Our trip to Battambang took approximately 3 hours. We stopped at a cafe for a coffee and bathroom break. We discovered later that Dave may have lost his phone there. Evidently, he had on shorts with a ripped back pocket and put his cell phone in his pocket. Who knows if that is where he lost it. He only discovered it lost after we stopped for lunch and he couldn’t find it. Stopping for lunch was a calamity. He had a restaurant in mind when we arrived and we drove round and round trying to find it. He said it was near the main market. After half an hour, he still hadn’t found it. Then he stopped the car and said we should get out and look for it on foot. It was about 100 degrees! We walked through the crowded market and I was getting more and more irritated. I finally said to him that we should find another place and that we better go back to the car. I had seen a hotel with a restaurant and mentioned it to him but he said it was closed. I knew he just wanted a cheap place to eat. We returned to the car and started to leave the town. Dave said he knew a restaurant outside of town. Anyways, I saw a restaurant and said why don’t we stop there. So we did. I wasn’t feeling that well so didn’t want to eat a lot. There were few people in the restaurant and actually more serving people than customers. Shawn ordered fried rice and I ordered fried rice with no meat. Dave had an omelet. He ordered iced coffee and I ordered hot tea. About an hour (or at least t seemed like it) later, we still hadn’t been served. Finally, Shawn got his food and then Dave and I were still waiting. There was a pot of tea but no cup in sight. At last, mine arrived but with meat. I said just forget it and that I would take boiled white rice. Several minutes later they returned with the same fried rice but had just taken out all the meat. Needless to say, we didn’t leave a tip. Since there were so many problems, Dave said he would pay for lunch.
To me, that whole lunch was a communication problem that was becoming more evident as we traveled throughout Cambodia. Many service personnel say they speak English and then you discover that they didn’t really understand what you said. “Saving face” is very important in the culture so they never admit that a mistake was made and many times you end up disappointed, irritated or possibly amused.
I was glad when we left the restaurant and continued our journey. Here are a few photos from the first cafe and a few street photos: