… is the very act of moving from A to B. Okay, whilst not every journey is something from a nightmare, nearly every long trip from one destination to another has, for me, been bloody awful. I am not normally one to moan but after being in the country for almost 3 months, I had more than my fair of horrendous journeys.
The most recent one was just a couple of weeks ago, whilst travelling from Sen Monorom in the eastern province of Mondulkirri, to Kratie in order to carry on to Banlung. We were, of course, picked up late, then proceeded to spend well over an hour picking up locals and all their cargo and luggage. The mini bus we were in was designed for a mere 13 passengers. When full, the only room for luggage is under the seats, or hanging out the back of the van and kept in with some ropes. With a full bus, we thought we would be off. But no, the driver continued to pick up more and more people and the end result was a van with 27 passengers, including one old boy dressed in US army gear, pretending rather oddly to be super official. There was a baby, an injured man traveling to hospital (yes, that’s the reality of life in Cambodia – for many, the nearest decent healthcare, and I use that word in the very loosest sense, is hours away) and 2 teenage boys that took it in turns to vomit out the window. The poor grandad at the very back of the van got quite a surprise when he was splattered in the face – he soon closed his window.
It was at that very point, when one boy was chucking his guts up out the window and the other was elbowing him on the back to help him out, that I really realised how lucky we are in the western world to have such options and to have some degree of order. Moving in Cambodia is a far from enjoyable experience, but alas, it is memorable!