back home and glad of it. this trip was no fun, but got everything done in record time.
The busride through the jungle- normaly something to enjoy was a nightmare, the bus company had 'sold' us to the owner of a crappy minibus, -red mud oozing through floor boards, torrential rain inside, as in very, very leaky roof, nasty and bad driver, overloading the bus so dangerously that we escaped death rather narrowly a few times. ran the bus into a pothole, got fender stuck, we had to push and shove for about an hour to dislodge bus, all this in a rainstorm that left us - and our posessions thoroughly drenched.
When we finally got to s'ville, about 18 hrs later the busdriver dropped me off at the guesthouse, where all was well: peacefull, happy, the routine gooing smoothly and friendly, place clean,full, guests happy, and everything nice and dry- the driver had the audacity to demand comission from bob for droping off a guest! bob took one look at the state i was in, ( as in look what the cat...) bob' s reaction is not printable in any language, then he took the two other forreign passengers of the bus too, chased the driver away, and found them a room- we were full at that time.
Happily my next trip will be to Phnom Penh!
we love going there, for about three days,then we are glad to go back home. to us pp is bright lights big city.
( if you can ge hold of a citymap, take a look if you do not believe me, but this must be one of the strangest places as street names go : of course there are all the royal families, norodom, sisowath, sihanouk, monivong etc. but then you will find represented; charles de gaulle. mao tse tung, confederation de la russie, pasteur, even the bothers chau chesco, wether this is ment as democtratie or just plain lazyness or a map of our checkered political history,nobody knows..) we do enjoy this diversity immensly, as in: when you get to mao tse tung, go right until you reach de gaulle... etc. )
PP has wonderful colonial architecture, some of it beautifully restored, some of it decreipt, waiting for a loving hand to bring back its former splendor. ( in one such effort the buildinng collapsed - it belonged to the ministry of interiour...)
sisowth quay, along the tonle batie, is an esplanade in the french style, almost all buidings are colonials, cafes, restaurants, hotels, and the odd shop that advertises : we sell all kind of coffin...
on sisowath i allight as soon as i arrive: there is a restaurant that i will visit immediately, have been gooing there for many years. until two years ago it was owned by a corsican gentleman of a certain age, a true hand of asia from the old days, and shall we euphemize well connected. full of stories and booze he would be a delight and a tresure trove of stories. he sold the restaurant to two friends of mine who run it lovingly and a tad more professional, without losing the spirit of the place. ever so often the corsican will forget that he sold the place and buy everybody a drink on the house, it is the silent understanding that the owners discreetly put the drinks on our respective bills.
situated on a street corner, palms the only boudary from the teeming streets,the river gleaming in the distance, the rain coming down in sheets one feels like sitting right in the middle of a film noir from the fifties, any moment a big black citroen will shoot arround the corner and commisaire maigret will appear to ask us 'where have we been on the........'
a few weeks ago the new owner go truely and utterly drunk. When he woke with an olymic hangover and crawled to the bar for a coffe, he found just that:
men in fifties suits drawing guns, dark vintage cars etc. he thought he had gone off the deep e nd. As it turned out a french film crew had taken over the place while he was dead out cold. when he asked his staff why he was not informed, they said: we try, but no can wake you, the pay many money, so we think maybe ok you like, here the money..' a considerable amount so i hear. when the film comes out, i will inform you.
don't judge book by the movie