All Stories,  Asia,  Cambodia,  Transportation

The Hangover

So you know The Hangover movie where these crazy guys have some potent drink, have a wild night, lose a person and the next day have to figure out what happened? Well I think that just happened to me and I am shocked by the fact that I can still be such a bafoon. Here’s what happened…

I have been living in Cambodia for about a year and am leaving for a short time, so for my last night in town I went for dinner with some friends… sounds normal right? Well after dinner it boiled down to just a few and since I had an early flight (6am) one of my friends offered to drive me to the airport if I want to stay up the whole night and have some more drinks, of course this was already on my agenda so I gladly agreed. I figured we would just have a casual night until 4am when I would have to get ready to leave….. but this is me and I should have known myself better than to believe I would take it easy!
The evening before a friend came to visit from the States and we danced so hard that he pulled his MCL in his knee and we only got a few hours sleep, so once we finished dinner, I either had to step it up or was going to fall asleep, so I got this wonderful idea of ordering everyone a lethal shot (this would be equivalent to the roofied drinks in the hangover movie), its a double drop shot called the hand grenade and after this point everything gets blurry.
Over the next few bars, I have flashes of swing dancing, trying to speak Russian, riding motorcycles and inhaling some kind of balloon among other intoxications, completely forgetting the fact that I had to board an international flight in a few hours.
Along comes 3am and it was time to get some street food, when I realized that I was missing my purse – the holder of all my cards (money) and phone (communications), aka my life. This means that I had zero cash or access to any kind of currency, nor any way of contacting people to help me out once I leave Cambodia until I get to my destination a few days later. It doesnt help that I don’t know anyone in a 4 hour radius of where I am arriving and need to buy train tickets to get to my accommodations where I have to call for instructions to enter…. soooo this is bad.
Now we are at the part of the movie where they realize someone is missing and empty their pockets to find clues about where they went in order to get him back. That’s what we did, we tried really hard to remember what just happened the last 5 hours and everywhere that we went…. I was useless and couldn’t remember anything…. obviously still wasted, but luckily my friends had some ideas.
We ran all over town revisiting bars from a few hours prior, always welcomed with a big cheer since everybody recognized us as those crazy animals ready to party. But this time we were on a mission, searching every crevice, interrogating bartenders and harassing suspicious looking people, which was pretty much everyone.
Without any leads, I decided to go back and sit down on the street where I first realized my purse was gone, alongside all these Cambodian guys eating streetfood. I just said hi, trying to stay cool and see if anything is up, when the guy next to me pulls out his wallet and says “mine”. I was shocked, these guys barely speak English and I didn’t say anything about my purse but he shows me his wallet instantly. So i thought something was up and started accusing everyone around the table of having my purse like any obnoxious tourist. One thing escalated to another and next thing we know, we are surrounded by tiny Cambodians. Using a line from the hangover, I just thought “Bangkok has him now” except that it was Phnom Penh and by him I meant my purse. Either way if they had it, it was gone and this pending brawl was not worth it, so we slowly backed away and I had to decide what to do – I still had my passport at home, so do I get on the flight and just hope for the best or stay and try to replace everything?
I decided I could figure something out and that I should still go (terrible idea), and I decided that my friend was still going to drive me, what a good decision maker I am! So I went home at 5am, recklessly grabbed everything I already packed (leaving most important things in a wild mess) and (hopefully) said by to my kitty before heading to the airport, all the while just hoping that it would miraculously work out on the other side.
We stopped for gas on the way to the airport as I tried to rummage up a plan and when my friend reached down for his wallet to pay, he pulled it up and we both saw in the light that it was my purse! My tiny purse had been in his car the whole time! How is that for an eejit?!? We searched his car at last four times (admittedly in the dark), and somehow without even looking he had just found it, we just looked at each other in disbelief! I am still not sure if it just magically appeared right then but this was going on the final minutes before my flight, had he found it the next morning I would have been pissed…. and still utterly screwed. But luckily we found it! Now I only had to get my shitfaced self on three planes and a train, the first one leaving in roughly 28 minutes. Perfect!
The next few hours (or could have been days) of travel are also a blur. I remember standing in a lot of different lines, leaning on my bags or posts or even other people since I hadn’t slept in a very long time and had drank enough to accuse everyone in town of stealing something I had all along, that I was just collapsing on the spot. I do remember people asking me if I was alright, which I obviously convinced them I was fine based on my odour and hunchback (anyone who knows me, knows that upon sobering up, the drunker I was the larger my back involuntarily hunches over).

The worst part is that I am not even at my destination yet. I still have to take another flight and a train and find my way into an empty house at midnight. Once I land, everything is closed and I obviously don’t have the right chargers to connect my phone but since I at least have my wallet I can buy my train ticket and arrive outside my house in the cold (coming from Cambodia I am not prepared for midnight winter temperatures) and have to find a hidden key that I have never seen before after jumping over the fence. I half hoped that the cops picked me up just so I wouldn’t have to sleep outside sine the only information I got about this B&E was the ten minutes of free wifi I got in Russia (not sure why I was in Russia).

Luckily everything worked out and I found my way in through the dark. I have my wallet and made it to my destination and will hopefully learn a lesson from this – but knowing me it will probably just get worse next time! It seems now that I am comfortable travelling I really don’t give much preparation anymore like this other time I lost my passport.

I just wish that my phone had been full of the crazy pics from that night like in the hangover movie!