She welcomed me with pink lotus flowers on her hands. With Mona Lisa smile and hypnotizing breasts, she beckoned me to enter a realm I'm unfamiliar with.
One year ago, I left my fasyon life in the Philippines to try something new here in Cambodia. From a third world country to another third world country, my friends joked.
Mind you I was nervous. She didn't reveal herself at first, not fully even now.
It was around 6pm when my plane landed at Siem Reap International airport. Time to teach the Khmers how to 'fashion it'. My outfit? Black Ann Demeulemeester tee, Levi's jeans and K-Bond sneakers. Not much has changed, eh?
A Lexus picked me up. A cold towel was given to freshen me up. When I arrived at Hotel de la Paix I was given a nice welcome drink. OMG! I think I'm going to be spoiled here, I thought then.
What to do after checking in? Fresh from a week of intoxicated farewells and goodbyes back home, heck, my official tour guides, Loven and Faith, wisely decided that more intoxicating lubricant was in order!
The first dinner I ate. Quite perfect, I guess, since I've been eating a constant diet of couscous and salmon since. I've eaten hundreds of meal on this table.
She offered me morsels I couldn't refuse.
I thought it was just a dream.
The morning after. Sadly, I couldn't remember what my dream was but I know I dreamt something. I must have snored, too, since I was so tired from the trip. Hay, so many memories! It took half a day of travel from Iloilo to Siem Reap. I had to re-pack my luggage 7 times, I stayed up until 4 in the morning, because I couldn't decide which pieces of clothes and stuff to bring. Panic couldn't come close when someone like moi needs to choose which pieces of clothes to bring from among my preciousness. If you want to torture me I guess you know what to do already.
My breakfast. A lot, no?! Hehehe, I was really hungry. I inhaled the seafood fried rice, vegetables salad, a side of omelette, yogurt and orange juice.
And my lunch. Hmmmm...Pumpkin Salad, Salmon Bagel and Gazpacho! Ay, wait, why am I talking about food here? Well, ever since I arrived here in Siem Reap I didn't do anything but make myself fat. Yes, Cambodia made me fat! Those first 3 meals were the start of the many fattening meals I ingested without remorse. Hihihi. It was also the start of so many memories.
My how time flies. I've recently started going to the gym religiously to reclaim my old body back. I've set up a workshop for my designing needs. I've started selling my clothes in a shop that I share with Loven. I've travelled to different destinations and made new friends along the way. I've discovered where the locals buy their ukay. I found a Comme des Garcons shirt there for 5pesos!
Yes, Cambodia has been very good to me.
What's next? I don't know what's in store for me at the end. I expect more fabulous discoveries waiting. I've still got a another year of commitment here.
One year ago she welcomed me with a flower, a smile and a meal. She's not letting me go.