The fireworks were explosive last night! I guess fireworks always are. That’s how they work. But these were incredibly loud. I guess that’s because I was asleep and they woke me up. Grannies and Papas should be asleep before 10 and they shouldn’t be woken up except by bladders and insomnia, not by loud bangs.
We started celebrating early. That’s why we were ready for bed early. Before sunset we were at the Blue Pumpkin eating our first and only ice cream of the day. Single scoop – how restrained is that? It was growing dark when we sat down on the first floor terrace of the Khmer restaurant with our friend Greg and Jane, his wife whom we are meeting for the first time, and his friends Jamie and Chiel. They just arrived in Siem Reap New Year’s Eve and have the wonderful temple tour marathon to look forward to tomorrow. Greg was the last person to visit us in our Heswall home in 1999. Actually we had already moved house when he visited and as usual he walked in the back door without knocking. When a stranger came down the stairs and asked what he was doing in the house he asked what they were doing in the house. They had just moved in of course. Greg was just a bit slow catching up. We have been in Bala since then and maybe it’s time Greg visited our new house in Bala. After teaching English in Cambodia for a year maybe he will.
We had a lovely meal sharing news and stories, punctuated by the silence of deafening music and the inevitable Gangnam Style refrain before parting company and wandering back to our hotel and drifting off to sleep.
“Merry Christmas Everyone” is ringing out in the hotel this morning, the first of the New Year. That seems wrong somehow but as we didn’t get much in the way of Christmas songs we don’t much mind. Maybe we will escape the remnants of commercial Christmas when we relocate later today to Battambang on the other side of Tonle Sap lake. Just a few hours on the bus, we hope it will be a few centuries away in western commercialism and we look forward to a little more relaxation. I guess we’ll soon see…