Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cambodia - first impressions

Cambodia is not Indonesia. This much we all know, but still... I cannot help to compare. This country is a lot poorer. Even though people complain about traffic in the capital, Phnomh Penh equals a small city in Indonesia and traffic jams are still rare. People are harder to read, emotions difficult to grasp.

In Indonesia tourism is slick business; here it's still 'cute'. When travelling from Phnom Penh to Sihanouville with the Mekong Express Limousine bus, the stewardess directed us to our seats, handed us a wrapped, cold wet towel with a silver tool, gave us food and drinks (all separately) and took the microphone to share a story on the surrounding neighborhood. She had obviously studied a text by heart and does not practise her English often. It was completely incomprehensible! When a seven year old Dutch boy came back from the toilet, she asked him whether he had a problem. To his parents: "The last moment he went to toilet and now bad smell because of him". Think she meant to ask him if he was feeling okay, good thing kids don't have many taboos.

It's an adventure. We've already seen a lot and I'm still trying to put the pieces together.

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