I switched to a hostel from the previous hotel this week as I could not afford paying that much for that long. The hostel has private rooms and it’s half the price of the hotel so I moved.  (Here’s my ‘review’ of the previous hotel that I stayed in:

One thing good about staying in a hostel is that backpackers are very open to talking to each other and it’s very easy to make friends. Also, Cambodia is one of the cheaper places to stay in Southeast Asia, so most of the people I meet here work online, like me.  Digital nomads, they are.  I’m getting there :P.  I just call myself a ‘geek’. LOL. Fortunately, I am not the only ‘geek’ here and it is agreed among us that we are all ‘geeks’. LOL.  Some who stay in dorm rooms can hear other roommates working on a computer. Geeks. LOL. Actually, there are many geeks in this hostel.  LOL!!!  GEEKS!!  LOL!!! I think the hostel should change its name then it will attract many startup-owners-to-be.  We don’t need to work in a garage or a basement (only if you have one at all) at home anymore.  LOL!

Watching sunset at a rooftop bar in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Two geeks drinking at a rooftop bar, watching the sunset in Siem Reap.

I don’t normally check my personal Facebook unless I feel exceptionally bored.  That’s what I did a few days ago. Surprisingly, I saw a picture of the Siem Reap pub street in one of my friend’s FB.  The next thing was, we had dinner together with her travel companion. We hadn’t seen each other for years back home and now we had a reunion in Siem Reap. That’s so funny. LOL! I of course talked about my village life, in particular, the insect bites cos she was complaining about it.  She said, ‘I was bitten four times.’  Hey girl, you don’t want to know how many times I have been bitten by don’t-know-what-kind-of-insects that bite.  After we finished dinner, her friend gave me a surprise by ‘donating’ her mosquito coils to me!!! I was surprised and very happy.  She said she thought she’d need them in Cambodia but the hotel that they booked had no such problems so she generously gave them to me.  I gladly accepted this ‘donation’.  

Reunion dinner. Steamed spring rolls and rice in the shape of a heart.
Reunion dinner. Steamed spring rolls and rice in the shape of a heart.

As I was dealing with a matter relating to my online English student while I ate my lunch the other day, a girl from China checked in to the hostel.  We started talking after I finished dealing with the matter. It was her first day in Cambodia.  Before she came to Cambodia, she spent a few weeks in Thailand.  ‘A few weeks? What did you do there?’ She answered with her eyes brightened up, ‘you see, my idol had his fan meeting in Thailand so I went there.’ LOL!!  That’s a classic! It turned out he is a singer from Korea.  That gives her an excuse to travel to Korea all the time but also her hometown is very close to Korea too. So, why not?  As we talked more, I found that she wasn’t that kind of crazy fan.  She said, ‘Koreans are very good at packaging.  They can package the singers/ actors very well. And I only like the packaging.  If there is another star who has a similar look and similar packaging, I will like him too.  I am not the kind of fan that will scream, “Oh, I want to marry you!!”‘.  LOL!!  I took her around after the rain stopped.  While we walked around, I told her some history of Cambodia. In return, she treated me hot chocolate. Not only that, when we went back to the hostel, as I was taking off my shoes (this hostel requires all their guests to take off their shoes before entering into the building), she said to me, ‘wait here.’  I was puzzled but I waited anyway.  She went back to her room and came out with some medicated cream that she bought in Thailand, ‘this is quite good. I bought it at the airport using my remaining Thai Baht. Take one small bottle. It may be good for your insect bites.’  I was so touched. 

The rain stopped and a rainbow appeared.
The rain stopped and a rainbow appeared.

All these remind me of my life as a backpacker.  There are some irresponsible backpackers but at the same time there are numerous kind and generous ones.  No matter where we are from, we look after each other.  We care about each other.  We help each other.  We touch other people’s hearts and likewise, our hearts are touched by the others. This is probably the ideal borderless world that most of us desire and pursue. It’s like living in a dream. I have met so many backpackers since the 90’s (that’s when I started backpacking).  I have learnt how to care about other people and I have also been taken care of especially when I was sick.  Somehow, people have wrong idea about us, the backpackers. They don’t understand us. They think we are dirty and rowdy but they only have met those irresponsible ones.  It doesn’t matter. We know who we are and we will continue to be kind and generous to the others.  We will continue to happily live in an ideal world that seem to only exist among us.

It’s not the backpack that we carry.

It’s not the place we stay. 

It’s our attitude.

It’s our lifestyle. 

It’s who we are as kind and generous human beings.

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