has travelled Asia!!

ស្ទឹងត្រែង, ក្រចេះ, ភ្នំពេញ

At the border crossing I met some other hitchers, the first ones in South-East Asia. Four (!) Italian lads who hadn’t enough money for teir visas, but unluckily I hadn’t enough to help them myself… But they found a solution: A taxi driver payed the visas, kept the passports and drove them to Stung Treng (ស្ទឹងត្រែង), where the next ATM was – 80 km away. They gave me a lift, which was a bonanza for them, because the ATM was the only one in town and accepted only Visa and so I helped them out with 100 USD. Also we met again a Cambodian couple, which was very helpful. First, they had been looking for me all the way from the border to Stung Treng to give me a lift, how nice is this?? Second they offered to take us to the next city, Kratie (ក្រចេះ). All five of us plus backpacks in one car. We managed to get all backpacks in the trunk and fixed the lid with some ropes. Then started to fold us in the back of the car, the couple and their newborn in the front. Unfortunate the dampers wouldn’t do it, despite the fact they accept up to ten Asians… There you can see how small they are (: In the end three of us went straight with them and the other two tried to hitch, but had to take the bus the next morning. Us three shared a hotel room for only 2.5 USD each and because Kratie wasn’t anything special to me I just hit the road again. On my way out of the city I met one of the staff members of the Hotel and he was amazing: First he offered me accommodation at his place!! Second he wrote me a nice sign for me saying Phnom Penh in Cambodian. Third he promised me to pick me up in case I didn’t get a lift before he makes his way to a city 60 km away. But just when I left a very taking driver of a wonderful old red truck stopped and took me directly to Phnom Penh (ភ្នំពេញ).

Pnomh Penh is a megapolis and therefore not really for me. Actually it has only about two million inhabitants but it feels so much more!! But the very crowded centre is not very big and outside of it the architecture is very spacious! And impressive, its a really rich city, also those expensive four wheelers are still present anywhere: thousands of Landcruisers, X6, Lexus and even some Hammers. Me, I rather borrowed a bicycle and its an awesome feeling to ride again after quite some abstinence! And its fun to participate in what they call traffic rules here. You have to be very consciousness but that’s probably what’s giving me the kick (: Today I visited the Tuol Sleng Museum, an old school which has been used as prison during the Khmer Rouge. It’s awful and reminds me very much of our KZ’s. It’s as perverse: they surrounded a school with barbwire and rebuild the classrooms to cells. I was lucky enough to meet one of the seven (only!) survivors of S-21 and it was very touching when he told me what they did to him – I can not give account of that here!

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