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Published: February 19th 2011
I was unable to use the secure wifi connections in my hotel (Le Rit's) or the Blue Pumpkin cafe in Monument Books, so I was worried that my useful little ASUS netbook had reached its obsolescence. Fortunately, I was able to connect here at the tourism office on Sisowath Quay, overlooking the Tonle Sap River. This search for wireless has required the drinking of a certain number of banana smoothies and iced coffees (which is made with a syrupy coffee and sweetened condensed milk), but I've had a little walk, at least, which has been balancing after a great deal of poking around in my computer's systems.
My travel, though long, was uneventful. I was curious to see if I'd make my 50-minute connection in Seoul, and resigned to a reroute through Bangkok (adding 10 hours to the trip), but strong headwinds kept several planes, including mine, from arriving in Seoul on time, so the Phnom Penh flight was delayed for an hour (actually 2, though still touted as an "on time departure") and I arrived in Phnom Penh just before midnight. The queue for visas was short and baggage delivery was fast. I caught a taxi (my first in
Cambodia, since I usually take a tuk-tuk ). I arrived at my hotel at about 1:00 this morning with no trouble. Other than the wifi issue, I can't get the hot water running, but since I never run it much above tepid it doesn't matter. Although I was very tired, I still went through my ritual new-room activities (check for bedbugs, get or begin to purify water, wash my travel clothes, check my options for locking things up, unpack, shower, journal).
I was up every 2 hours, which I'd known was coming when I took an HZTZ before going to sleep. I'd much rather have to use the bathroom in the night than wake up with swollen ankles after so many hours in a plane. I awoke at 5:00 AM and made myself sleep another two hours to the sounds of construction, honking (little "beep-beep" air horns on bikes and carts), clanking, and loud conversations, punctuated by myna song). At 7:30, it was a relatively cool 26C and overcast. I had breakfast at my guest house while watching a group of women making crafts--more about this soon. I sat in the courtyard and enjoyed just being here. I
The book talk flier is on the right
opted for Western breakfast so I could have an egg, since the food on the plane had so much rice. (A highlight of last night's airplane food was a 100 g tub of silken tofu with a little packet of soy-vinegar-chili to sauce it with, and an assemble-it-yourself bibimbap).
I walked to Monument Books, where I'll be giving a book talk on Wednesday evening. I was excited to see a notice of this on the door. I'm going to play around with this admittedly minimalist computer to see if I can blank out my surname in the photo, and if I can I'll post it.
My plan for the day is to walk, and since I'm in one of the touristy areas, I might continue to walk north to Wat Phnom (from which the city takes its name), and in the evening, try to locate the guesthouse of the graduate student who's joining me for my training tomorrow. I'll do a little organizing of those materials and review them as well.
No good birds yet, but I'll keep you updated.
Useful data: Visas are still $20 for tourism, $25 regular. A passport photo is required, so it's good to stick a few in your passport case. This size photo is also used for documents like a temple pass at Angkor Wat, so it's handy. The taxi from the airport to central Phnom Penh was $10 (plus $1 tip).
If you'd like me to write about anything (for example, what is
that nozzle by the toilet for?) please let me know. No topic is too grand or trivial.
Tot: 0.794s; Tpl: 0.041s; cc: 15; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0187s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb