Saturday, 1 December 2007

Back in Phnom Penh

I didn't think I'd be back in Cambodia so soon. But since the Chinese didn't want us (after the latest row over the Dalai Lama), we had to come up with plan B or for that matter plan C - which happened to be Cambodia.

It's great to be back. Spent my first day strolling through the streets of Phnom Penh, soaking up the wonderfully chaotic atmosphere, hitching a motodup ride on Sisowath Quai and enjoying the broad young smiles, sitting behind their boyfriends patiently waiting for the red light to turn green. Somehow, the traffic seems less hectic and dangerous than I remembered.

What else? It very distinctively smells like Phnom Penh - my colleague says it smells rotten, I must admit I quite like it, and yet I wouldn't be able to describe it.

So, the smell hasn't changed over the past eight months... but I noticed significantly more side walks (which make walking through the city a wee bit safer), new cash points and... a place selling chocolates on 240th street. I can't imagine this becoming a serious threat to The Shop though, two doors down and still my favourite coffee haunt.

Anyway, I'm not back in Cambodia for pleasure, but as a media trainer. Tomorrow we're off to Takeo for an election reporting seminar. No hot water, no internet and only Asian noodles for breakfast. But hey, I'm actually quite excited. Will try to keep you posted via Twitter.

Oh, and I also have another mission of course... my Fish Amok search continues. And I've booked a cooking class for December 15th. This should be a highlight!!

My previous Cambodian petites et grandes aventures:


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