Day 1: April 4th, 2010 – Bangkok, Thailand to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Eating pad Thai at the Cambodian-Thai border. It dawned on me that the more you travel, the more you begin to understand how other people view the world. For example, using chop sticks. Every time I use chopsticks, some Asian invariably compliments me. But would we compliment them on using a fork and knife? Probably not.

Reading Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week. One of the things I’ve taken from it is the “5 year timeline”, especially when it comes to small expenses. Will it matter in five years? I also enjoyed his chapter on the low information diet. I hardly read the paper as it is. My travels have shown me that things are rarely as bad or good as the media makes them out t be. Case in point, the unrest in Bangkok right now. Lots of protestors but no violence. It actually seems like one big party. And in regard to travelling, some days it just sucks to have to try to quietly search through your entire suitcase for your toothbrush or contacts while your hostel roommates go to sleep at 5 pm. Repacking so often also sucks.

Bought a video camera yesterday. A Sanyo Xacti FS11. We’ll see how it holds up during the shoot. It’s a small camera and has more features than my targeted camera. I did a camera test yesterday. The picture looks a lot better on a computer screen, whereas it appears darker on the camera’s LCD display. Big thing however, the video won’t playback on my computer! My computer can’t handle the HD codec. Poopy. But I can compress the video down to work on my iPod. I may have to buy an editing suite for my computer since I don’t have one at the moment.

I’ve started to think what you learn by sightseeing. For me, I think I learned a lot more about myself when I was sightseeing than about any other culture. Sightseeing gives me a livelier look at a culture than a book would, but it still isn’t the same. I’d recommend travelling over reading, but living in a place over travelling to it.

Waiting for the cab to take me to Phnom Penh. If I would have continued with the bus, I wouldn’t got into PP until sometime late tonight. By taxi, I should get there about 8 pm. Paid $30 at the same place where I got my visa processed on the Thai border. Could have only paid $25 at the Cambodian border. Oh well.

2 hours later…

After waiting for nearly 2 hours at the taxi station at the border I finally ask where my taxi is. One guy gets mad at me and says he wasn’t dealing with me, the next guy says wait 1 hour, only then does the tourist police guy finally radio the Cambodian taxi service.

So the taxi drives by, stops to talk to the tourist police dude, then carries on. I have to follow the guy down a couple of streets before I’m finally allowed to put my stuff in the car. Why all the travel? Well, it turns out the man was also transporting about a thousand CDs or DVDs (pirated?) in his car. He had them EVERYWHERE! In the trunk, in boxes on the back seat, under the floor boards of the car. there were many discs. To top it off, along with an old Cambodian grandmother and another lady who can speak pretty good English, he packs in a bag that smells like fish. Welcome to Cambodia. Enjoy your stay.

After we’re all packed in, we make it 3 inches down the road before the car gets stuck. Stop! unload some of the stuff, move over the rut, repack, then off we go. Finally, Phnom Penh, let’s go.

3 minutes later the driver pulls over. He laughs and pulls out 2 license plates and proceeds to screw them onto the front and back of the car. Sadly, I don’t actually recall if there were license plates on the car before.

6 hours later… we get to Phnom Penh, drop off the granny with the fish bag, unload the discs into another van, and then the English-speaking lady helps me locate my guesthouse. Finally made it to Phnom Penh!


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One Response to “Day 1: April 4th, 2010 – Bangkok, Thailand to Phnom Penh, Cambodia”

  1. My Life on the Farm « Steven Sirski's Blog Says:

    […] however, get to see the entire crop get washed away by torrential downpours and frost! Suddenly getting ripped off $30 at the Cambodian border or buying tea leaves for $25 doesn’t seem so bad!) If you’d like to see some more […]

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