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The Ants Go Marching One by One, Hurrah, Hurrah.

CAMBODIA | Saturday, 4 April 2009 | Views [1218] | Comments [3]

The ants go marching one by one
hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one
the little one stops to suck his thumb
and they all go marching down
to the ground
to get out of the rain
boom boom boom boom

Translation:

Ant = Hannah, Molly and I
The March = our complicated journey into Cambodia
Rain = that was real.

Traveling to Poi Pet, (Thai/Cambodian border) was a simple task that only involved one vehicle transfer and 2 quick stops. Pretty damn efficient! Once we arrived at Poi Pet, the true colors of a third world country were exposed. Trash was present everywhere. Hundreds of children were running in the streets with broken flip flops and bare feet. Ten year old boys were pulling around bundles of twigs and produce with insects swarming around them. Dilapidated buildings lined the streets and I felt as if was in the middle of a war.

The irony of this small border town was that it was also home to over a dozen casinos. There weren't flashy lights or larger-than-life glass structures, there wasn't even a paved road. The casinos looked as if they had been built in the 1970's and had just been left to rot. According to my sources, the Thais are not allowed to gamble and they often travel to the border to partake in this risky business.

Hannah, Molly and I successfully cleared both rounds of border inspections and were then instructed to board a short bus to the bus station. We were told that the bus taking us to Siem Reap wasn't allowed to pick us up at the border...this immediately raised a red flag. The three of us boarded the short bus and the doors closed behind us. Aside from the bus driver, his three year old son and a local Cambodian, we were the only three passengers in the bus. Why didn't the driver wait for the rest of the crew and where were they taking us?!

The bus clearly wasn't equipped with AC, so we all busted the window open for a cool breeze. The splitter splatter of the rain drops also helped sooth the heat. I desperately tried to relax but ended up drawing pictures with the little boy in the front seat. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the bus stop. A clean, white, open building with a tile roof and brown interior. There were a few black plastic chairs scattered around the lobby, but it was lifeless. Where were the buses and the other travelers? Why couldn't we just go directly to our destination?!

Turned out that there was indeed a bus waiting for us on the other end. They must have miscalculated the number of travelers in each group and wanted to fill this first bus. The three of us girls were their best candidates. It would have been nice to know this information.

Finally, we were on our way to Siem Reap! Our luxurious VIP travel accommodations that we had gotten used to in Thailand had been down-graded significantly. Our bus was stripped of any frills and was in need of a routine check up. I was exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep. I could have easily passed out on the lightly padded seat but struggled due to the constant beepings of the horns. Ten seconds of silence was rare. This wasn't road rage, this was simply an intrusive warning signal that a vehicle was approaching oncoming traffic, bikes, motor scooters. In the time it took you to read this paragraph, the driver must have used his horn a total of three or four times.

Four hours and 1,500 beeps later, Siem Reap was a reality. It was a beautiful sight. French-colonial and Asian influenced buildings and hotels illuminated the main road. Flashy lights, lanterns and signs led us to our guest home where we unloaded our backpacks, showered and started to map out our Cambodian adventure.

This was going to be good.

Comments

1

why did you just put one and not all of them

  stephany Mar 3, 2010 3:14 PM

2

and you iven did not put the bet on thatnis gay

   stephany Mar 3, 2010 3:16 PM

3

i like your song

  raul Mar 3, 2010 3:19 PM

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