misc Cambodia pics

This one is going to be real lite on the thinking and the stories…  mostly I’m just putting up some pictures.

(update – I had some trouble with the graphics in this post, but I seem to have gotten everything fixed now.)

Starting to Rain

Some showers started up today, making me think about going home.  But I didn’t, and they didn’t last.



I guess I should start carrying my poncho in my backpack.

Cluttered Sidewalks

Not only is traffic anarchy, but the sidewalks (besides having big gaping holes you can break a leg in) are anarchy.  People park on them; if there’s construction or a congested intersection, motorbike drivers think nothing of hopping up onto the sidewalk and zooming on through.



If you took out all the obstacles and just showed a map of my path down the street, you’d think I ate way too much Happy Pizza.

The Bread Vendor

As many people do here, this young woman wears a surgical mask.  It seems women often wear them as a kind of a veil, to keep men from becoming interested in them:  I see them put them on real quick as I approach to talk.



If that’s the purpose, it doesn’t work.  Mask or no mask, you know when you’re talking to a cute girl.  But of course it’s a useful social signal.

That’s the same bridge you can see in the “Starting to Rain” picture, by the way.  The second girl on a bicycle is waving maniacally at the camera, and she waved all the way past me.  I didn’t get a good shot of her, largely because I was too worried she’d cause an accident.

The bread vendor is trundling that thing along like a wheelbarrow, and she brought it a good ways, as far as the Old Market area, which took me about ten minutes to get to, and her about twenty.

Mysterious White Flags

I have no idea what these are for. 

But also, I have no idea why those clothes are hanging outside the fence; whether they’re for sale, or hanging up to dry, or returned laundry, or what.


I wonder if it doesn’t represent a funeral, and they’re giving away the clothes.  I say that because I’ve heard that Asians wear white to funerals, like Westerners wear black.

Probably not.

Tuk Tuk For Sale

The poster is difficult to read, but that’s what it says.



Asking price is “160$”.

Old Groover

Then, this old groover wanted me to take his picture.  No sooner had I taken it, than he was right next to me checking it out — so he could try to bum a dollar off me.

He knew no English, or pretended not to, and just kept saying, “Nyum nyum,” and licking his chops and rubbing his stomach.  I gave him some small change — far less than a dollar — which he at first rejected, but then when it clear I wasn’t upping it, he took it.



That’s a jar of incense sticks by his side, and a poorly-bound journal with some kind of writing.

Walking away, a tuk-tuk driver offered me a ride.  I turned him down absently, and then asked him about the old man.  The tuk-tuk driver said something about a dollar — basically, as a Westerner you get no gratitude for anything less.  I knew that.

I looked up in my dictionary the word “writer,” and showed it to him.  He was a little irritated, but he squinted at it, and finally said, “Yes.”

Then I looked up the word “beggar,” and showed that to him.  He squinted again — he was a little short on patience now — but when he saw the word, he smirked.  “Yes.”

I don’t know, maybe the guy’s writing the great Cambodian novel.  He’s old enough to have seen four Cambodian governments — control by the French before ’54, the constitutional monarchy after that, Pol Pot’s regime, and the current government.

I was thinking about hiring him at a dollar an hour to teach me Khmer.  But if he doesn’t speak English at all…  And if he’s used to getting dollars for free…

(Besides, that blanket makes me nervous.  Bedbugs.)

Too bad he doesn’t speak English, though.

The Old Market

Walking a little further, I came to the Old Market area.



The Old Market looks like this:



Or, somewhat impressionistically, because my camera suffers in the low light, like this:



And that’s all the pics today!

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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