Friday, April 23, 2010
Phnom Round 2 and beyond
I take another Capitol Bus tour bus to Phnom Penh, again the only westerner, so of course everyone spends the first hour or so staring at me. I am clearly fascinating. The man next to me made conversation asking me about myself, my plans in Cambodia, where i was staying in PP so the crazy in my mind (which I blame ENTIRELY on my paranoid mother who has warned me about "freaks" for as long as I can remember) got awkward and told him lies in the event that he was planning on attacking me.
We get to phnom penh and the SAME TUK TUK DRIVER that I "promised" could give me a ride 3 days ago REMEMBERED me and started shouting "Alec!Alec!" at me. I kid you not. He convinced me to not stay at the dump guesthouse Capitol and to go to "Okay" guesthouse which was one of the better decisions I'd made in PP. It's by the river, way cuter, and filled with backpackers. the IDEAL spot to meet people.
I wandered around the city, saw the palace and the silver pagoda. also went to the National Museum. I was only planning on staying a night but this girl asked me and another guy if we wanted to go an animal sanctuary and then Camilla texted me that she was coming to PP the next afternoon and then on to S-ville so I figured I'd wait a day, go to the sanctuary and then take the bus with C.
The sanctuary was pretty cool. Monkeys running wild everywhere which my companions were excited about but I screamed a lot when they came near me because I was convinced that they could be carrying AIDS. We also stayed there for like four hours. Taking forever at each animal and I got very bored. I couldn't wait to get back to the hostel. I did and then met up with camilla. very excited! we went to the most amazing dinner place ever called Friends Cafe. It's not only delicious but is for the greater good. it takes street kids and gives them training and employment opportunities. We all know what a sucker I am for that kind of thing.
Camilla and I had a 7:45 bus to Sihanoukville so that e could get there at noon and have a half day at the beach. If only this was the case.
Getting out of town took longer than was expected, and extra 45 minutes but whatever, we'd still have good beach time. An hour later, around 9:30, the bus jams on its brakes and we feel a thud. Uh, that can't be good. I crane my neck to look and I see a cow lying on the road. yes, we hit a cow.
At this point, the westerners on our bus are like OHMYGOSH WE HIT A COW and the Cambodians haven't bat an eyelid. We're all whispering and then miraculously, the cow GETS up and runs away. Yay!
I thought that would be it, but oh no.
We then see the driver and others running towards the cow with a rope. The cow IS NOT HAVING IT and runs away. Apparently it's Cambodian law that they have to prove what the damage to the vehicle is from and he needed the cow. the windshield was pretty shattered. and if they couldn't catch the cow the driver would have to pay for the damages out of his own pocket which would be like $1000.(Camilla and I then tried to get everyone to donate a dollar or five so that we could just get on with it but people didn't seem to be into it) so we then proceeded to sit in the bus on the side of the highway for nearly three hours as the bus driver had to try and catch the cow. he ended up not being able to catch the cow but if he HAD it would've been on the bus with us. CRAZY.
We finally made it to Sihanoukville at 4pm. I was VERY ANGRY that we didn't get a good beach....