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Monday December 20th 2010

We reach the capital of Cambodia – Phnom Penh – in the afternoon: We challenged the race against time at Bangkok Airport and did not miss our next flight, achieved to rescue our luggage from the airport carousel and even managed to get a visa. Everything happened so quickly that we barely now what is going on and even before we could take a deep breath, we are through the fan of the Phnom Penh Airport main entrance door, hit by the heat and already at their mercy: „Moto?“ „tuk-tuk?“ „Taxi?“ Well nobody from our hostel is supposed to pick us up so we guess that’ll be a „yes, please“.

We know where we are heading so it shouldn’t be a problem getting there. But this is Cambodia. And things seem to work slightly differently. Any negotiations about transportation are only held with Christian since women don’t seem to do these kind of things around here („Do you need a Taxi Miss? Let’s wait for your husband to come back, than we can see“ well, yeah…). From what we had heard, some drivers try to make you believe that the hotel you want to go is temporarily closed or dirty (unless you have a confirmed reservation) so they can bring you to one where they get provision. Luckily, we have that. After some discussion about with whom and at what cost we take a taxi to our hostel. Street lights do seem to matter somehow, but that doesn’t stop important people in big cars to let traffic be held up by men in uniforms. Yes, even or especially when the quickest way is right through the oncoming traffic. There are motorbikes packed with whole families – even with sleeping infants. Then there are vans, cars, tuk-tuks, bikes with passenger seats ahead and on the back of the vehicle, pedestrians with hand trucks of all sizes which find their ways through the streets, ignoring all sorts of road markings on the ground. If you want to turn left, aim for the traffic that is coming from the other direction and drive on at medium speed – vehicles in question will go around you or break if there really is no other way. And yet, even though there seem to be no speed limits (there seem to be only natural ones: go as fast as your vehicle is able to go) there are surprisingly few accidents. A police officer with a whistle is standing in the middle of a crossroad, gesturing wildly in order to get the vehicles reasonably in line. No interests from the drivers whatsoever on that account. And no consequences from the police either. In the middle of this whole chaos Cambodian women capture my eye, sitting most elegantly and straight, with high heels and in side-saddle position on the back of motorbikes. With their heads held high and a certain pride in their gaze they seem to glide through the city. I don’t know what it is but there is something special about these Cambodian women. They seem to have an aura of sublimity.
While we are having dinner at the city center there are a lot of children coming to our table, trying to sell us pirate copies of Lonely Planet guides, flowers or bracelets. Next to our table I see a shadow pass on the ground – it takes two seconds for me to realise its a person with only one crippled arm and leg, crawling on the ground and begging for money. There is a tuk-tuk, showing a sign that says „Cambodia welcomes responsible tourists. Please keep our children safe“. From time to time dodgy white men pass our table, dragging Cambodian girls behind them, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time… a wild guess but this does not seem to be the true love and the look on the girls‘ faces have nothing from the pride I saw earlier – it is more a mixture of defiance, despair and indifference. A thirteen year old girl is trying to sell us a book. „Maybe tomorrow“ we say. Her answer is „tomorrow never comes“, she turns around and leaves.

playing kids at the center market

bicycle repair shop


street scene

school kids

artists on the street

sightseeing with a Tuk-Tuk, a dirty challenge due to dust and air pollution :o)

4 Kommentare auf “Daughters of Cambodia – Notes of our travels”

  1. Conny sagt:

    Die Bilder sind wunderschön!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Und ich bepiss mich hier grade wieder über euren Bericht <33

  2. Franc sagt:

    Abolute Weltklasse! Die Bilder sind „reportagenreif“! Der Bericht der Oberhammer! Keine Ahnung ob in „Cambodia“ Weihnachten gefeiert wird, nichtsdestotrotz, alles Gute und Liebe euch beiden und haltet euch von Organhändlern fern!

  3. Teena sagt:

    Keep on rocking you two…there is a whole wild planet to explore out there…and I am not jealouse when I see those nice scenes of Asian life…Kathi’s boobs are marvelous as well :-D