Of course people who were supposed to pick us up from our hotel were late. We started to think we won’t make it, they forgot about us and we will have to quarrel to get our money back. Very late nonetheless the bus came. We picked up many more tourists on our way and made it to catch the long distance bus to Ho Chi Minh City with a change in Phnom Penh (capital of Cambodia). i wouldn’t bet but I think it was waiting for us.
I was very sleepy but tried to stay awake to sightsee and get an impression of the country outside Siem Reap. At the beginning I was failing terribly caught somewhere between sleep and being awake. Finally I pulled myself together and got to know a red haired guy sitting behind me. I think he was from Australia (can’t remember for sure) and had a Cambodian girlfriend. He lived in the country for a while, this not being his first visit here, and absolutely loved it.
We talked about why he is coming back to Cambodia, what he loves most about it, how poor the society is and how it’s all changing. I should have written it all down but there are only few stories that I remember.
One of them is why there is so much plastic and garbage lying around: people in Cambodia are not used to things that do not decompose. For generations they used to throw away things around themselves cos they were organic and would decompose. Now when the country is flooded with plastic – the habit remains and so does the junk.
Also Cambodians are unfamiliar with power (electric current) and often they don’t know which materials are conductors or that they can harm themselves working with power lines without any securities. Crazy things they do because of ignorance, I suppose there is nobody to teach them. This was actually why my new acquaintance was there in Cambodia.
At Phnom Penh we had to change the bus. There was police pageant with shields separating our bus from the next one and from anyone who might try stealing luggage from the hold. We took our backpacks quickly and were escorted to the other bus that would take us further to Ho Chi Minh City.
Before I describe what happened on the Vietnamese border there is one more thing I would like to describe namely the river crossing. We had to wait – as you can imagine – before getting on the ferry. This is when I saw the famous delights of Cambodian cuisine. Have a look at the pictures! I have to admit I didn’t have enough courage to buy any of them, not because of the disgust but being afraid to ask somebody – I get extremely shy sometimes.