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

Notes from the Overground

CAMBODIA | Sunday, 3 August 2008 | Views [951] | Comments [2]

It has been a while since I have blogged and a lot has happened since my last blog. Last week I went back to the US to attend my sisters Emily’s wedding. It was weird being back in the States. I left just two months ago and I don’t think I was ready to go back. Anyways, the wedding was a lot of fun and I’m really glad I went. I wish my sisters and my new brother in law (also named Greg) all the best.

Here are some notes from my trip that I took while waiting at airports. Since I spent about as much time in planes and in Airports as I did in the US, the whole experience was a surreal whirlwind. Constantly changing the time on my watch and trying to figure out what day it was.

If the order of the entries doesn’t make sense it’s because of my constant crossing of the time zones and the international date line. Here is the itinerary of my flights.

Thursday, 8/24

Phnom Penh


(Over the Pacific Ocean I crossed the international date line which is how I arrived in LA almost 3 hours before leaving Taipei. Making Thursday about 38 hours)

Los Angeles

I was in Pittsburgh for 2 days. The first day(Friday) was the wedding rehearsal. The second day (Saturday) was the wedding itself. I was pretty busy the whole time I was there so I didn’t have time to take any notes.

Sunday, 8/27


Monday, 8/28

Los Angeles

(On the way back over the Pacific I lost a day)

Tuesday, 8/29


Thursday, 8.24.08

11:15am PNH

I’m at the airport. Checked in, went through customs and security. I’m an hour and half early for my flight, waiting in a coffee shop. I knew I would be really early. Phnom Penh International Airport is tiny (about the size of a large supermarket). Checking in and immigration took about 15 minutes. I could have taught 10:00-11:00am class, left and hour later and still made it with plenty of time.


But it’s better to be safe then sorry. My schedule on this trip is so tight that if I were to miss a flight I would probably miss the wedding.

On the tuk-tuk ride from the Airport I got a little sentimental about leaving the city. A family was driving along side my tuk-tuk and one of the kids on the back of the moto said “hello”. Things like this happen several times a day, and it is what makes Cambodia different than any other place I have ever been. I know I will be back in less that a week, but I’m going to miss this place.

I have to leave this coffee shop now. From the Bottom of my Broken Heart by Britney Spears is on repeat, I have already head it three times, far more than I needed


5:24pm TPE

Just got off the flight the flight from Phnom Penh. Spent a little over 3 hours in the air. Crossed one time zone. I have another hour before boarding starts. I have been to this airport a few times before. Lots of differences from Phnom Penh Airport and Cambodia in general. Bigger, more upscale shopping, they have a Starbucks, etc. It kind of reminds me of Japan. I guess this is a good stepping stone from Cambodia to the US.

Next flight goes straight to LAX. I’m going to walk around for a while, because I won’t be able to get much exercise for the next 13 hours.

8:59pm LAX

The long leg of the flight wasn’t as bad as I expected. I was even able to get a little sleep which is rare for me on planes. The flight here was about 12.5 hours but I crossed the date line. I actually landed in LA 2 hours before I left Taipei. It took a while to get through customs, as soon as I got through I walked up to the food court area and met Raf there.

Raf was the last person I saw from home before I left. We met at the airport for a drink before my flight 2 months ago. I’m really glad that I was able to meet up with him again. My layover was about 5 hours so we had time to leave the airport and get a meal. We passed and In-and-Out Burger, but I had one thing on my mind, Mexican food. We drove up the coast until we found a decent looking restaurant. It was in the harbor and we ate on the patio, it was quite cool, it felt good. I haven’t been cold in about 2 months. After dinner I still had some time to kill so Raf and I went to Boarders and Best Buy. I got Rant by Chuck Palahniuk and a Moleskin. Raf just dropped me back off at the Airport. I am taking the red eye to Pittsburgh. The flight leaves at 10:30pm.


7:38 PIT

In Pittsburgh now. The weekend was a blur, but I’m so glad that I came out. The wedding was awesome, and it was really cool to meet all my new family. It was really tough getting out of bed at 5:00am today. I cut it kind of close getting to the airport. Barely had time to sit down before boarding started. They are almost on last boarding call so I should make my way over to the plane. I’m really looking forward to my whole day lay over in LA.


1:12am LAX

As I said I was really looking forward to my all day layover in LA. I was supposed to meet up with my friend Marlene. We were supposed to meet at the airport. Unfortunately I was unable to get a hold of her(her phone wasn’t working and I don’t have one) and I couldn’t find her. She came a long way to see me in LA and I had big plans for out day together, but if didn’t happen. I spent the majority of the day at LAX and at Union Station looking for her. I feel terrible about it and I hope that she can forgive me.

Now I’m sitting in the EVA terminal and I am exhausted. I didn’t get much sleep last night and I have been awake since 5:00am East coast time (2:00am Pacific), almost a full 24 hours. I am trying not to fall asleep in the terminal. Hopefully I will sleep the majority of the flight.


6:00am TPE

I did sleep the majority of the flight which was great. It wasn’t comfortable sleep, but my body needed it. The whole trip my sleep tank has been on E, and it was nice to be stuck in a seat 13 hours. My neck is sore from the awkward positions and I woke up a lot during my sleep, but right now is the most well rested I have felt since I left Phnom Penh.

I woke up a couple hours before we landed somewhere over the China Sea and saw an amazing sunrise. The view outside my window looked like an animated Mark Rothko painting, with the turquoise sea seamlessly blending with the hot orange sky. We passed through some clouds and enjoyed an orange haze. I would have taken some pictures but my camera was in the overhead bin and I did want to take my eyes off the show. Since we were traveling away from the sun, the sunrise lasted about twice as long as it should have.

I have a couple more hours here, then a 3 hour flight to PP, and a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride back to the volunteer house. I am glad that this will be the last layover, for a while at least. I’m excited to get back to Phnom Penh I was only gone for a few days but I really miss it.

(9:10am) to Phnom Penh (11:35am)- 3 hrs 25 mins
(1:50am) to Taipei (6:10 am Tuesday)-13 hrs 20 mins
(8:00am) to Los Angeles (9:50am) 4hrs 50mins
(10:30pm) to Pittsburgh (5:58 am Friday)- 4 hrs 12 mins
(6:40) to Los Angles (3:55pm)-12 hours 15 mins
(12:45pm) to Taipei (5:05pm)- 3 hrs 20 mins




Gregor! I didnt know you had this blog, and Helen just let me know..I miss you man! xo

  danielle Aug 22, 2008 4:59 PM


1:12am LAX

Bad day
I just hope that a stroke of lucky someday want's that I returns to see you again, reducing these memory to a chunk of obscurity.

See you next time..


It is time to close this book,
see you soon in LAX again...;)

  Marlene Dec 4, 2008 5:17 AM



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