Here are some of the many reasons why you’re jealous I got to travel with Justin Hibbard and you didn’t:
1.) He can make you laugh beer through your nose.
2.) He’s an amazing photographer so if you have no patience for photography and kind of suck at it anyway you have his pictures to remember your trip by even though he takes forever to post them to the internet so you can link them to your blog. Here’s his blog where they will be someday. It’s worth the wait, I promise.
3.) He’s game. One of my favorite qualities in an individual.
4.) You get to watch him stick his face into a bunch of pillows and record voice overs. That’s what he does for a living. Turned all our hotel rooms into his ghetto recording studios. Kept me up to date on what Fox News at Five had in store.
The big plan was that Justin, who was getting to Phnom Penh a few hours before I was, would find a hotel room and email me his whereabouts and then I’d go meet him there. As luck would have it, I didn’t have to arrive at the Phnom Penh bus station and lug my bags all over the city in search of an internet cafe because my new pal from the bus, who I will from now on refer to as Matthew…
invited me back to his house for dinner. Then he piled me and his daughter onto his motorcycle for a quick tour of the city before depositing me at the hotel Justin was at. Note: In true SE Asia style, this meant he had his kid sitting in front of him, some of my bags at his feet and me behind him wobbling around with a huge bag strapped to my back.
So he drops me off at the hotel and I walk in and am met by the bewildered faces of 3 hotel employees who have no record of any American named Justin checking in. They assure me that theirs is the only hotel in the city by that name and look through the ratty pile of passport photo copies for the fifth time when I finally see one that’s all crappy and crumpled with Justin’s name on it.
Which meant he was there, somewhere. Which meant, after 20 minutes of all of them telling me they had no idea which room he was in and me starting back at them, willing them to figure it out, one of them finally pretended he did because I clearly was not going away.
So he takes me up to some room but when we opened the door there was a pink suitcase with a pair of high heels next to it. Justin is gay, but he ain’t that gay, so we headed back downstairs and I tried to figure out what to do. Go through the entire place and knock on every frikken door until I find him?
Then, as I’m standing in the lobby being avoided by everyone who works there, Justin comes bursting down the stairs. As luck would have it, the room with the high heels was a few doors down from his and he heard my voice. I love it when stuff like that happens.
So we gleefully get me all settled in and acquainted with the bizarre bathroom wall tiles that displayed a scantily clad Brittany Spears and the Hotel Rules that were concerned with our futures:
Then we went and got something to eat before setting out the next day to check out the city a bit and plan the rest of our trip together. Here’s a video of Justin, me and The Wind on our first rickshaw ride through beautiful Pnohm Penh: