Welcome to my Cambodia trip musings. I am going to share a series of stories and pictures from my recent trip to Kampuchea (the "real" name for Cambodia). The french named the country Cambodia when the colonized it, but the Khmer people still call the country Kampuchea.
Jacky, Todd, Emily & myself arrived at the airport around 4AM on Fri, Dec. 4th to prepare for our journey across the international dateline. After about 30 hours we arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital city. When we rolled in Saturday night I made the comment to our Khmer friend Ronda that the city seemed quiet, she laughed... I later found out why...
We pulled up to our hotel and checked into our rooms for the night. Emily and I were still wide awake and decided to break cardinal rule #1 (via Matt Rowe)... lets just walk down the street near our hotel and check to see if there is a bar or something? We made it about 10 feet outside of the hotel lobby and quickly turned around. Phnom Penh is one of the creepiest, darkest cities I have ever been to. Safely back in the hotel Emily decided to take a shower and all I could hear was, "This is so stupid"??? What?
I was confused, but their bathrooms are set up WAY different from ours. There is no separation between the shower and the rest of the room, it all kind of flows together, no shower curtain, no lip to stop the water, just water water everywhere...
After finally catching some sleep we woke up and headed for breakfast. There was a nice buffet in our hotel, stacked with soup, noodles, rice, stewed veggies??? oh good, some eggs and toast too :)
We also were introduced to dragon fruit. kind of like a kiwi, but not as tart.
Then, fully caffeinated, we walked around the block with our full group in completely day light, so no fear or danger... I realized why Ronda laughed when I said the city seemed quiet. There are about 4 million people who live in Phnom Penh and they all drive little moto's about 10-20 deep on narrow two lane roads. An occasional car or bus will honk and whip around them.
Carts full of fruit and other items are spilling out onto the street everywhere. Once we made it back to the hotel our driver picked us up and took us to Transform Asia's church service. I didn't know that my experience with Phnom Penh was much less than complete, but those stories will wait for our final 2 days when we returned from the country side.