I ducked into this place because it started pouring all of a sudden- pro tip: tropical rainy season is not a great time to dress virginally and then take a walk- and it looked nice enough to take my only form of payment, which thanks to being debit burgled in Indonesia (still worth it) is a credit card.
It was an appropriate time for lunch, so I did that. When it was still raining after noodle completion, however, I deigned primly to order a drink.
“Just one?” asked the inexplicably puzzled waiter.
“Yes, that will be all,” I replied politely, while wondering what about my damp white clothes scream “double-fisting at noon”.
Turns out, though, these Black Russians are a dollar-ish apiece, which in the current administration seems like some kind of political arrangement. It’s been steadily raining and I’ve been sitting here for hours- so at some point I decided my own kind of collusion would be in order. I have nine novels downloaded to my phone and a full and friendly charge; book it and bring me another.
“You are very strong. Very strong,” says the waiter after four. I don’t have the heart to tell him that four of these over as many hours is the Grittys equivalent of one trivia question.
“You are so strong. Look at your face! It is normal.”
“False,” I think as I outwardly agree. A remix of the Macarena is playing so I am assuredly not normal. My ankles are crossed and my torso is steady but my hips are chairdancing really hard and I’m grinning like a goshdarned fool.
“Do you like this music? I can play you anything you want.”
“This. Play this,” I say, delighted.
He does. On repeat, even, and then Havana plays for a third time as he indicts me with another glass of collusion, stays to chat about rice farming, and adds himself to the Facebook.
More of this, please, in the world. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in tourist sites that I forget how much I adore a lazy hideaway, slow drinking, and a pop rock friendship.
Cheers, Siem Reap, and cheers, hospitality on a terrace with the Russians.
Casual diplomacy triumphantly trumps again.