October 29, 2008

Cambodia: Phnom Penh

The morning after Halloween we took a public bus from Sihanoukville back up to Phnom Penh. We got off the bus and into a tuk tuk to a kickboxing match. Not as bloody as I thought but still had to cover my eyes a few times. The kickboxing match gathered people of all kinds. It was interesting to see how "city locals" go about their days. Street children were running around bare foot collecting plastic bottles, all the men were betting on the match and overweight men had their shirts folded up. It was all quite a show and I am not talking about the fight... however it did grasp my attention every once and while.

Later that day we walked around Phnom Penh and explored. I remember reading in the Lonely Planet that most tourist don't like Phnom Penh as they find it dirty so I was not that excited about seeing the city, however, that could not be more incorrect. Phnom Penh is amazing.

The following day was filled with Cambodian history at the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields. Both were incredibly difficult but I learned so much about the last 30 to 40 years in Cambodia. I just love this country and am so impressed with life today.

Daily Dose of South East Asia:
1. Motorbikes. People carry everything on their motorbikes. I saw a queen sized wood bed frame including the headboard, a whole coop of dead chickens tied to every inch of the bike (you could not even see the mans legs or the back seat of the bike), a queen sized mattress, four extra large dead pigs, and five people including a baby and a dog.
2. Kilometers, kilograms and Celsius. Due to my lack of mental converting abilities I never know how far we are going, how much things weigh or how hot it is outside.
3. Heat. Even though I never know the exact temperature in degrees I can still tell it's hot. The first couple of days I was constantly showering because I was always so sticky. However, seem to be adjusting.
4. Food. It's all very tasty but I am still sticking with meat on bone is gross. In Cambodia I eat mostly vegetable side dishes or prawns. I am still sticking with papaya salad as my ultimate favorite meal.
5. Honking. Oh my god, make it stop. Public buses honk at absolutely everything, even chickens wondering around on the side of the road. It is so load and really squeaky. If anything is going to make me crazy it's going to be the public bus honking. I do not know anything more annoying except when the bus driver also puts on a Thai music video. Wait... if anything is going to me crazy it is going to be the combination of the honking and Thai music videos.
6. Cows. They are everywhere. The best is when they are laying in the middle of the highway and everyone drives around them... it's rather amusing.
7. "You have such an American accent." Yes.
8. Pajamas. In Cambodia women where pajamas everywhere and all day long in a range of different colors and patters. We call them the business suit for women.

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