Big girl pants

It suddenly dawned on me when I got up yesterday morning that, despite having already been in Cambodia for over 3 months, I was about to embark on my first solo road trip.  A realisation that was quickly followed by a second, that this fact made me feel just a little bit scared at the prospect.  Not really bad scared, more kind of excited scared, but scared none the less.


I’d already got my literal big girl pants out already, years of travel on dodgy public transport has taught me to dress for comfort, but as I was putting them on I also started to pull on my metaphorical big girl pants too.  I switched off the radio and put on my F*ck it play list and proceeded to bounce around for a while.  Whilst this hit the spot mood wise, it also served to make me extremely sweaty and so minutes after the first shower I found myself taking another but this time accompanied by the fabulously f*ck it tune, Mr Blue Sky booming out at full blast.


Next step in operation Big Girl Pants was to check I had packed everything I needed.  Not content with doing this once, I proceeded to check again before going for a pee and returning to check once more (despite this obsessive checking I arrived in my hotel to discover I had still managed to forget my hairbrush!!!)


And then the need for those big pants really kicked in.  I was outside of my house and actually on my way.  When I travel with someone else we generally share the giving instructions/asking questions stuff that any journey demands.  When I’m on my own it’s all down to me – and with my at best clunky command of approximately a dozen Khmer words this presents a certain level of challenge.  Despite this, I managed to successfully communicate with the tuktuk driver my destination and once there to establish which bus I needed to be on.


Sadly, as soon as I was on the bus my big girl pants failed me and I started to panic.  The panic materialised as a series of unspoken and oft repeated questions to which I didn’t have the answers:

“I hope this is the right bus”

“OMG what am I going to do if it’s the wrong bus?”

There’s a lot of foreigners on here for a minimally touristy location – thi can’t be the right bus”

Repeated on a loop.


Thankfully my knight in shining armour appeared in the form of the guy sitting next to me who apropos nothing got his ticket out of his wallet.  This afforded me the opportunity to surreptitiously peak at said ticket, see his destination was the same as mine and relax back into my actual and metaphorical big girl pants once more as we set off 20 minutes late.


The journey was uneventful, I got myself a nice strong black coffee at our pit stop with no problems and before I knew it we were approaching my destination – Kampong Cham.  At the time I was listening to a Moral Maze podcast about selfie culture and the obsession with being connected all the time.  This coincided with an “oh sh*t!” moment as I realised I didn’t know the name of the hotel I was staying in or how the hell to get there.  And it was mobile phone to the rescue! I quickly solved my dilemma by checking my email for the hotel details and then tapping them into google maps to get directions.    Not only did this make me extremely grateful once more that I was able to put my big girl pants on, but also to reflect on just how huge those pants must have been back in 2000-3 when I came to Cambodia and other parts of South East Asia pre mobile technology.  How I did it is beyond me!









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