One day. I tell myself. One day. I frown at the Angkor Wat pictures of my friends Doi and Andrew – partially in jealousy, partially in crazed attempt to will all the goodluck to me so that I’d have funds to fly there the next day. Of course that didn’t happen.
“Are we there yet?” I huffed as I grudgingly lifted my foot onto the next steep, narrow step. My hostelmate didn’t answer. He was probably huffing on his own. I looked up, peering at the end of this never-ending flight of stairs, beyond my sunglasses and the agonizing heat of the Siem Reap sun. When, when, when were we going to reach the top? I pulled out my water. And almost fell backwards halfway over the forever flight of stairs to the top.
I watched the two tourists take photos from afar. It was weird because he was puckering his lips, like in a duck face and I usually only see duck poses from teenage girls. Hm. I turn away, careful not to give out any rude signs or anything. I turn a corner, only to be surprised by another group of tourists who were doing the same. “What are they doing?” I ask my hostelmate as I caught up with them somewhere around the widely spaced temple. “Not sure,” my hostelmate said, also puzzled as she watched the tourists make kissy faces into the air.
“Is that it?” I ask my hostelmate, possibly the 100th time as I jumped onto a broken ledge somewhere inside the huge Ta Prohm temple. He shrugged, smirking at me, probably amused that I’m so excited to see where Angeline Jolie used to play Lara Croft. Okay, I’m not exactly a fan. I’m just curious! And the only way to scratch your curiosity is if you finally get to see it. It wasn’t, by the way. At least, not yet.
I gaped at her. Sorry, I didn’t mean to. But under the heat of the Siem Reap sun, and the vastness of Angkor Wat, I was sweating like a pig. But there she stood, her long, straight black hair as clean looking, her face fresh and her body wrapped in long sleeves, pants and a summer hat. Seriously! I huffed under my breath, blowing my curly hair over my sweaty, shiny forehead. “How do they do it?” my hostelmate gasped out, her neck dripping in sweat, her blonde hair tied to the back of her head. “Tell me about it,” I groaned. And we headed out into the long entrance of the Angkor Wat. If you think touring the Angkor Wat is all fun and pretty, then you’re wrong.