“The Trinidad Show” Live


This blog entry about the events of Sunday, January 30, 2005 was originally posted on February 07, 2005.

DAY 470:  It’s one thing to experience my life on the road via this Blog, but it’s another to experience it live, as it happens, as Noelle did that day.  Since her first appearance on “The Trinidad Show,” she saw things in person that she had only read about on-line, like that blue clamp that holds the logic board of my laptop together tightly.  “Ah, the famous clamp,” she said when she first saw it.

AFTER COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST AT THE GOLDIANA, we walked across town, passed the Independence Monument and more trendy eateries of The Ex-Pat Zone, to the scenic riverfront area on the Tonle Sap River, a district where ex-pats and budget backpackers came together from opposite ends of the city — along with the taxi touts that come along with the territory.  It was there we camped out at an internet cafe for an hour while waiting for the Royal Palace gates to open up to tourists after their mid-day break.  We sat at two different computers next to two other foreigners and worked on our Blogs when a young local boy came in trying to sell English-language newspapers.  He approached everyone for a sale, and by everyone I mean all the foreigners, except for Cambodian-looking me.

“Did that kid try to sell you a newspaper?” I asked Noelle on our way out.


“He totally skipped me.”

“Yeah, I saw that!”

This was just the latest in a case of mistaken identity that has happened to me in most countries I’ve gone to; Cambodians take me for Cambodian, Thais for Thai, Peruvians for Peruvian.  As Noelle pointed out on one of our walks in Bangkok, “That woman just looked at you [as if to say] ‘Hey, you look like me.  What are you doing with that white woman?’”

WE WALKED DOWN THE STREET IN PHNOM PENH with the usual stares to the Royal Palace, a.k.a. the “Preah Boram Reach Van Chadomuk Mongkul,” which is really a handful to say or write, so it’s a good thing we can just call it the “Royal Palace.”  As the edifice commemorating the intersection of the four rivers in the area (Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong, Tonle Sap, and Tonle Bassak), the Royal Palace was constructed in the late 19th century in the traditional Khmer way under the reign of King Nodorom, who sat in his throne way back then and said things like “It’s good to be the king.”

With Noelle’s rented sarong (since her shorts were too short for admission into the holy area), we wandered the palace and temple grounds, from the gardens and statues to the stupas to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (picture above), which was all very similar to the Royal Palace complex in Bangkok, except not nearly as crowded.  Two main buildings set the Cambodian place apart from the complex in Bangkok:  a French-style house built for Napoleon III during the French occupation — the “N” was for “Noelle” we said — and the Preah Tineang Tevea Vinichhay, the throne room where the new king Norodom Sihamoni, a former ballet dancer who had only been sworn in October 2004, also sat and said things in Khmer like “It’s good to be the king.”  (Napoleon said a similar thing in his house, but in French.)  The royal residences nearby were closed to the public because the king was in town, probably practicing his curtsies and walking around on his tippy-toes.

“[YOU TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES,]” Noelle said to me.

“Yeah, only about [ten percent] make the cut,” I said, explaining the way I work with photos for the Blog.

After visiting the traditional Khmer wooden house on display, with traditional Khmer musical instruments and masks, we walked passed the Cambodian-Laos-Vietnam Memorial on the way back to the hotel for some pool time and to get sucked into bad made-for-TV sci-fi movies, one starring Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Angie Everhart.  Afterwards it was back to the riverfront for dinner at the Happy Herb Pizzeria where we dined over a postcard-writing session.  Noelle saw with her own eyes, just how burdensome writing postcards was for me; sure a couple is fine, but twenty-five all in one sitting?  I racked my brain trying to figure out what to say on each one. 

“You should hear the conversation over here,” Noelle told me, referring to the four young Kiwi girls at the next table.  “It’s just funny.”

“What are they talking about?”

“Just boys and stuff,” she said.  The four girls were obvious teeny-bopper types transplanted in Cambodia.

“Those are the 1981ers I keep talking about.”  She understood completely.

THE F.C.C. is an acronym I did not make up:  the Foreign Correspondents Club.  It was there we closed the night off with a carafe of red wine while sitting on the terrace overlooking the river.  We sat with our wine, relaxed, and watched the people go by below as a cooling breeze blew by us, knowing very well that traveling for real is far greater the traveling vicariously on a website.


Next entry: Ouch Was An Understatement

Previous entry: The Ex-Pat Zone

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Comments for “"The Trinidad Show" Live”

  • hey, make that an RSVP for 2, bf would love to meet ya. he reads your blog also on and off, though he only made a comment once.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/06  at  01:50 PM

  • The red wine was chilled. Just an FYI if you ever get to Phnom Penh!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/06  at  01:54 PM

  • Hey Erik,

    Cambodia looks so different than I ever imagined….

    Also -
    404 - The requested URL /theglobaltrip/updates/DSC00753camvietlaomonumentV.shtml

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/06  at  02:35 PM

  • Objection! When referring to post1981ers can we be sure to add the “POST” so as not to confuse with those who are born in and not after 1981? Thank you!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/06  at  07:52 PM

  • ERIK - fixed all the vertical pics…the DSC00753camvietlaomonumentV.shtml was uploaded without the V…you need to rotate that and reload (forgot how to do that)...

    TDOT - no…it’s born in 1981…again there are some exceptions!...

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/06  at  08:12 PM

  • Hey Erik,
    Strange, we really do seem to be taking the exact same route on the RTW, plus turning 30 within a week of each other. Weird. I also heard that there was an Erik that went to UVA and is from Jersey City - that’s not you, is it? Anyway, I bought a mountain bike and I’m traveling like that now, I’m in Phnom Penh tomorrow, from Vientiane, see you around if you’re there!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  01:19 AM

  • mmmmmm, happy herb pizza….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  01:24 AM

  • TDOT:  As I explained in the postcard I sent to you from Cambodia, let us keep in mind that it is now 2005, which means all the 1981ers have crossed over the threshold.  Now you can join the rest of us in bashing the 1982ers.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  09:57 AM

  • TOMM / MARKYT:  Thanks for the QA… that picture is fixed now.

    TOMM:  And yes, Cambodia is completely different than I originally thought.  Most of the backpackers I met made Phnom Penh out to be this crime-ridden danger zone, but as you can see, it’s not.  (Then I again, I was in the Ex-Pat Zone, not Backpacker Hell.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  10:03 AM

  • TDOT - 1982ers are complete worse than 1981ers….COMPLETELY…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  10:57 AM

  • Crossed the threshold eh?! Great! I feel a whole lot better.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/07  at  01:37 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Ouch Was An Understatement

Previous entry:
The Ex-Pat Zone


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

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