HOW many in a car....MY car as well
Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
298Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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13:02 Today I am going to Kampot. I think. I was meant to picked up from mushroom point at 11.30. The motorbike arrived at 12.15. I was taken to the office, where i am still sitting an he just told me to wait an hour, because of 2 different seemingly untwisted reasons. One he gave me was that the bus wasn't going to pass here today so now he will and he's coming. Then about 30 seconds later he said that he's got no other passengers and i have to wait an hour to see if he gets anymore. I asked what would happen if he didn't get anymore, he said I should just wait.
Great. So yet another example of being sold/promised something on no basis of guarantee whatsoever. For all I know I could be sitting here all day and be fobbed off with waiting another hour and another hour until sunset.
13:42 I'm on my way. Not in a bus but in a taxi with 2 other blokes as passengers. One of whom is just staring at me and I'm rather hoping will stop, I keep looking over to try and shame him into stopping looking at me but he persists. He's also taken a huge interest in my phone a I'm tapping away
Oh my god. We have just picked up 2 more people! It looked for a second like 4 of us would be pressed into the back, but I looked so disgruntled that the man who was sitting beside me went round and thankfully it in he front and is practically sitting on the other guys knee, which just looks ridiculous. And now he can turn around and grin at me.
I spoke too soon. There are 2 in the front seat and now there actually is 4 of us in the back. I just protested, saying that the 6 of us should be in a bus. The driver said, no bus. I am SERIOUSLY unimpressed at this moment in time. OH MY GOD!
Time for meditative music.
14:20 You will NOT believe this. Someone else has got in. Where are they sitting I hear you wonder. I don't know whether to be relieved or horrified. I'm relived that I'm not having to share the back seat with another person. I am HO-RI-FIED that the driver is now sharing his seat with this person and is dri-ving the car at very fast speeds. I have taken pictures. I took 2 because I couldn't believe it. HE said we didn't need a bus! What a totally mental, unsafe, weird, and horrifying situation! I tried to put my seatbelt on when I first got in. There's nothing for the clunk to click into. I am in the twilight zone. I only wish I could stand outside the car and take a photo of THIS over loaded vehicle, because there will be another photo tribute when I leave Cambodia of overloaded vehicles, and I didn't expect to be in one of them.
14:29 Oh the irony. We went through a toll booth where no one batted an eyelid, then drove under an overhead sign that says 'have a safe trip'. Is that a whimsical throw away phrase like 'have a nice day y'all!' or is it a prayer to the overloaded, as in "for gods sake, have a SAFE trip!".
I'm still sharing the back with a dopey looking guy who is also incessantly staring at me. This is all probably quite normal, apart from the foreigner making a fuss. Rightly so I think, I paid $8 for a bus ticket expecting my own seat and own personal space. My luxury bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville cost $7 and I had my own seat, a toilet, a tour guide who occasionally told us what was outside, a packet of biscuits and a bottle of water. Personal space came free!
14:59 Here's an interesting and slightly creepy thing- blokes will grow their fingernails long - another way to show you're rich, because you don't have to work hard.
So, be White, plump and have long nails. All signs of being rich.
Im not comforted by the fact that we have stopped and the driver is looking at the engine.
19:24 I arrived in Kampot and took myself to a place that was pretty well rated called The Cozy Elephant.
The lady who greeted me was very friendly and had great English. I sat down for my long overdue lunch- a cheese and ham baguette, and a well deserved fat coke. I had a quick chat with mum then went out on a terrible bike which had no brakes, no lights (obviously!) and a metal chain cover that had for so bent that it interfered with pedalling. Nonetheless I went out and found a place to acquire some new films.
I pedalled back in the dark, headlamp flashing, and managed not to get in over.
I skipped dinner because I had such a late lunch and by the time I was hungry the kitchen was closed and there was no way I was going out again.
We had 4 brief powercuts, but I have my headtorch to provide emergency light.
So I had a shower and went to bed and thought more about the bike trip I'll be making over the next day or so. I think i will stay a night in Kep, so I'll back my medium bag with a few essentials and leave the rest here.
Best: um, getting out of the car
Worst: bing squashed in the car for 2 hours