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My new life begins at LAX a journal of my 3 months living and working in Phnom Penh, and beyond.

Back to the Beach

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 16 July 2008 | Views [1006]



Right now CWF is on the one week mid semmester break. It's hard to believe that my commitment with CWF is halfway over. I am still working out what I will do when I am finished with CWF but I will get to that later.

I decided to spend my week break on the coast. Most of the other volunteers went to Siem Reap (been there, done that, bought the T-shirt). I was only here about 6 weeks ago, just before I started working with CWF and I have changed a lot since then. When I came here in May I had only been in the country for a few hours. The novelty of being away from the US was in full effect. But this place is exactly the same. The same kids try and sell me bracelets, or hustle me on the pool table for a bottle of Coke. The same crippled beggers go up and down the beach asking for money. And the same creepy old European sex tourists sitting on the beach in their speedos. There is one next to me in the internet cafe with his young Khmer girlfriend (not illegally young, but creepily young).

Now I have been here for a good while and I am familiar with the culture. I have picked up a bit of the language even though it is coming slow. I am a lot different than the backpackers I meet who are just passing through the country for a few days and try to see all the spots that lonely planet reccomends.

I took the capitol bus from Phnom Penh, with 2 other CWF volunteers and 7 members of the Cambodian staff. I have become so accustomed to the climate that the AC on the 4 hour bus ride made me uncomfortably cold.

I stayed at the same guest house I did last time, because I really liked it. Even though the rest of my collegues stayed at another hotel. When I was checking in the manager at the hotel asked me if I needed anything to smoke, no thanks buddy.

It has been great hanging out with Cambodians in Sihanoukville. Sambo organized a BBQ on the beach Monday night. We have been cutting costs as a group, and doing things that Cambodians normally do as opposed to what the Westerners do.

Yesterday we organized a boat trip to Bamboo island. Beautiful beyond words. If I had enough books I could spend the rest of my life there and never get sick of it. I'm sure I will come back someday and stay the night at one of the Bungalows.

This morning I ate breakfast at my guesthouse, and turned on the MLB Allstar game. It ended up being a 3 hour breakfast. It was good to see a game of baseball. The game was live so it started at 8:00am. I watched until the end of the 9th inning when the game was tied at 3. I didn't feel like watching the extra innings. It was getting hot and I felt like hitting the beach. I just checked the score and I'm glad I left when I did, 15 innings what a marathon. I love watching baseball. But it is not the same over here when I am the only one interested.

I ate lunch at one of the restraunts on the beach and they had a sign for Western server needed. I talked to the Khmer guy working there and he said they would give me room and board if I worked the bar at nights. Tempting, really tempting. Maybe someday.

It starting raining a little bit ago and I thought it would be a good opporutunity to come in and check my email. The rain is stopped now. I think I will rent a moto and check out another beach.

About an hour ago the rest of the CWF staff got on the bus back to PP. Tomorrow I am taking a mini bus to Kampot, haven't been there yet but I have heard some good things. 

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