Crossing a border between Thailand and Cambodia it was a really dreadful experience. Gatting a Cambodian visa nearly drove me mad while arguing with an arogant asshole from a travel agency which seemed to be an official Cambodian custom office. He was trying to cheat us and lie to us saying that the only way to get to Siem Reap from the border is taking a taxi for 2200 baths (When we crossed the border it turned out that a normal price it's 1200 baths!) He also ensured us that it is very dangerous to catch a cab on the other side of the border. In the beginning I kindly informed him that we are not idiots and we do not trust him and it is not his problem what will happen when we get there. I added: you think that we are from Europe so we must be rich because all ,,white'' visiting this part of the world must have plenty of money. He agreed saying: I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE MONEY! EVERYBODY IN THAILAND KNOWS THAT WHITE VISITING THAILAND HAVE MONEY! It was already too much for me and I started to be agressive! Crossing the border was not better. A few Cambodian fellows were following us talking to us about their country. In this part of the world nobody is simply kind for you (although exeptions happen). I knew what was going on so being really pissed off already I finally asked them a question: WHY ARE YOU GOING WITH US?! WE DO NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE! And as I expected: they tried to sell us a taxi to Siem Reap for 1200 baths ensuring that at this time this is the only way to get there. Suddenly we were surrounded by a crowd of begging kids. They started to touch our pockets, to pull our bags! We decided to run away! We got into the car. Our driver looked as if he was under influence of drugs. He asked us what country we are from. It doesn't matter- I barked. Then he said: the Police wants to know who is in the car. He made a phone call, I knew he was talking about us. We are already in Siem Reap. Going out we hear all the time: do you need a tuk tuk ( local taxi which looks like a three wheel motorbike). A woman with a small baby sleeping in her arms is begging for money. It's a strange world we are in now. I see so many good 4X4 cars on the streets, so many good restaurants and hotels BUT: I also see huge poverty. We really would like to help everybody but we can't. I see that some people simply want to survive, they need to get cash to live and I see that they are desperate. This morning we travelled by a Tuk-Tuk and our driver was really kind and funny. His motorbike broke down on the road for a while but we stayed with him. We paid him only 1 USD. There are people in Cambodia who work for only 100 USD a month BUT we can't bring salvation to all of them. It's sad but it's the brutal truth about our world.
On the way to Cambodia
These pics below are specially for those who think that we need to have plenty of money to travel for such a long time. Our current contitions are totally different than those is Singapore. We do not complain. You should have seen our faces when we saw our first room in a hostel in Siem Reap. A receptionist said: use a card to turn on the light and a fan in your room. I thought that saying ,,a card'' he ment some magnetic card not a playing card;) We couldn't stop laughing.
24 August 2011, 01:39
I've just heard: I am from Newcastle, I am from Tuscany, Italy. Somebody is laughing loudly behind me. She speaks German.I've just come back from one of the night clubs in Siem Reap in Cambodia. I can't express my feelings now, after all what i've seen tonight. It's around 4 pm in Europe now, in Cambodia it is already nearly 2 am. I saw a couple of girls and a boy who was much yanger then the girls ( he was not older than 6, 7 years old) dancing on one of the streets in Siem Reap and selling flowers. I feel disquisted now. They were dancing like monkeys among a crowd of British, Australian, also Polish tourists- including me ( I was not dancing, I felt a part of this f...circus so I decided to leave that place) only to get a few miserable American dollars to survive. I was ready to give the boy 10 USD for nothing, I only wanted him to go back home ( what I said to one of the fellows standing at ,,the gate'') He said to me: come back, do not give him any money, they will come back tomorrow anyway, you can't save him. Only the tourists visiting Angkor Watt could get inside of the club. One Irish fellow is asking me: are you ok? I was looking at the ,,monkeys'' dancing with a few British girls. I am going to stay in my ,,bed'' tomorrow, I do not want to go out tomorrow night. I could dance in this way in one of the Irish clubs in Dublin. Ok, I drank a few pints tonight ( although I shouldn't have because of my health condition) BUT: I want to leave Cambodia ASAP. I have been to over 30 countries and I have never seen something like that before. Going back to the hostel I heard a few times: do you want to get a girl tonight? Cheap.
Buying even 1000 roses can not change their future. But it helps. And it's worth to help. Even for a while. Even buying one rose.
One bag of grass it's 5 USD. You can get it almost at every corner. Sometimes you dont even have to ask. They ask you.
These moments are always difficuilt. You would like to buy everything what they have but you simply can't.
Next time when you throw to a bin your sandwich think of them. They would eat it's remainings.
These kids above are lucky. Their parents have a hostel in Cambodia. They have a private teacher
In Cambodia and Thailand people eat everything. One woman waiting for a bus kept in her plastic bag a huge dead snake which smelled like bloody hell! Above: frogs and something else. What? I did not want to taste it.
Cambodia is still among the cheapest Asian countries. A pint of beer 0.50 USD, a meal (like rice with vegetables and chicken 1.50 USD)...a woman: 10 USD!BUT: 1 l of petrol costs 1.5 USD. Abnormal. Petrol is cheaper even in much reacher Asian countries like Malaysia or Thailand. Above: you can buy petrol in plastic bottles illegally smugled from Thailand.