Back to Phnom Penh

Trip Start Jan 10, 2005
Trip End May 10, 2005

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Question: How many motorcycles does it take to transport Martin, myself and all the stuff we're hauling around?

Answer: Just two, believe it or not!

Back on the bus again this morning. Not a long trip back to Phnom Penh, but the air conditioning never seems to work on Cambodian buses. It's brutal out there today: 33C and very humid. What I wouldn't give for a snowbank about now. (All those people at home suffering through winter at home, please forgive me!)

Another thing about Cambodian buses is that they always take on more passengers than they have seats for, though never at the bus station (and all the "extras" get off early). I think the driver and crew are making a little on the side. They use those little plastic kiddie stools in the aisles for overflow seating.

Karoake videos are very popular on buses here. The natives listen rapty; some sing along. The script, of course, is indeciperable to western eyes.

We had two flat tires about an hour after we left Sihanoukville. Everyone piled out to find a piece of shade while the driver and ticket taker changed the tires, the tourists standing and the Cambodians - and Martin - sitting on their haunches. (Martin can squat for hours which is unusual for a westerner.) The tire is changed the hard way, loosening and tightening the bolts by hand with a long pipe. The ticket taker put on a sarong for the dirty work and then cleaned up and changed back into his professional attire for the remainder of the trip. It was only a half hour before we were back on the bus again.

We spend the night in Phnom Penh and then it's off to Siem Reap tomorrow to see Angkor Wat. We've sworn off buses and are taking the boat instead.
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