My Southeast Asia Trip Part 7 (and I didn’t get eaten by a tiger)!

Hello all,

Well, it’s just about time to leave Cambodia. I didn’t even get a chance to go to Laos, which I had included in my itinerary, but that’s all right. My revised schedule now gives me more time in Vietnam, so I won’t complain. Yet.

Ok, so now it’s time for the “What are you going to annoy us with this time, Coop?” portion. Which is, to say, this entire note. Well, ladies, gentlemen, and hermaphrodites, it’s time to truly do something interactive. Remember those practice SAT tests you used to have to take? Yes, it’s test time. Please keep track of your score so that you can be sure to feel bad after an undoubtedly poor performance. Don’t worry; there are hints, answer keys, and even explanations so that next time, when it really counts, you don’t fail so badly. Not that you’re going to do poorly.

Because of the nature of the practice questions, the number of answers might range from two to five. Sure, this might affect your probability of getting a problem right by guessing, but then again, you should be relying on skills and not guessing, right? So many excuses, and you haven’t even started the test. Gotta improve your atttitude, dude.

Let’s start, shall we? Try not to exceed 40 minutes per question.

*****TEST START*****

Please pick the best answer:

1. Most wrong food seen since day 1 of my trip:
a. Fried cockroaches
b. Live skinned frog
c. Alaska reindeer dog
d. Sardinian maggot cheese

2. Newest dessert crisis:
a. Not having it
b. Having real sugar used instead of corn syrup
c. Lumps of odd jelly-coconut-rice concoctions topped with shaved ice and a raw egg

3. If you enjoy those holes in mini-golf where you hit the ball, it disappears into one
of several chambers, and then comes out in a surprise location and usually seems to
roll way right of the hole, then…
a. You should try hitting into a different chamber next time
b. You should have one a free game
c. You totally spelled “one” wrong there, idiot, but I guess spell check is always right, so nevermind
d. Mini-golf is exactly like real golf, right?
e. You’ll love bathrooms and sinks in Southeast Asia because when something goes down the
drain, you never know where or when it will re-emerge. I got a surprise the other day.

4. Euphamisms used by non-English speaking individuals, translated, and referring to
a. “Big girl!”
b. “You have a big daughter”
c. “Strong”
d. “Sir”
e. All of the above

5. Decade my hair is in on this trip:
a. The 90s
b. The 00s, which don’t sound cool
c. It will always be stuck in the 80s

Answer key, problems 1-5:
(c) A and B were expected, but the reindeer dog still scares me. D doesn’t exist here, silly. But it does exist.

(c) A raw egg. Come on!

(e) Just let it be and where protective clothing next time.

(e) Old news

(c) (Don’t) look at any photo of me to verify


6. Worst retaliation at a roadside stop:
a. Being called a cracker
b. Being told you’re pretty
c. Being cut in line many times when you really gotta go
d. Having a live tarantula put on you if you don’t buy fruit or bugs from the whining young hawkers

7. Horns, which are used on a basis of about 6 honks per minute, honk in what two
a. m2 and octave
b. P4 and P5
c. M3 and tri-tone
d. unison and m6

8. The game show, “Let’s Stare at the White Chick” is not an actual show played in
which countries?
a. Just Malaysia
b. Just Cambodia
c. Just Thailand
d. All of the countries above, plus America and every other country I’ve ever visited

9. Cambodian food is so varied and unique, it’s as inventive as…
a. Dyson was for vacuums
b. Swiffer was for brooms
c. Something else really inventive that’s not cleaning-related
d. It’s not varied or unique at all. It’s boring as eep.

10. Cambodian food is so repetitive and unflavorful, in fact, that to see a food one
hasn’t yet seen by the third day in the country means…
a. You’re dead
b. You’re deaf, but since this has nothing to do with it, you have no taste buds.
c. You’re blind
d. You’re both deaf and blind
e. Though warranted, it’s unfair to insert a Helen Keller joke here, given that the woman
accomplished far more than most of us every will, starting research organizations, campaigning for
civil rights and liberties, travelling the world, becoming an author, and much more.
f. Insert Helen Keller joke here.

Answer key, problems 6-10:
(d) The Khmer food at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market is a million times better than the stuff here. Plus, there’s variety, which is something the people here don’t quite understand.

(a) Duh.

(d) Obviously.

(d) Yeah, it’s unfortunate. I was excited the first day, but quickly realized that everything after that was the same.

(e) Be prepared to tell me an awesome Helen Keller joke to redeem your point


11. Thailand is lacking in bread : crime ::
a. I am lacking in portion control : sad
b. Cambodia is lacking in everything : life
c. Just a and d
d. Just a and b


12. I’m exactly 12 hours ahead of EST.
a. True
b. False

13. I really, truly, have finally gotten a tan.
a. False
b. False


Okay, so this is really obnoxious, but it only gets worse from here. Start your practice timer now after a 15-minute snack break, preferably during which you should consume some type of food you know I can’t eat here and then brag about it in some RE: email.



13. If you’re on a bus in Cambodia and there are two motos and a car in front of you
going 83 km/hour, plus a truck coming towards you at 91 km/hour, what will your
bus driver do if he’s only capable of accelerating 3 km/second and there are only
114 metres between the first moto and the oncoming truck?

a. Pull out a calculator to measure the time until impending doom
b. Keep driving
c. Close his eyes and pray to Buddha while snacking on some dried fish strips and caressing his belly
like Khmer so enjoy.
d. Triple pass for no particular reason.and not pull back onto the right side of the road until the
truck and the bus are two seconds away from a head-on collision

14. What is the square root of i?:
There are two square roots of i: (1/[square root of]2)(1 + i ) and (-1/[square root of]2)(1 + i)

Should I know this? No, really, it looks like a joke question and as if it’s fine I don’t know it

when I first look at it, but if I look closer I realize I studied this in skool and it’s not that hard, and
now I feel guilty and dumb for not remembering, and I don’t even want to continue this test and
don’t know why I keep answering these questions. I think I’ll stop. After the next one.

15. In the capital city, Phnom Penh, I…
a. Got grabbed at by taxi drivers and had to physically tear them off of me and my bag
b. Got attacked by a crazy man with a screwdriver
c. Got hit by a moto while crossing the street
d. All of the above

No, seriously, I’m 150% serious when I say I don’t even have a semi-serious injury from being hit by a moto.
150% minus 50% for the “semi” in semi-serious means I’m 100% okay.

150% divided by 2 for the “semi” in semi-serious means I’m only 75% okay.

Neither of the above rules apply, because semi-serious doesn’t include missing limbs, which I don’t have, missing, that is, plus, how can one be over 100% of anything?

Wait, where was the actual question?

C and D

Answer key: Problems 11-15:
(d) I miss good bread. Also, Cambodia unfortunately has little to offer.

(a) Now you can definitely plan when not to be online.

(a) or (b) I carry the rare gene that allows me to get skin cancer in a fraction of the time it takes tanners to do so.

(a) Technically the right answer, though in pre-practice tests, 86% of the participants picked (b). Then committed suicide. Only 27% of those attempts were fruitful.


Non-question question: (e)


Please read the story below:

I went to an island with a travel buddy. We got a bungalow with a bathroom. We took a long bus ride up to the jungle after that. Then we came back to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. I had fun. I write good.

Please answer the following questions and choose the best possible answer according to the story above.

16. While going to the bathroom in the beach bungalow, I encountered…
a. An unexploded land mine
b. A scorpion
c. Someone’s missing arm
d. A mini Procompsognathus

17. When on the bus trip, I asked the bus staff when we would stop for a bathroom,
and in response, the bus promptly…
a. Stopped at the next rest stop, clean and complete with toilet paper
b. Pulled over one minute later at a luxury patch of brush on the side of the road

18. When given bathroom stalls to use, Cambodian men prefer to:
a. Pee on the way to the stalls
b. Step around to the back of the stalls and go there instead
c. Pee in a third location that’s smack in public
d. Pee at any of the above locations, then lift their shirts and rub their bellies as either a way to
cool down or show off their stunning nastiness

19. While dining in the jungle, the meat used for meals, despite being a few days old
and (of course) not refrigerated, was perfectly edible because, quoted from our
a. “I never get sick.”
b. “I just cooked it the other day and it doesn’t smell.”
c. “I just killed the possum.”
d. Insert some other choice else here when you’re not being hit on by Nigerian men in the internet
cafe in which you’re typing. It really is hard to think, and he just proposed to me

20. After exiting the bush after my multi-day jungle trek, I emerged with:
a. A pre-engagement ring from the amazingly attractive, chain-smoking, teeth-stained, gaunt,
nasty old ranger
b. The amazement at having seen two wild elephants, a wild tiger, and a leprechaun.
c. 72 cuts, scrapes, and bruises on my body
d. 72 cuts, scrapes, and bruises on my body, plus three Brangelina-inspired adopted Cambodian

Answer key: Problems 16-20:
(b) Oh, COME ON. I know a scorpion isn’t as exciting as the other choices, but come on, I saw a scorpion!

(b) I can’t even describe it. Oh, and it happened about 4 more times on subsequent trips.

(d) Best answer, and the belly patting is grosser than the urinating.

(b) or (d). Equally correct and good choices.

(c) Adopting normal Cambodian kids is so last year. I’m waiting to adopt until I can get a feral child from the African bush.

****END TEST****

How’d you do?
1-20 correct: Have you looked in a miror lately? Yeah, you shouldn’t.
21 correct: You cheated, not unlike how Jamal Malik did in Slumdog Millionaire.

I hope you learned a little something here. Don’t feel too badly about doing poorly, okay? As long as you use what you learn and do better next time. Will there be a next test? Of course not, but be prepared just in case.

Since I was on an island and also in the jungle, I really didn’t get a chance to get online. I’m in Cambodia for only one more day, and then it’s off to my last stop, Vietnam! I’ll be coming home in December.

I hope all is well, and stay away from (a) motos, (b) H1N1, and (c) Alaskan reindeer dogs that aren’t certified kosher.

Much love,