Clumsy Pete...

So, as it turns out, the funniest story of the day today had to do with me… falling down the slippery steps of a Buddhist monastery.

After a Q&A with a local monk and a translator, I noticed it had been raining heavily outside and I quickly ran to get my shoes which were removed out front. Out in front of the stairs were four Buddhist nuns and as I approached the steps, they were all yelling at me loudly. Since I don’t speak Khmer (native Cambodian language) and they didn’t know much English, I assumed they didn’t want me to get my socks wet as I was sprinting for the wet marble staircase.

I took my socks off and dashed for the shoes that were outside and before I knew it, my bare feet were at eye level and I was headed downward. At the bottom of the staircase, wet, I started laughing hysterically and wished that “Be careful, slippery when wet” was in my Khmer-English phrase handout sheet I had received in the beginning of the trip. Maybe then I would have slowed down a bit.

I walked up the stairs in shame and one of the Cambodians pointed out that my ankle was bleeding. Before I could fully realize what just happened to me, Alicia was next to me with a first aid kit.

As we were taking care of the scratch, the Buddhist nuns were sharing the story with the rest of the group we were with using “bonk” sound effects to describe the apparently hilarious bouncing down the stairs to the rest of the group. Even though there was a complete language barrier, everyone got the story and couldn’t help but laugh first, then ask if I was okay later.

Over all, next time someone yells at me in Khmer, I am going to stop in my tracks and try and figure out why exactly they are yelling at me before I move a foot.

Pete Marcano @marcano