Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
November 10th, 2009 – by: susanchia
I woke up at 6.30 am this morning, as the noise of the motos, tutus, car hons just lash into my room. It was terrible. I could not sleep anymore, but anyhow, luckily no bed bugs! :) Capitol guesthouse is relatively clean but its just the location and the noise that drives me up the wall. I was supposed to meet Heng this morning, but he texted me at 7.59 am and told me he could not make it. Oh well, he is getting married after all, and of couse wedding arrangement and the wedding planning is pretty crucial to him at the moment. But his willingness and his effort to take me around and to spend time with me, is priceless and amazing. He is so so so kind.
My first bargain with a tutu driver was terrible. I was told by Jess, than tourists and foreigners will definetely get ripped off. I wanted to make a trip to Sihanouk Blvd and then to Toal Sleng Museum, and maybe use 3 hours of his time, he wanted to charge me 10 USD!!!I was like, NO! I am a tourist but not dumb! But after a brief negotiation and being surrounded by maybe, 6 drivers, I gave in, and told him i'll give him 5 dollars. I feel bad negotiating so hard, after all, these people do need to make a living. Well, I know I have been ripped off, but oh well, they really need the money more than I do. They were conversing in Khmer, and times like these..god if only I knew what they were talking about. But all is good . My tutu driver speaks really good English, and it was impressive. What made it ever more impressive, is that he cant read or write, even in Khmer. Anyways, I got to Toal Sleng Museum. I honestly don't have much to say, as the place was disgusting and is overwhelmed with grim. I refused to take any pictures in the torture class rooms, as personally, its something I dont want to keep in my photobook and I feel is disturbing and rude. Cmon, think about it, the last thing any person would want is to take a picture where someone is brutally tortured and condemned by something they did not do.
Anyways, skippping from the grim session, I got back to the guesthouse, and met a couple of backpackers. Pretty cool, they worked their ass off so that they can travel in Asia for as long as possible and until they're broke. Well, I cant see myself doing that, till I broke, too much Asian in me. Heng picked me up at 1.30 and we went to a very un-tourist place, to spot for cotton suppliers, its called Dom Laup Bai. The street is muddy, its packed with car workshops, wood workshops, recycled cotton factories and a very well and fancy build The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Which obviously stood out strikingly, with big fancy cars parked at its drive way. Religion.
After that, we made our way to a 'Manufactiring & SME Private Sector Working Group' meeting in some chambers. The meeting was conducted both in Khmer and English. Really interesting attending a meeting which you absolutely no and understanding about, especially with the language barrier. Heng was obviously my translator. It was pretty cool. The foreigner that were only there was me, and this another American guy who works for an Australian AusAid program- Enterprise Challenge Fund. It was an experience.
When that was done, Heng took me home during PP rush hour traffic. Behind a moto, with no helmet, cars, tukstuks, motos are everywhere, there was a countless of times I felt like I was going to die. It happens alot in PP, the roads reminds me of Baguio- crazy crazy and crazy. Had some weird sausage thing for dinner, it tasted like raw dead carcusses, but I still ate it anyways. And, I had some sweets after that, just the usual suggary candy thingy with coconut milk and lotsa sugar. Not much I can say abt it, but its sweet.
Got back to the Guesthouse, was supposed to head out for drinks, but when I went down at 10pm and saw how scary the road was, with a drunk tuk tuk driver offering me to give me a ride, and motos as well. I was like Nah. I like to live for now. Got back to the room, watched some tv and sleep. I was dead by the end of it all.
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