Friday, 26 September 2008

24 Hours in Cambodia

The last twenty four hours have been a rich pasture for someone like me. Our trip back to Phnom Phenh was marred with our bus hitting a small calf. Stock are usually tethered by a chain when beside the road but this calf made the mistake of a road crossing as we approached. The bus looked in need of some serious cosmetic surgery. The calf seemed ok and was tied up and placed in a luggage compartment. I did my best to shield my own bovine companion from seeing such a distressing sight.

As we entered Phnom Phenh we encountered a 30 minute traffic snarl up of some magnitude. The usual give way to everything road laws that are in place are sadly ignored when it comes to buses. After watching one particularly smug looking black SUV block our path I made a good natured one fingered salute. Did you know Cambodian custom dictates that one fingered salutes are reciprocated with the flourishing of hand guns?

Last night we drank heartily at our guest house and went off to find some sustenance. We had the misfortune of meeting an incredibly drunk and obnoxious pairing who hailed from Christchurch, New Zealand. Not only did they enjoy Hanoi, but one of the duo, when tackled with conversational genetics was proud to promote inbreeding as the only way to raise good pigs and therefore the only solution for the improvement of the human race. Sadly my limits for discussing sullying the gene pool with someone of questionable chromosomes were sorely tested. We effected an exit not before my wife had them convinced I am someone quite famous and not to be trifled with. Read this and weep fools!

This morning began with a curious sensation permeating my cranium. Having faced this predicament numerous times on this journey I arranged a variety of bloodstream additives to have with my breakfast. Satiated and feeling fit we embarked to take in some of the tourist offerings Phnom Phenh has to offer.

The killing fields are chilling. The removal of all of the original human slaughter buildings and equipment makes it all the more eerie. A sole monument filled with skulls stands as a reminder to the loss of lives under the rule of Pol Pot.

The National Museum was far more accomadating. Cambodia has a breathtaking past and it’s artisans have created some incredible statues and fine art work which fill the museum.

I was not supposed to take these photos but I did wear my sarong over my shoulders as a sign of respect so I am not completely dishonourable.

One more day of inspiration and we will catch our bus to Siem Reap.

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