I am thrilled, though appropriately embarrassed, to introduce my first "Don’t Do What I Did" (DDWID) oops! travel moment. While this little gem is a new addition to my fairly extensive body of work, I confess it’s grown on me.
One recent afternoon in Phnom Penh, my husband and I were wandering the streets when we came upon a "club" with the name of "LOVE ORANGE". Given my love of all things orange, I took this as a good omen, and asked my husband to take a quick photo of me standing next to the name on the front door. Oops!
Posing in front of the club entrance, I’m running through this manic, stream-of-consciousness internal monologue that goes something like this, "How random to have stumbled across a place called "LOVE ORANGE"! What a coincidence! I mean, hellooo!! I love orange! I have orange luggage, for God’s sake. It’s definitely a sign from the universe. Maybe it means I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my life. Maybe I was destined to come to Phnom Penh at this exact time in my life, and stand in this exact spot. Maybe I’ve been here before in a past life. No, maybe I’m supposed to do something in Cambodia. That’s it. That’s my destiny. I’m supposed to move here and...and start a non-profit and... and help kids. That’s what it is! I’m sure of it! I’ll call it "Orange Aid". Hey, that’s a good name! Like Orange Ade, but a-i-d. God, I’m so clever. Maybe…Jesus, I’m melting here, take the goddamn photo already, Stuart."
As I’m standing there, this insane ranting going through my head, I am completely oblivious to the fact that the bouncer (one can only assume), who apparently is not keen on having photographs taken in front of the club, has opened the door behind me and is angrily gesturing at us to get the hell out of there - at the very moment I am furnishing our new, fabulously-chic Phnom Penh apartment, no house, no apartment, in my head and trying to appear fresh in the 200% humidity.
While we still don’t know why the whole episode caused such a kerfuffle, we certainly wouldn't dream of suggesting that the row of black Mercedes parked in front of the "club", with their tinted
windows, official-looking government plates, and drivers suspiciously watching us like a hawk while waiting for their clients to finish up their delightful, as in sky rockets in flight delightful, afternoon activities, could possibly have had anything to do with it. Love orange? Hmmm.