June 2, 2010

johm riab

hello in Khmer. the flight to Cambodia is way too short and i'm reading through my lonely plant as fast as i can.  i'm sooo excited to visit Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat and the Kampot coast.  the passport photos i have for visas have a white border around the edge and for whatever reason this drives the visa people crazy. at every border it's a really big deal, they pull out the scissors trip the white frame off. it makes me laugh on the inside but i pretend not to notice. as soon as i arrive in Phnom Penh i drop my bag and head out to explore.

first i hit the history museum then the palace. i think this photo from the palace grounds looks like a postcard with my body inserted. i'm farther south than i've been in a while so it is hot, hot, hot but i can't get into the palace grounds without my knees and elbows covered so i'm wearing a long sleeve black shirt.  i've decided they call it the wet season because of the 100% humidity since i haven't seen any rain yet.

there are some great NGOs working here and providing vocational training to get kids off the street. i eat at one of the restaurants were they train chefs and staff then hit the shop next door where all the products are made by the kids. i go by Wat Phnom and wish i hadn't. on one side there are elephants for begging and on the other tourists feeding monkeys that are so overweight their live span is probably cut in half. belatedly i remember someone else mentioning the fat monkeys in a blog so i should have skipped it. we find a tuk-tuk driver who speaks good english and hire him for the next day which is Choeung Elk and Tuol Sleng.  i haven't been shopping a lot but today i found a few items that i had to have [plus it all supports the kids] and when i get back to my room i lay like a drunken sailor among my purchases wondering how i will ever fit all this into my tiny pack.

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