Otres was that one place I was highly looking forward to for my trip to Cambodia. Known for it’s stunning and beautiful beaches, I was so excited for my stay in this village in Sihanoukville. Like few more times in the past, I got a bit of luck working, to book a small blue house for myself and guess what! The owners were two ladies! Now call it a coincidence or just a matter of luck, I was satisfied that the retrieval processor of my implicit memory is overworking at times.
My one of the lady host of Otres, was quite a jolly girl (girl because she looked quite young from her picture) and was prompt enough to help me with any information I would ask for. She even had helped me to pick few places in Cambodia which otherwise I was contemplating and might not have gone there at all. Let’s just say, sometimes it’s wise to consider good advises.
‘Hi Payel, hope you are having a great trip. I have a bit of news for you; I have to go to Phnom Penh for some work and won’t be in the house during your stay. However my co-host will be there to welcome you and if any problem you can get in touch with me as well.’
I got this message the day after I reached Siem Reap, and yes it was little sad as we were looking forward to meet each other. However as per our conversation on whatsapp, the things settled between us were as below:
- The wifi password of the blue house was shared before-head
- The co-host was an Italian girl and English was little difficult for her. (Good I knew it before, as my effort of simplifying my already simple English wasn’t paying as much as I could ask for, so one big scoop of patience was to be reserved aside for the co-host of the blue house)
- For emergency information, more than the co-host present at front, I would have to rely on the main host seating in Phnom Penh.
- I had to notify my arrival time either to my host or co-host, which I would do a day before.
My tour was keeping me busy, happy and tired at the end of the day. Otres was planned after a week of my arrival at Siem Reap. As promised when I sent a message to my co host of the Blue house to inform my arrival time two days prior, I didn’t receive any answer from her. The entire day gone but no reply from my co-host though the blue ticks did confirm her seeing my message. Then a day after:
‘Hey Payel, hope all well. I have some bad news. There is some electrical fault at the house and it needs immediate repairing. Which also means you cannot stay at the house. So I have booked a stay for you at a resort, it’s a very good place, I am sure you won’t have any problem there. The last thing I can ask is not to cancel this booking.’
What was that!! This disgusting fault had to come at this time! I couldn’t think of anything, I was sad or may be a little agitated or may be all of a sudden confused. Though she had sent the booking details and I could get a glimpse of the resort, which did look manageable, still I couldn’t get away with what if I don’t like the resort? What if it’s far away! What if this.. What if that.. I straight away came to the point,
‘How far is this place from the beach? Is it in Otres?’
‘It’s just a minute from the house. Actually I give this resort’s name as a landmark whoever is coming to the bungalow.’
Ook, just a minutes from her house, that means it’s the same location. That should be a relief.
‘Ok fine. But it’s really sad that I won’t be staying at your place. I was really looking forward to this stay, but whenever I feel, I will bother you for anything I may need.’
‘Sure thing. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for anything you need. Trust me, it breaks my heart, but the issue is something I can’t fix by tomorrow, I really tried.’
‘I trust you. I hope you get your first guest very soon.’
‘Me too, this was my first from this booking portal. But you don’t worry about your stay, the property is really high rated.’
‘I don’t doubt you at all.’
In the evening there was another message from my host of Otres,
‘Hey Payel, your stay is taken care of, you can show them the receipt when you check in. Safe travels!’
I was on awe; this was unbelievable! This girl paid THREE times more than what I had paid for my stay at her Blue house! Who does that! That was insane but I couldn’t thank her more. I could only express my heart-felt gratitude to her.
‘I can’t thank you more for being so considerate. You know, anyone else could have cancelled the booking sending just a sorry note; you on the other hand have been kind enough to take the hassle of arranging another stay for me. Expensive or not, what matters is you didn’t leave me on my own. Thank you very much.’
‘Thank you Payel, I feel this is the least I can do. You had mentioned that you were a solo traveller; been there, so this felt like the right way to handle the situation. I really hope you enjoy your stay there and feel free to message me.’
My host from the blue house of Otres had also given the list of restaurants I should visit; my stay at the resort was superlative. Though Phnom Penh was my last stop, my schedule was hectic that I didn’t manage to invite my host for an evening catch up. I had decided to share a review of her place even I didn’t stay there and I had to do it.
And that was my angel host whom I never met..