We are in Cambodia

I’m writing this from an internet cafe in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We arrived this afternoon after a harrowing journey down some of the worst roads I’ve seen in quite a while. Imagine the roads I’ve described in China, but with pot-holes the size of small cars and everyone driving at crazy, inappropriate speeds!

This is probably the most unprepared I’ve ever been for a trip. We spent all weekend in Beijing – I’ll be blogging about that soon – and arrived home late Saturday evening. I went to sleep early thinking I would have all of Monday afternoon to pack (Our flight was supposed to leave at 7PM.) Well, Monday afternoon at 3PM, DH calls me in an urgent tone telling me to come home, that bad weather is rolling in and if we don’t try to catch an earlier flight, we will not make it out of the airport that night. So, I literally pedaled myself nearly out of breath all the way home, threw a pile of clothes into my backpack and ran to the airport all within 20 minutes. I figured whatever I forgot I could buy. I did pretty good. The only thing we forgot was perhaps the most important – the battery charger for our camera. Here we sit, minutes from Angkor Wat, with a drained camera battery.

Maybe five years ago I would have been a stressed-out mess if I had to pack and go in 15 minutes. We didn’t really have anytime to plan this trip, either, so we don’t even know where we are going, staying, nothing. We are just going. I’ve learned something over the years. Wherever you are, there you are. What does that mean to me? I’ve had some pretty interesting things happen to me lately, and I think I have taken them in the best way I could, which is just to accept what life brings and live it, no matter where you might be or what might be the circumstances. The DH and I are together, enjoying life and that is all that matters to me anymore.

How did we end up in Siem Reap? Well, we arrived into Bangkok at 1AM, and since we didn’t have a hotel booked yet, we thought, what the hay.. Let’s go to Cambodia. We took a taxi to the bus terminal and took the first bus to the Cambodian border, which left at 3:30AM. We arrived at the border at 7:30. We passed through all the immigration within an hour or so, and then spent 3 hours being jostled down a dirt road for 3 hours before arriving here.

The journey was tiring, but so fascinating. We passed all kinds of little thatch huts with the requisite pig, cow, chicken and dog laying around out front. I’d hoped to have pictures, but as I said, we have no camera battery. And poverty? Well, this does make our Chinese village seem a bit like Shangri-La. There are a lot of tourists here, mostly from Korea & Japan, but quite a lot of Europeans and North Americans, too.

I’ve always heard that the Thai are the nicest, most genuine people in all of Asia, and perhaps the world. So far I have to say that the Cambodians are also very nice people. When I think of all that these people have suffered over the last decades, it is difficult to believe that they could be so optimistic and happy. But things are improving for them now and I do hope that they continue to do so.

We will spend two more days here and then head back to Bangkok where we will meet up with our Spanish friend, M, and his girlfriend. From there, who knows!? I will be updating as frequently as I can. Internet cafes seem to be de riguer in most parts of the world these days, so I don’t forsee any problems.

Not sure what Angkor Wat looks like?

Click Here for one photo – Not mine, unfortunately.

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