It was an amazing first day today. Like Laurel said, "if we were to head home now, it would be an awesome trip with just this day."
We first met our aunts and uncles (my father's siblings) and then went to Angkor Wat where the rest of our cousins met up with us.
My dad's side of the family are really interesting people. We have two aunts and two uncles.
They reunited with a few hugs and Saran and I were introduced. We all gathered in our parents hotel room and didn't waste anytime on catching up. It was amazing to see my parents with their family. Our mother was so happy to see our father's sisters. You can tell they were more than sister in-laws but great friends. You can tell our father was happy and felt back home. He never looked more comfortable.
Our aunts and uncles were kind and got comfortable with us quickly...even with Laurel and Susan. No more time was wasted and the day of hanging out with family began as we got ready for Angkor Wat.
One of our uncles showed up in his army uniform along with his son, who also was in his army gear. This uncle has been shot at least three times, but the most memorable was when he took a bullet right in the neck.
We learned quite a bit about him since he and his son drove us around in their old Toyota that decided when on its own when to turn on the a/c. On top of that, all four of us (Laurel, Susan, Saran and I) sat in the back seat with arms over and under each other, legs squished together as if we were having to go to the bathroom and I'm positive there was not a time where all our butt cheeks were down on the seat all at once.
We were driving around Angkor Wat. With a high of 100 degrees, we figured it would be best to go in the afternoon so that it'd be 'cooler' to walk/hike the temple.
We made a loop around and stopped at a few spots to take photos. At Angkor Wat, tickets are $20, locals enter free. They really make sure no one sneaks in. We were stopped probably more than 3 times about tickets. We explained many times the tickets will be purchased later when we enter the temple, though every guard around each corner had their eyes on Laurel and Susan since, well it's obvious, they are not locals. Lol. And even once they got their tickets, they still gave us a hard time.
Once we looped around Angkor Wat, we finally entered the temple and met the rest of our cousins. We took amazing photos, which will soon come once we can get them uploaded.
Saran and I are definitely learning to speak Khmer better, even though they are correcting us in every other sentences. Our family says we speak Khmer well for never been in Cambodia though there are plenty they needed to clear up for us. Except for one word. The "F" word.
At dinner, Saran was reaching for some mango slices and was having difficulties. The Khmer "F" word flew right out of her mouth, a natural response for her, right in front of our aunts and uncles. Respect for the elders and being proper around them is really big in the Cambodian culture. Our cousin said, "Well that's one word you can say very clearly in Khmer." The whole table roared with laughter and the rule book was thrown out the window. It'll be a while longer until we speak Khmer better, maybe by the end of our trip. But until then, we'll be burning calories laughing our butts off as they make fun of the way Saran and I speak.
There's so much more to share but will have to do so later. We got an early morning tomorrow. We're heading over to the mountains to play in the waterfalls.
Thanks for reading!