Sending a parcel home by post.
Last week we went to the post office and checked out how we were going to send a box home, of things that we had brought with us and things that we have bought. We purchased a box and looked at the 5 and 7 kg rates and whilst they were reasonably high , we figured ok, it would be good to lighten the load. So as the days went on, we packed our box with what we wanted to send home, grabbed our tuk tuk and went off to the Post Office, so far so good... Well, when the man put it on the scales and it came in at 11kg, I was immediately concerned with the cost, yes $77 USD equating to $92 AUD, oops.... What to do now? After a long and tense discussion, Mr and Mrs Wombat settled for reducing it to 5 or 6 kg and carrying the remainder in our luggage, as we had capacity. That settled and box sent on its way, a hug and kiss to get over the ordeal and we were off on a leisurely stroll, ( lugging 5 kg of bags we were not originally intending to walk back with!!! ) and time to find a coffee.
Tom the Tuk Tuk man and Mr Wombat the 'ever so gullible'.......
After walking back from the post office, the idea was to enjoy a nice stroll along the river, slowly winding our way back towards our hotel. Things were all good until I spotted a lovely Wat and convinced Mrs Wombat, that it would be worth a look. Strolling through the stunning grounds, a gentleman appears out of nowhere, with the usual line- "Hello Sir, how are you, where are you from? " On my reply came, "Ahh Australia, Sydney, Melbourne , Brisbane and Adelaide, good place" he had me hooked.....
After an exchange of a few other words came the inevitable, "Where you want to go today Sir? " I tried to fob him off, meanwhile, Mrs Wombat had hightailed out the gate and was pretending disinterest. I exited the gate, with Tom the tuk tuk driver on my heels, found Mrs Wombat who gave both Tom and I a withering look and hissed under her breath- "You must have sucker written on your forehead, they spot you a mile away!!!!!".
So we arranged, (yes, Mrs Wombat was a little reluctant at first), for Tom to take us on a bit of a sight seeing tour, including a coffee stop, which was where we were heading to after the Wat, back to the Hotel to drop off the bags and then off to visit a few places we had not yet been to. We had a relaxing coffee to smooth out the Post Office affair, then back to our hotel, drop and run, collecting some drinking water and off we go. Tom had explained that he was not able to secure a most sought after parking position outside of a hotel, so he waits in the temple grounds for a fare. His moto was fairly clapped out and it struggled at times just getting under way.
First stop was the Kings Holiday Palace, which is the residence the King stays at, when he is in Siem Reap. Tom gives us a bit of an explanation and then he introduces us to the Lucky Buddah.
Tom explained to us that may people go to the Lucky Buddah for all sorts of reasons, so we took off our shoes and I knelt before the Buddha and prayed that Mum's spirit had moved on to a new life. We explored a local flower market and Tom explained all about the Lotus flowers and the wide variety of other flowers and plants that were available. A short time later we board our sad and struggling tuk tuk and we are off again. Next stop was a very upmarket store selling wonderful hand made goods, including carpets and wall hangings. We aren't totally silly, as we have travelled to Asia so many times and we know how the whole commission thing works, but we were more than happy to spend time in this well run store and have a browse and learn how silk homewares are produced. Here we spent an hour or so, looking at the beautiful goods and eventually purchased a family Heirloom in the form of a silk hand made carpet and hand made wall hanging, they are heirlooms as they will outlive us for certain!!!! "Life's short and you can't take your money with you," proclaimed Mrs Wombat as she sat on the floor stroking her newly purchased carpet. We arrange a delivery date for after our return home, bid goodbye to the oh so attentive staff and head off.
From there we go to a handicraft centre to get more knowledge of how some of the local handicraft is made, including paintings and wood carvings. This was nice to see and appreciate, but knowing our position regarding extra luggage, weight and finances and the fact that we still have 6 weeks to go of our trip, meant that we enjoyed looking but definitely not purchasing anything.
Home was via the War Memorial, for a little more history and then back to our hotel, with Tom still desperate to take us to many other places that we didn't want to go to.