Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
We usually eat at the same spot for breakfast every morning: Navy Khmer Kitchen. You just can't beat $0.50 smoothies and surprisingly tasty, veggie-filled $1.00 omelettes that come with baguettes. Especially when working with a budget of about $1,000 a month (and alcohol and accommodation account for 2/3 of that).
It was our last full day in Siem Reap and, unsure what food prices would be like in Bangkok, I was getting my fill of cheap food. I was dousing my omelette in chili sauce when a slender, tall, middle-aged Asian man cradling a teeny baby wandered up to the restaurant. I wouldn't have noticed him normally (well, except for his short shorts), but something about him seemed familiar. I turned to Cody.
"I feel like I've seen that guy before. Do you know him?"
He looked up from his double omelettes and stared.
"Wait, that's...Holy shit that's Cao Boi! From Survivor!" He whispered to me as the man passed, waved to the table behind us, and began chatting with the Western couple sitting at it.
Everyone sitting at my table, all six of us, were avid Survivor fans. Cody and I were only introduced to this fantastic game show this past year by our Australian friends, but Cao Boi was in the first season we watched. (It's also my favorite season, Season 13: Cook Islands.)
We spent the rest of the meal debating who would go up to ask the man if he was actually Cao Boi. Of course that ended up being me.
I caught him just as he was leaving the restaurant and about to cross the street, baby still held tightly in crux of his arm. I poked him on the shoulder. (I know, I'm awkward.) When he turned around, I burst out in a fast, almost incoherent stream of words, "AreyouCaoBoifromSurvivor?"
He grinned as only a semi-famous game show contestant that's just been recognized can.
"Yes, I am!"
Everyone in the restaurant was watching me. I'd never approached a celebrity on the street like this before and I could feel my face reddening as I spoke.
"Season 13 is my favorite season! Is there any way I can take a picture with you?"
He was happy to - he actually took pictures with all of us at the table, chatted with us, and even invited us to hang out at his friend's bar with him later that night. It was an awesome, surprising ending to our stay in Siem Reap.