So it was our last night in Phnom Penh.
And what could be a better way of spending our final night than having our last dinner with a fellow blogger, Toe. Yes, I have mentioned her here quite a few times ever since we started this Indochina adventure. But way before I started visiting and commenting in her blog, I used to be a frequent lurker since I kinda see myself traveling in that part of the world one day. And knowing that she is a Filipino working there helped me a lot, particularly in getting a first glimpse of how it is living there. But little did I know that I will one day meet her in person.
I did tell her that we will travel via Phnom Penh going to Ho Chi Minh City. But I didn’t quite expect that she would actually invite us to meet her. Honestly, I was flattered. But I was hesitant too. I haven’t actually met someone from the virtual world and the idea of actually meeting someone from that world is still a strange idea to me. No, don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic to meet Toe I just don’t know if she would be thrilled to meet me. I just hate disappointing people especially those who have prior notion of me (physically, mentally, spiritually). I might not be the person they thought I would be. And that’s a real spank on the ass, to tell you the truth.
The thing about blogging is that, people read your thoughts without judgment, just an honest-to-goodness curiosity that other people may really find interesting or useful for them. What I am trying to say is that, there are no expectations. This is because at the back our minds, we never really entertain the idea that one day, we will actually see these people in the flesh and that we have to make a solid, good impression on them. Okay, this is just me and my thoughts. I don’t know about you, but I have always looked at blogging not merely as an outlet but also as an extension of myself. And being at that, you somehow expose yourself to a certain "risk" that the people you know in real life will read your thoughts and haunt you back. A vulnerable stage.
As an apathetic blog reader, you merely rely on what kind of information is being fed to you, and that’s where the clout of the blogger comes in. You form an image on the bases of that. And it sticks to you, no matter how shallow they maybe.
So anyhow, I have gotten over this ‘groundless anxiety’ and decided to embark on my first blogger eyeball (EB). Toe actually wrote a very engaging entry on our first meeting in her blog.
Part 2: Meeting Toe
Like any first meeting, I had my own thoughts on what Toe would actually look like in person. This is crazy but I was in a real deep thought that night, sitting at the corner of the guesthouse's lobby while waiting for her to arrive. Oki was reading a magazine at the other end of the seat looking so cool about it. Between the two of us, she handles this kind of situation more unfussy. She’s good with people (conversing most especially).
I was in an awe thinking how the hell am I going to introduce myself and how to reassure her that I am not a bad person. I really have the weirdest thoughts when I am anxious. I feel really edgy meeting people on the first day because this is where “first impressions” are formed and usually, people get the wrong impression of me during the first meeting. This is precisely the reason why I am not fond of EBs and blind dates. Also, I am really shy and I am not a very sociable person. But I get over that once I know the person really well. Most of my close friends are those that I didn’t get along (so) well during our first meetings. They usually have the wrong impressions of me and vice versa.
Toe arrived in a cozy-looking Hyundai Tucson. She was wearing a skirt and a blouse and she had this little, cute clip on her hair. As I approached her, she belted from the window of her car something like: “Rayts!?” The greeting was so warm that it really put me to an ease.
She looked exactly like what I have imagined. Pretty much close. Chinita-looking, fair skin, and really pretty. Her fair skin made me look like a real nog-nog having a sunburnt skin due to our travels in Siem Reap the previous days. Amputi ni Toe nagmukha tuloy akong Kirara sa kaitiman! And may I just say she’s prettier than Bea Lucero! No wonder her honey is so patay na patay to her! Well, I am biased as I have special affinity for Chinese-looking people.
Part 3: A Vietnamese dinner
Toe drove us to a Vietnamese Hole-in-Wall resto, I believe it’s their favorite restaurant. The place was not crowded which was good and I for once, felt I was already in Vietnam having those skinny Vietnamese waitress clad in ao dai greeting us.
Digging from Toe’s previous blog entry, this Vietnamese resto is called An Nam which I don’t know the meaning of. Talking about “ideas and concepts that jumped out from the virtual world” I found it odd that we’re actually dramatizing a somewhat scene from Toe’s entry. We often read about this particular resto and the food there in her blog entries.
Here are some photos. Not really a top notch. I am not as good as Ferdz when it comes to food photography. I didn't use a flash and my hands were shaking. :-(
I am basically a chicken and noodle lover so much so that I enjoyed this chicken pho. Pho 24, the one in Rockwell, has perhaps the best chicken pho, next to the authentic one I had in Vietnam.
Ca kho me, a fat fish in caramel and tamarind. Toe's favorite. Our favorites.
Spring rolls! We ordered spring rolls in Phoa Hoa and the taste and the coating were not the same. Even the texture and the presentation.
Rice and herbs. I love their sticky rice and their fresh garnishing.
Toe paid our bill, which made me sank to my seat. Oki and I promised a payback dinner when she comes back in the country. :-D
After making our stomach happy, Toe gave us a ride in her Hyundai Tucson with a Bon Jovi music at the background, which was the coolest. She gave us a night tour and brief background of