evening) with the signs around the bar saying things like "our girls are hostess only" and "no exceptions" but being rather lassez faire about the whole event at the time we thought nothing of it, remaining blissfully unaware of the night to come.
So our first stop on the trip was a bar called Utopia (the trip there did involve another insane motorbike ride with missing foot-pedals and near collisions with government vehicles (that's probably the worst thing you could do - like you could get drunk, have some herbs, shoot up a bar, and then take home a series of underage girls here and your punishment wouldn't even come close to you giving a govt car a bit of a nudge) and we got there, had a bit of a look around before deciding that the clientele were not quite the party animals we are (and the bar staff seemed to be spending more time on the tables drinking themselves than serving anyone - you can work as a westerner in a bar on new years, you don't get paid but the alcohol is free flowing and you can pretty much drink yourself into a coma)
Now what we are going to do here for a second is to introduce a third character to the story, for the adults out there, feel free to think of this character as possibly ONE of us(I've been told to remove the phrase "possibly one of us" but this is way too much fun, and i'll keep referring to this phase so when certain re-editing takes place it'll become rather obvious...hahahaha), and for the kids out there and the kids at heart, lets just think of think of this little critter as a pixie we found in our travels and aptly called him Fred, who the story will largely centre around tonight. (The person in this story who isn't a light-headed, naughty little pixie, had a rather subdued and sober night, allowing him to recall all of the nights events in much detail, much to the disdain of Mr Pixie, who we all know now as Fred.)
OK, so off we wandered down to the beach, seeing everybody get into the spirit of New Years with police throwing tom-thumbs and other fireworks long banned in New Zealand, but you will be pleased to know that New Zealand isn't "ahead of the curve" with regards to generally acting like dorks around fireworks, in fact the Australian barman at dinner recounted seeing police officers lighting tom-thumbs and throwing them down each other's pants...so that gives you an idea of how serious these guys are usually.
Then as you get down to the beach, the fireworks are already going off with people sending "skyrockets" into the air off the beach, and not just one or two, but there was a constant stream heading up into the air, with often over 100 going off at any one time. Now, just a quick word on safety here (and it will be quick as it really is non existent here) but kids, pointing skyrockets at each other is not something that we recommend, and nor is holding fireworks that are currently going off, and now, with a clean conscience we can continue.
So the area where everything happened is on the mean beach of Sihanoukville (called Occhuateal...or something similar) and the beach was literally full with makeshift bars, often created or 'sponsored' by bars up on the main street (ie they basically moved to the sand for the night). The first bar down on the sand we hit up was all very pleasant and everything and in fact was where we met our pixie friend Fred (who may or may not be one of us). So after collecting our free shots on the waters edge and being scared stiff by all these kids holding skyrockets and aiming them for trees, buildings, or other people etc we high tailed it indoors (to the outdoor, makeshift bar) and found the dance-floor. This is where we met our first of many 'friends' of the night, and for the people who are regularly on facebook and have seen our status updates this is the time to recall one that says "Sihanoukville makes our brothel in Saigon look like sunday school". At this point we started becoming slightly aware of the going's-on down here as girls aged (apparently) anywhere from 25-45 essentially threw themselves at any foreigner they saw, and made a certain person in this story head to the bar (or at least join the 20 min queue to get to it) and is where he left the evening and our pixie friend called Fred enters the story, stage left.
Upon returning mid dance holding what is called a "Mekong bucket" (don't bother googling it, we tried to find out exactly what was in it these past few days, and its now just assumed that its whatever either the barman thinks looks nice, mixed with whatever the barman thinks looks strong, thrown in a 1.5 litre coke bottle and handed back all for the rather handsome price of $2). Now a quick word on this bottle, they had cut the very top of this bottle off, not really to limit the amount you could get from one 'bucket' but to essentially speed up the inevitable process and allowing you to drink as much as possible as quick as possible (or to possibly aid in sharing, they gave each bucket around 10 straws) now normally, for most people this would be shared around an equal amount of people with a straw to person ratio of 1:1, and thus ten straws, should in theory mean 10 people at the ends of them. But this was not the case for our friend Fred, who apart from sharing one small sip with one of his new local 'friends' (re-read the "Sihanouville makes our brothel in Saigon look like sunday school" quote whenever we introduce the word friend in this blog) he was rather enjoying his own personal bucket, which while making him less useful as a pixie, will aid in explaining the title of the blog very soon.
After making small talk with all of his new friends (you could only really spend around 5 minutes with each one before they wanted some sort of commitment from you), it was decided that Fred needed some air and so we headed off down the beach. Now a small fun fact for all of you out there that what we thought was actually just a local mafia with not much power behind them was in fact a rather large Russian mafia, and happened to own quite a bit of land in and around town (in fact one of their popular umm for lack of a better term "capture points" was located on the road that we had been told not to drive on at night, that we already had. Twice, before finding this out). SO, off we wandered down the beach, and Fred began trampled a rather large sign that had fallen down off a building (who would have thought these signs couldn't hold an 80kg pixie before their metal buckling - apparently not Fred)...and then our dear pixie friend picked a route to the other side of the beach that involved walking through numerous fireworks and wouldn't have required much work from the locals to aim for him...but needless to say we corrected his path, and as far as we know, Fred doesn't have any firework burns from that night.
But, eventually we did find a nice bar sponsored by Monkey Republic (one of the nicer bars in town) and set ourselves up for the evening, where Fred continued to crank out his singing ability, along with moves that a cross-bred robot/jelly hybrid would have thought were jaw-dropping Now in order to play nice, we are going to simply blur over the rest of the night, needless to say good fun was had by all, Fred went off on his merry way. So that was new years eve for us, and 2010 came with a hiss and a roar and we are back in Phnom Penh again, back in the relative safety of our guesthouse.
But a few extra points. Firstly there is the reasoning behind why we changed hotels, well the ants didn't stop. And as nice as the beachfront is, after 4 days of non stop biting from the red fire ants, there really isn't any way for it to redeem itself as hard as we did try. We also found out a few little things about Cambodia and its people that we will try to spoon feed you over the next few weeks as well as more random goings on that we haven't mentioned in the blog so far, as believe it or not we are pretty much half way there...eeeshkkaaa! SO the next little update that we do will involve some info about the orphanage we are at, might try and get a few kids to write some stuff I can throw up here for you guys to all read, as well as more updates...and the usual random ramblings from us hehe!
Anywho off for dinner time!
Hello to my Mummy and Daddy back in New Zealand - hope you had a great New Year (yes I still call them that...so sue me haha..and no way could I forget...and now its all public with over 300 people reading each individual blog so i'm thinking extra points for that should be in order)
That's all folks!