Well I arrived safely in Phnom Penh yesterday after 6 hour comfy coach trip from Saigon. The border crossing was very.smooth and professional, not what I was expecting, perhaps to my shameful thinking.
This city is similar yet different to Vietnams majors. Streets are wider, more cars, less horns, not as smarter dressers yet more smiles. Although roads busy, traffic just flows without aggression of Australia, life just seems to go on in this part of the world somehow.
Aside from very relaxing time of massage, food and temples two awesome things have occurred thus far:
1. Last night I took a walk and stopped at what looked like popular local restaurant. There was a bbq with hot coals and some kind of meet with Yummy smells. No one spoke English so took the risk, hoping it was beef and not a domestic pet :)
As I sat alone four friendly guys at next table invited me to join them, and so began a couple of hours of food, angkor beer and language lessons. (thankfully meat was beef).
2. Tonight I sat on the beautiful waterfront at a western cafe being very bad eating one mutha of a big banana pancake and icecream (Yummy).
Mister "hello, do you want buy scarf, book, etc) went on and on by many disturbing my decadent eating and view.
After a little while another man approached me, he had no hands! And a sign saying "I don't want to beg, but want to work, selling books". Well I couldn't resist, I bought a book and invited him to join me and got him a drink.
You may think that's the end, but no. Within 5 mins a boy I'd told "no" was back saying "why u buy his book, and not mine" :) oh dear what did I start lol, he said he's thirsty and hungry also as had not eaten all day.
A quick check of my cash and I didn't have enough on me to stay at western place, so I got them to take me to local food cafe. And off we trod, man, boy and by this time other 3 little street selling kids no more than 8 yo.
I got them food and we ate together, sharing language.
Then the heavens opened and boy did it poor, within 15 mins there was about 20cm water all over the streets.
I wished them good luck they went back to work, I off to my air conditioned guest house to read my new book about horrors of the Khmer Rouge.
Life is full of contradictions.