Sihanoukville, Cambodia: All sharks should come with the Jaws theme song.
The bartender, one of about seven working behind the small bar of Monkey Republic asked me where I was from. When I said “America” he didn’t believe me. Apparently when they were all talking in a language I didn’t understand and glancing over at me they had been taking guesses at my nationality. German or Russian was the consensus. Because they are quiet. Because they are the ones who sit alone at the bar, drinking, saying nary a word.
I’d been sitting there for a few hours already and on, maybe, my fourth vodka sprite, reassessing why I was there. Sihanoukville is, quite frankly, a party town. Where backpackers assemble to go to the beach and drink and stay out all night.
I’m by no means a party girl, never have been. But sometimes I need a break from culture and I just kind of want to be the kind of girl who goes to a party on the beach and does stupid things.
But maybe I’m getting too old for it all. And, really, it’s only fun when you’re not alone. Which I was. And so I sat at the dorm bar and drank alone. It only took four cocktails before someone joined me.
Jonno, Dutch, was also traveling alone and nearing the end of a month-long holiday through Cambodia. We sat at the bar and drank and talked until all the younguns left to party elsewhere and so the bar was closing down. And we made plans to do nothing together the next day.
In the morning I couldn’t find him so I took a walk to the beach and then headed back to the bar to get some work done. As I was packing up my laptop I saw him walk in and joined him for a drink.
We soon moved to the beach, drank cocktails, ate seafood bbq, got caught in the rain and watched the sunset from barstools inside, found an adorable cat, ended up kissing, changed bars, and then changed bars again.
And the next morning we got breakfast and moved into a bungalow. A decision that I wasn’t quite sure I was OK with, that seemed a little too sudden for me. But I wasn’t really sure. But, I guess, it made things easier. We went to get my Vietnam visa, trekked to a secluded patch of beach, got soaked with rain, got hot chocolate, returned to the bar, found my cat again (who wouldn’t leave my lap no matter how hard I tried), ate seafood, drank more.
And I’ll tell you it was weird.
Because, truthfully, my mind was on someone else. Someone I may never see again. Someone I may very well never hear from again. Someone who I doubt thinks of me as much as I think of him.
But, truthfully, I’ve wasted the last ten years thinking about someone else. Someone I may never see again. Someone I may very well never hear from again. Someone I don’t think about so much anymore.
And so I need to learn to move on. And I need to learn to just let things happen.
And I guess that this is what the whole dating thing is that I never quite got the handle of. You meet people, you give them a chance, you see where it goes. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you end up forgetting and sometimes you don’t.
You just see where things go…