Friday, January 9, 2009

Oh my dear sweet Cambodia

After a mere three days in Cambodia how can i express to you my deep love for this amazing country. From the minute we arrived (after a all day boat trip up the Mekong from Vietnam) people smiled and were quick to help without that same aggression that the Vietnamese have. We entered Phnom Penh driving down the beautiful boulevards with palm trees and french colonial buildings with motorbikes and tuk tuks driving along side us and fireworks in the air. See we had the good fortune to arrive on the day of independence from the Khmer Rouge and the city had an amazing energy to it.

As we were cruising along on this bus i happened to see a huge poster of Jurassic 5 near the river (why was this poster there in cambodia, i asked myself). Arriving at the sister hotel of our boat company our fortune continued to grow. There we met Lucky, a very chill tuk tuk driver with excellent english. We were immediately charmed by his nature and we hopped into his tuk tuk to head to the lake district. He took us to his sister hotel and we were shown some rather shabby but cheap rooms. This was not what sold us, what really sold us was the patio. Hanging over the water on stilts with hammocks and big beanbag chairs, good music and free pool. How could this not be the place for us? I knew it was the minute Ching offered me some sweet maryjane and thanked god i was not in Korea anymore.

Well i sat myself down on that chair and began to roll when an aussie fellow came up to us and asked if we had heard that J5 was coming to town and that they were playing tonight. Did i hear right? Some girl had seen the poster up close and knew where it was. At last my search was complete, i was in heaven. First we ate the best food i have eaten since coming to Korea then we hopped into a tuk tuk. Our driver ended up being an interesting fellow as he liked to drive slower than a bicycle whilst looking back at us and saying things we could not understand or hear and attempting to pick up random girls and tell them to come with us. We decided he must have been smoking something real special and it was probably not a bad thing he was driving so slowly. When we arrived at Pontoon, a boat restaurant with a dock party floor beside it, our driver disappeared into thin air and i crawled my way to the middle of the dance floor. just then the crowd was asked to move back and clear the dance floor and i was lucky enough to remain at the front for all of the amazing festivities, first the B-Boy competition (Cambodians can really twist and turn their little bodies), then for a beautiful lady from the states singing to us, then a friend of Akil's and finally Akil the MC (so it turned out to be Jurassic 1) himself stepped out and honoured us by spouting some fantastic rhymes. By the end of the night i could not have been more exhilarated.

I could go on and on about Cambodia, but it might take a really long time so here is a brief snapshot of what i love about Cambodia so far:

-the smiling helpful people

- the amazing, decadent, delicious food from all over the world

- the market, oh my god i could have spent a week just at the market: clothing, fabric to make clothing, rip offs of anything you could imagine, or the real thing that is sold at factory prices because here is where they are made. Caitriona got two dresses made and i got one skirt made. this actually turned out to be the very best and cheapest shopping of our whole trip.

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