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Published: August 10th 2007
Eaten alive... YES.. I am being eaten alive in this cafe. After last nights experience I even put bug stuff on. But, to no avail. Can feel the critters biting my legs. Not like the place in Langkawi that came and sprayed but killer every 10 mins under the desks. Oh well.... aparently P. Penh is no longer a malarial region!! Fingers crossed.
It is just 8pm.... and we are done after a jam packed day. Didn't sleep that well as we just could not figure how to turn the a/c off. Fan made heaps of noise... a/c froze us..... and in a daze Tordes and I both thought that the a/c was off. Luca of couse hates sheets and slept between us on top of the bed... Riel bundled under her sheets freezing away. Got it figured for tonight though. Getting home last night was a chore as it had started to pour with rain (i know... just after I wrote about having not seen rain since we left YVR). The gutters were filling and in the darkness one already has the chore of avoiding open sewers and missing pavement. Walking in the middle of the road proved the
best option as I nearly strangled myself on the sidewalk on a low strung laundry line.
Steered the kids past the pool this morning and headed out. Our itin today covered the following: Central Market / Teoul Sleng Prison / Killing Fields / Russian Market / Raffles 'Hotel Le Royal'/ The Royal Palace / Cocktail hour at the FCC / hotel. What a great day, and I think that we all rated it as one of our faves so far. I guess that Cambodia just has something that the other places we have visited so far do not have. It is not sterile or clean... does not have a stunning skyline like HK or KL.... it is cheap cheap cheap... getting around is a sinch... and there are more sights and smells that catch your attention. It is more in your face than Malaysia for sure. Rode moto's (motorcycle taxis) at the start of our day to and from the market. This was a hilight for the kids (sorry grandparents, we just had to do it). Anway, it is no less safe than trying to cross the road or walk the sidewalks in this city. Strolled the market... meat
and fruit stalls / clothing / crafts / watches and jewellry (real and fake). It started to pour... so we grabbed ponchos before the moto ride out. Spent some money there on little stuff for the kids. Then switched to a moto rickshaw... large ones that can hold 4 tourists or a whole village of Cambodians. Teoul Sleng prison was still hard to handle. I have not been for about 7 years and it has not changed. A real terror and heartache. Staring face-to-face with the photos of Pol Pots vicitms is really tough... and I think it was more than an eye-opener for Riel. The same for the 'killing fields''. These are about 30 minutes south of the city... and a scenic ride there. A tower of skulls, the morbid excavated open pits,strewn clothes... all too real. Amazing that these horrific events in our history are less than 30 years old. Luca slept through the killing fields and the Russian Market... so be sure to tell him that when he is about 21. The 'Russian Market' simply carries an old nickname, but is great for blackmarket cd's / dvd's / etc. We bought a few... and were sure to
test them first. Riel though it was the most amazing thing buying all her favorite dvd's for 1$ each!!
The rain had stopped hours ago... the kids were loving the transport... and I was enjoying P.P. Tordes loved this place too. I have a much better feel for this place than I ever did after any prior visits. Could easily use another day here just to walk the streets and feel the life of the place. Really.... you can't go 20 meters without seeing something that makes you stop and take a second look. We brok the day up with a stop here and there for a fresh juice / cold drink / etc. Bought a few treats for our tuk tuk driver along the way which he loved. We hired a guy who hangs in front of our hotel.. nice and pleasant... and trustworthy. The moto rides just cost 1$ each... no matter where you go. We paid the tuk tuk guy about $15 for around 6 hours of his time... which seemed more than fair to me. Even now he is still back outside our hotel trying to make some more $$. This is a tough country
to survive in... and most people live day to day... just making enough to get through tomorrow. Kids are everywhere selling stuff on the street... begging for money. Limbless adults appear out of nowhere with an outstretched palm. People with the most peculiar or upsetting disformities come out of nowhere and really catch you off guard. It can be tough, and I times I see Luca stare and have to tell him not too. One wonders what is going through his mind.
Well... anyway... we head out tomorrow. We have hired a taxi to drive us to Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor (yes Hazel... 'Tomb Raider'). It was either $40 for 5-6 hours on a bus for all of us... or $55 for 3-4 hours in our own car. Easy decision mostly becuz the taxi is door-to-door and saves us having to make our way to the bus depot and then to the hotel at the other end. Leaving at 9... should have us there at 1:00... or around then. We can make as many stops as we want along the way which is nice... and just what I want. Tordes swears that whilst in Siem Reap
we need a babysitter at the hotel for at least 1 night so we can go out and eat in silence. Even if the kids are awake when we get back... who cares... just to eat one meal without whining!! Hmm.. lets see. Yes Hazel... we did the meet Corey due in Borneo and I told them that a wanted a pic for their Canadian fans.
OK... even with the a/c i must get out of here... death by sweating. Soon the keys will no longer function as my sweat pours over them. I will try to add more pics and hope to update again after our journey tomorrow.
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