Google Maps is a Liar.
Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
42Trip End Feb 27, 2013
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Where I stayed
Now on to the title of this entry. As you all know, I've been attempting to get to the beach town of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Google Maps informs you that it will take a mere 8 hours. Turns out it takes two days of trekking. Sweaty, hot, scamming, sketchy buses, and loads of stupid ignorance. Stupid ignorance I've learned is key to making a backpacking trip work. You just can't know and once you know, you just can't care that the bus you're on was supposed to leave 45 min ago, but they have overbooked and so your luggage has been moved in the aisle, but hey that's better than the poor souls that have to ride on Cambodian roads for 6 hours in the aisle. But it's all well and good because you get a chance to stretch your legs with outdoor breaks because the bus is overheating and the driver must fetch water from the river to douse the engine with. Yes, yes I was standing on the side of the road in Cambodia with a bunch of Cambodians as we all watched the driver attempt to keep this decrepit bus from completely biting the bullet. Really though, overheating shouldn't have been a problem since we couldn't ever get up to speed because the transmission was about to go too
Needless to say, after two days of perseverance, me and my Canadian friend Brian made it to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We got a sweet room again with toilet paper and even air conditioning! Splitting the room, each with our own sweet bed is $8. Kinda pricey, but this town is very touristy and I cannot wait to leave for one of the islands nearby. My goal is to get in a hammock and lay there. Indefinitely. If I succeed, you may not hear from me for a while.
In other news, the Cambodian border was pretty painless. Other than the 'health certificate' we had to get which entailed us sitting there and them taking our temperature. We had to pay for that too...almost a whole dollar. Wth? I'm covered in mosquito bites and sand fly bites
I guess I should speak of my impressions of the people and area and how I feel about them... that mushy gushy stuff. Well, in my opinion, Cambodians are a harder, harsher, less open people...may be something to do with their hellish past of oppression and genocide...compared to Thais. The Cambodian language is also harder and less pretty sounding. Both are a very small statured people...it's as if I'm around mini-people all day. The Cambodian countryside is breathtaking. The jungle with water buffalo and houses on stilts is just as seen on TV. The earth is very red making it look like the red clay dirt (chirt) in Tennessee...(you will see it in the bus station pic). I am having fun and beginning to get my travel legs under me. It has been great to at least just have someone that would notice if something happened to me. There is also something comforting having someone get scammed or be unsure with you. As a white person you know you are a target and always have to be on guard that prices are fair. However, what Brian and I keep reminding ourselves is that when you scammed in Thailand and Cambodia, you pay $5 for a taxi instead of $3, or something like that. Mere dollars here. It is ridiculous. Speaking of money, in Cambodia, $1 USD equals around 4,000 riel. That's right, if you changed over $250 USD you be a millionaire with Cambodian riel. It is so ridiculous...the stacks of money that you end up with. I have approximately $25 dollars in riel right now and it won't even fit in my money slot in my wallet it's so thick. So, being so rich, Brian and I had to 'make it rain' and 'swim in the money'.
My god, this has to be the end right?? A novel. Until next time...Love and thanks for the support.