My Attempts to Welcome the Heat - Kep & Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Welcome to my totally overdue Cambodian blog! It started with leaving by a bus to one of the nearer cities next to the Vietnamese border then the next morning, we took another bus to the edge of the Vietnamese boarder. It was hot and we were unsure what to do when our bus left. These motorcyclists came over and began to ask if we needed a lift over to the Cambodian side. Eventually we took 4 motorcyclists. Lucy and i, Myka and Eli and Mom and Dad by themselves.
And that was how we got over the boarders. What i noticed was the culture change once we reached the Cambodian boarder. Epsecially the architecture of the temples and buildiings. There was also much more evidence of poverty. When coming here, the children living by the sides of the streets would all yell "Hello!!" in really enthusiastic voices with big smiles all over their faces.
Our first city in Cambodia was Kep. It's mainly for tourists to visit and has nice beaches. Since it was so hot and there wasn't any shade we didn't spend time by the beach. We hiked through the "jungle" but it's not terribly humid like i had imagined jungle to be like. What i learned : Climbing jungle vines are actually really hard.
In Cambodia it was pretty hot during the day but in the evening it was only around 17°. Dad, Eli and i found many interesting and frighting bugs in our beds even with a mosquito net. There wasn't any air conditioner so just take cold showers and stick to the shade. Speaking of showers, one time i drew back the curtain to begin washing off all that sticky sweat, there was a frog slightly smaller than my palm clutching onto the top of the curtain.
I was honestly so startled because frogs could at any moment launch themselves at you without warning. When it was out of sight after a few dangerously close jumps, i quickly showered before running away to tell Myka.
So instead of taxis in Cambodia, they take tuk tuks. Just a motor cycle pulling a carriage of sort and it's so much more fun. You get the full blast of the wind the smell and it's exhilarating.
When we left Kep we took a bus to the capital city called Phnom Pehn. It was raining and the air conditioner in the bus was BLASTING on us. In a big round open hole of the arctic. Should have been nice to break from the heat but it so happened that it was raining that day.
On the sides of the windows, they had drapes. So i thought...why don't we stick it up? Myka told me that it was probably unwise. I stuffed the bottom of the drapes up the gaping hole and guess what? It worked and we weren't freezing! Sometimes the uglier sister can be smarter! Think about it.
I just complimented her
Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Phnom Pehn was a pretty large city. Where poverty is very very apparent. Back then i didn't know much of their history. Every street food or shop selling would pester you to buy stuff. It was really annoying. But now, i totally understand. Cambodian history is one of the harshest histories I've ever heard about. It actually interlinks with the Vietnam War and was truly terrible and recent. Around 1975-1979. RECENT.
We stayed at this missionary's place from England who bought a house in Cambodia. Christine had invested most of her time helping out this woman named Noranne. Whom later became a christian along with her husband Buntheourn. They had amazing kids, Rotha (10) and Sanna (3) (Pronounced, Rita but Ri-tawww more so than Ritaaaaa.) Christine's daughter Julie was also there with her son named Wiliiam. There is also a little boy named John who is staying under Christine's care. He became Eli's friend. It was all really cute because they learned English from Christine and since she's from England. Their accents are my goals. Espicially John's, it's ADORABLE.
But the people of Cambodia are so much more friendly and kind. Always there to help us out for direction or advice. And actually happier and more smiles were sent our way when we walked the streets (that were VERY un-pedestrain friendly.) With 11 year old children driving motor bikes and rushing tuk tuks. Not to mention the state of the roads weren't to a Singapore level either. So helping out the tuks tuks improved their day and our's as well. No more walking 20 000 steps!
Both markets were very tight and complicated and switches up your sense of direction but since i have a pretty good sense of direction it was nice to wander around. The Central Market was a bit much but at the Rabbit market, Eli saw this cute cute stuffie that he instantly knew his twin would love. (We will get too that topic in the next blog.) It was getting closer to Christmas afterall!
Now, getting back to the darker part of Cambodia. First thing you should know is that i can't put in such information in this blog. Yep i'm making a new blog about the history. Don't be disappointed, it will come. Hopefully. Maybe. Just don't leave.
Right outside of Christine's house there was A SOCCER PITCH! I did not play. I know, i know but they all had a sort of easygoing vibe that once i joined, the feel of the game wouldn't be there. And i didn't want to play with the older men. Also i really missed my Copas :( And my teammates.
Well everyone, meet Srey Pich! Who now has out support and money to help her and her studies.
Speaking of supporting people, my mom and i did some volenteer work around the slums.
When i was helping out to pack the food for the children, i literally got feasted on by mosquitos. And in Cambodia you could get dengue fever and malaria really easily. That afternoon i felt terrible, slept for the rest of the day and didn't eat. But luckily i was alive the next day. It was so weird.
In all of Phnom Pehn there is only 1 large mall. The Aeon Mall where the rich are rich and the poor are poor. Everyone in the Aeon Mall were rich. And since Rogue One came out the day before, we went to see it. It was a veryy relaxing movie theater. Even without popcorn the seats were really comfortable.
We were going to spend Christmas at their house but they were going away on a trip to Thailand. So before they left, we made plans to go to a city named Siem Reap for the holiday. Meanwhile, in Phnom Pehn we just got out the Christmas tree with the decorations and lights. Christmas carols were soon singing through us and the speakers. And instead of snow, it rained! Hurray! Just living my life exploring different climates for December! Especially in 33° weather!
And with all of the photos we took together, it remains still true. We cannot take good photos.
They are literally the best. I love them so much. I wished that we could spend more time with them. BUT GOOD NEWS! WE ACTUALLY MET UP WITH THEM IN THAILAND! Here's a sneak peek because i was really excited.
Well that's it for Phnom Pehn, if i had continued with the history, you would've begun to fall asleep in the middle of this blog. And i would have been surprised (not.) At the same time, i bet you're probably surprised that even though i'm complaining so much about it heat, in the next photo, i'm wearing a long sleeve shirt. Well the sun gets pretty scorching and sunscreen is sticky. I'll stick to ice cream instead.
For both Kep and Phnom Pehn i survived without Air Conditioner! I honestly deserve a medal!