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The late afternoon breeze offered some soothing relief from what turned out to be a super hot final day in Cambodia. Taking a tuk tuk ride to the airport proved to be a good choice as it also allowed me to soak in the Siem Reap flavour that I have grown to love: roadside food vendors, bustling local markets, tuk tuks, motorcycles and the growing excitement over the end of the intense heat that had ruled much of the day.
This is the beginning of many hours of travel and of waiting in airports. If all goes well, I will land in Calgary on Monday evening. It is currently Sunday morning back home.
I left behind an old friend, Kent, and many new friends: Nabil, Rannie, Lisa and Arya. I also received a very kind note from Kifi, my dinner guest from last night.
I already had my first scare of the journey as I looked down at my backpack and discovered that one of my painting tubes was gone. I knew it was tenuously tethered and probably dropped off. I scrambled to retrace my steps at which point an Aussie tourist stepped toward me.
“I knew I’d find you,” he said. “I knew you were wearing a red backpack.”
I am so grateful, as that particular tube contains about six canvases.
Sitting in the Siem Reap airport, I am all of a sudden surrounded by tourists. We are all in the same boat, beginning our long trips back to from whence we came. They are Italian, Russian, German, American, Japanese, and countless other nationalities. Siem Reap attracts visitors from all over the world. Some are wearing masks, though I honestly doubt that they really will help. However, fear is pervasive right now, and I don’t blame them for taking caution.
Those that know me won’t be surprised that I’m at the airport super early - a full 3 hours before my flight. I feel way less stress getting through security with my boarding pass in hand as soon as I can.