"I don't think we're dressed well enough to walk into any of these restaurants," Leah commented. I looked down at the caked dirt streaked up and down my trousers, and felt the dried sweat on my forehead and neck acting as a strong adhesive to which my limp hair was plastered. I sadly agreed.
Because the next day would be filled with meetings and traveling back to Phnom Penh, we wouldn't have a chance to see Angkor Wat. The lawyer was kind enough to drive us by the entrance, and we expressed great interest in the...well...the inky black nothingness where apparently the temples are. I'm sure it's awe-inspiring in the daytime, or maybe even with a flashlight.
We pulled up to an outdoor Khmer restaurant right across the street from the temples. There was a huge grill, with various raw meats you could select waiting behind the grates. I learned how to eat fish off the bone (or, rather, the Cambodians laughed at me as I made a mess, causing one of them to take the poor carcass away from me before I did more damage). We also had some Cambodian cheese, which, as I'm finding with most dishes here, was made with beef. Chicken feet rounded out the meal, the black claws jutting out toward my plate as I slowly chewed my rice. At least I missed out on turtle meat, the slimy, gelatinous meat that some other unfortunate interns had to gnaw on the previous week.
We finished our work the next morning and headed back to Phnom Penh, stopping only once about an hour outside the city for some lunch. I gratefully ran inside my guesthouse, ready to jump in the shower and take a long nap.
And then the food poisoning started. Dear God, the food poisoning.
What started as a brief stomachache morphed quickly into a feverish, horrific explosion of what I was certain were the beginning stages of organ shutdown. I sadly huddled in a bed sheet next to my laptop and frantically searched for a doctor. After working in healthcare for three years, I've turned into a terrible medical snob ("I'm sorry, you graduated 2nd in your class at Harvard? You're not touching me."), so I was pretty worried about my options.
Apparently I was very dramatic on the phone, because my mom was ready to ship my dad to Bangkok to meet me after my medevac. Luckily, I felt better on Monday just as quickly as I became ill on Saturday, so he didn't have to fly halfway around the world. I had a really rough time trying to find light food to eat, until I took a trip to Lucky Supermarket, the western grocery store. Here's what I found:
I wanted cereal so badly, and here was my favorite brand! I did a happy dance right in the middle of the aisle, causing quite a few people to pull their children away from the crazy lady and her raisins. I picked up some milk from Singapore, cereal from the good ole U.S. of A., and a bowl and spoon from Malaysia, so really, I was still getting an international culinary experience.