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Where Have You Been?

Calling a day a day.

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Phnom Penh, September 4th 2011

To summarize previous post a bit, I rented a bike from Firstline Travel & Tours, not far from my hotel on Sisowath Boulevard, cycled the city for a little less than an hour, returned to Firstline, got on a tuk-tuk to the boat pier, and then cruised Tonle Sap River for about an hour. Back from the cruise, I realized I should have put my rented bike on the tuk-tuk and park it in front of the boat pier so I could use it after the cruise. Don't suggest me to take a tuk-tuk. I'm broke, you know.

So first I walked to the night market across the boat pier, admired, and made a couple of pics. Enough with the market, I took at a brief look at what seemed to be a tourist bus station. There were double deckers with tiny beds on top. One bus seemed even to have compartments inside. One of the routes was to Bangkok. I am going to Bangkok by bus too tomorrow morning, but I won't leave from here, because my bus is from The Sinh Tourist. Maybe next time, on my second SEA Trip, I should try the night bus. A slight of regret crept inside me. If I knew and had taken this bus, I could have saved 1 night room money.

I settled on Sinhfoo Guest Guesthouse and Restaurant for dinner. My instinct just said it's a cozy place. It was.

I stopped by at a mini mart and was very happy because I found the exact face foam I use to use, "Clean & Clear, a product of Johnson & Johnson, in a small tube. Yippee! Last night I washed my face with shampoo.

I continued to walk along Sisowath Boulevard. The host at Sinh Foo Restaurant told me that the tuk tuk fare to The Sinh Tourist's office would cost $5. Thinking I won't need riels anymore, I went to a money changer to exchange my riel with US dollars. Only the big notes could be accepted. I had 3,000 riels left.

I stopped again across Amanjaya Hotel and took a picture. Several meters away I saw men in uniforms seeming like polices or soldiers. They seemed to be on duty. Hmmm... on one hand it makes me feel safe, but on the other hand it reminds me of war time.

At last I arrived at the doorstep of Firstline. The lady who arranged for my tuk-tuk jumped up from her chair. "Hey! Where have you been? I had been worried about you!"

She looked sincerely worried which made me feel bad. I had the least concern for these people. I thought they had my original passport with them anyway and thus, they can be sure that I would come back to them and pay my bike rent.

"Just now I should have put my bike..."

"Yeah, I said to my daughter, 'She should have brought her bike with her on the tuk-tuk.' " said the lady.

"Yes, I didn't think about that," I replied.

"We were in a hurry just now. You know, the boat here leaves on time at five. They would never wait. We were afraid you would miss your boat."

"I understand. It's alright. I took a night walk but made several stops, because it would be more tiring if I walk straight here. So I went to the night market..."

"Oh! You went to the night market! See! I said to my daughter, 'Maybe she's going to the night market.' Ah, so you did go there!"

"And then I had dinner."

"Oh, you had dinner. No wonder it took so long."

When I gave her the bike's key, she looked confused. "Why? Just take it with you. Aren't you going to use it again?"

"It's late already. I'm tired already."

"You can use it again tomorrow morning," she replied.

"I'm leaving for Bangkok tomorrow."

"Maybe you would take a ride in the morning?"

"I won't have time. My bus to Bangkok leaves in the morning."

This so motherly lady looked at my 4 dollar notes in her hand. "Are you sure you don't want to use the bike again?"

"I really would like to. But don't have the time. Just now when I rented it, I planned to take a ride again after the boat cruise."

"Yeah, that's very a pity."

We continued into a short chat. She asked me what my occupation was. She became more interested, because her other daughter is married to a Japanese. If only I could call the night young, I would have sat with her on her sofa with a cup of coffee and continue chattering. I should go back to my hotel, make a phone call to Mom. I promised her that I would call whenever I move to a new city or country. I haven't called since I stepped in Cambodia and I'll be leaving tomorrow. And then I have to pack up my things. My bus leaves at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

"When you happen to come to Phnom Penh again," she said, "come to us again."

Sure I will!!

Posted by automidori 23:52 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia phnom_penh

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