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Winging it “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” - Martin Buber, Philosopher

Phnom Penh

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | Views [500]

I dont care what I previously said about Singapore Airport, there is no place in the world worth hanging around for 12 hours in! Thank god for flexible plans, as we decided to forgo our plans to enter via Vietnam and fly directly to Phnom Penh - (upside is avoiding the extra few hours on #[email protected]#@ airlines and the 10 hour bus ride over the border)

Touch down in Phnom Penh - worried because I had changed my planned entry point and was unable to modify the evisa entry, thought about trying to explain that their website was down, blah blah, then decided to keep quiet and pretend everything was ok. Best course of action, in the end, as we passed through with ease.  'She ain't no princess', I thought as the moto whisked us through the hectic city traffic past blocky structures bathed in late afternoon sepia hues. I guess I was expecting something a little greener, yet all I saw was the dusty, gritty grey of an overwhelmed rural town trying to compete with an industrial pace. That and the piss off factor of being told that the hotel you want was 'closed'. Hamo suffered culture shock badly that night - frightened by being in a strange place and everyone wanting to talk to him, but not understanding. Lack of sleep also makes things a bit tougher, although he did manage to catch a few hours on the sofa at Singa airport. After finding another hotel (which wasn't that bad - I just like being able to make my own decisions) we freshened up and went out to dinner on the river front.

The night market was operating in full force, bubbling pots filled with I don't know what spilled from every corner, and all other spaces fully stocked with dozens of baskets of eggs, meat, chickens and vegetables. Fish stalls were particularly interresting, but thats another story.

Hamo was appeased by a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise, and I thought 'I hope I can press him from this frightened western diet to try something new'. We watched a macabre procession of limbless men pushed by their children, followed by women clasping sleeping, naked infants quietly beseeching; 'madam, money', all of which were chased away by the waitstaff and security guards. Other than that, the people are very friendly, especially the young girls who are particularly attentive to old white men, who must be lonely in a strange city.

Cheers to all

Tash

Tags: culture

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