Trip Start Jul 11, 2005
62Trip End Apr 04, 2006
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The traveller may feel assured, he will meet with no difficulties or dangers, excepting in rare cases, nearly so bad as he beforehand anticipates. In a moral point of view, the effect ought to be, to teach him good-humoured patience, freedom from selfishness, the habit of acting for himself, and of making the best of every occurrence. . . Travelling ought also to teach him distrust; but at the same time he will discover, how many truly kind-hearted people there are, with whom he never before had, or ever again will have any further communication, who yet are ready to offer him the most disinterested assistance
- Charles Darwin
Another Special Occasion
Well, as I said in a previous entry, I don't normally write entries detailing bus trips but this one, just like our bus crash, deserves it own entry, but for reasons I'd rather not be reporting on.
I'd be fibbing if I said I remember getting to bed the night before, our last in Vietnam, but I sure remember the feeling I had when Pat came knocking on our door at 8am telling us the bus to Cambodia was leaving in 5 minutes, with or without us. Somehow I managed to get a shower and get my stuff onto the bus which eventually left some 15-20 minutes late thanks to myself and Cal. I was on auto pilot at that stage so I barely noticed the looks of disgust myself and Cal were getting from our fellow, punctual, passengers.
The one and a half hour trip through the northern Mekong Delta passed off uneventfully enough, as did the crossing at the Vietnamese Cambodian boarder. It was only after we crossed over the boarder into Cambodia and we were back on the bus heading to the capital,
The trip the rest of the way to Phnom Pehn was, as you can imagine, a solemn one. We lightened the mood by throwing a few numbers between each other regarding the amount Cal had just lost/forgotten; we reckoned it was about 15 years salary for the average Vietnamese worker, or the equivalent to about €300,000, or about half a million Canadian dollars. And we also learnt that winning the lottery in Vietnam nets you 50,000,000 Vietnamese dong; what Cal left behind amounts to about 75,000,000 dong.
All in all Cal took the whole situation extraordinarily well, certainly better than I would have taken loosing a fifth of that amount. But we couldn't ignore the fact that the money was gone and this was inevitably going to change our plans from here on out. India, Nepal, Tibet, China and everywhere scheduled to be visited after that was now not possible for Cal. I had to decide my route from here on, although, truth be told, that wasn't a very tough decision. Something had been playing on my mind the previous few weeks that made that decision a lot easier than it could have been.