Phnom Pheyn, Cambodia
Well this is it. In another few hours I will be in the air for the marathon journey back to Pipe Creek, TX. Unfortunately, I will be alone, having to leave my lovely wife behind in Cambodia. I know that she is doing what her passion tells her she needs to do, but still I will miss her.
We had some great times on my visit to her. In some ways it was a perfect way for me to travel. Go off, have a little adventure, and them come back to a familiar face and place for some rest and reflection. Even though it seemed relaxing, there was nothing ordinary in the weekends that we spent together. Sure we were eating breakfast out, having fried chicken and glasses of wine for dinner, but after all we were doing all that in Kampong Cham, Cambodia! How cool is that!
I guess that it might be time for a little reflection on how my time in Cambodia went. It was easier and harder than I thought. The people here are more sophisticated and primitive than I thought. It had all of the look and feel of a third world county, but yet many people spoke English, making it easy to get around. The transportation was plentiful and a few steps above a so called “chicken bus”. It was only when you got to the more remote spots that the quality of the transportation started to fall apart.
But probably the best part of Cambodia was something I was not expecting. These are just “good” people. No mater where I was I never felt threatened or intimidated in any way. I never felt that I had to watch my things very closely. In fact, there was one time when my tuk-tuk driver stopped for gas, and there were piles of loose money on the makeship desk that was outside next to the pump. After the lady filled his motorcycle she took the money, laid it on the desk and walked away. I asked, wasn't she worried about somebody taking the money. He said, no, because no one steals here.
The only places anyone begged or hustled was in the ultra touristy spots. And that was another revelation. I was not expecting that amount of tourists. Siem Reip was filled with thousands of tourists. And it wasn't cheap there either. My entry pass cost $40 for 3 days. I wondered what they did with all that money. They certainly didn't spend it on the roads, or signs, which were almost alway in the Khmer language. Perfect for the thousands og Europeans. They didn't spend it on the poor, which littered the streets or their schools.
I had a fabulous time in cambodia. I don't think I will ever come back, but it will always be a memory that I cherish. Now if I could just get my wife home!