Before I left Sigon I made the most of my last night by arranging to meet up with Imogen Dobbs of the Rustington Dobbs. I had wanted to meet up but didn't think I would have time so I was pleased to have worked it out. I have only met Imogen once before so it was very good of her to take me out for the evening with her partner James. We had a lovely meal and some intersting discussions about living in Vietnam and the differences in cultures. I asked about the role of women here because you see them doing so much more than men... running busines to mixing concrete, rasing family, caring for the elderly and everything in between. Was good to have their take on it.
Later on James left Imogen and I to it so we went to a swanky Martini bar in the city. I can only say I had a great time and several fantastic drinks and put the world to rights. I arrived back at the hotel at 1.30am on the back of a motorbike, which is another first for me. Imogen looked after me so well and this was one of my best nights so far, without doubt. Great fun was had.
I'm now in Cambodia. I transfered on a bus yesterday. Crossing the border is always fun - I love seeing my passport get stamped. Im in Phnom Penh- the capital. Ive hada cyclo tour of the city to see the main sights and get my bearings. A cyclo is like abike with an armchair on the front and you get pedaled around, it creats a lovely breeze because it is very hot here, about 32 degrees or more. Went to a nice bar called the foreign corespondants club for cocktails with friends yesterday evening. Had a great view of the river at sunset.
I have also visited S21 and the killing fields. These 2 places tell the story of Pol. Pots regime and are truely horrific. I never knew that Pol Pot was an abreviation of Political Potential.
Both were very opressive places and somehow even the air seems difficult to breathe there, especially S21 which was the primary scholl that was turned into an interrogation and torchre center. Truely terrible things happened here and not long ago. Within living memory for many people, and that's hard to get your head around. I found it very difficult to look at the pictures. Its like reading the worst case file at work and multiplying it by 4 million cases. I am pleased that I went as I knew it would be difficult, but I never want to go back.
I wanted to do something a little more uplifting this afternoon so I have made arrangements to visit an orphanage this afternoon and then go on and have dinner with a local family, a little bit like I did in Lang Prabang. I am hoping this will make the day end on a heartwarming high.
BTW new room mate is very nice. Shes teaching English in South Korrea for a year, but at heart shes a bilolgist that likes nothing better than doing lab tests on fungi. In short I am sharing with a fellow geek and we get on just fine.
Still loving this travelling milarky, but looking forward to seeing everyone. Dont want to be back in the cold though, Billy told me hes taking hot waterbottles to bed- brrrrrr