Like I said, the worst part about traveling is the traveling.
The bus stunk. Unfortunately that will always happen when you have a bunch of sweaty people in cramped, close quarters. You get tired and irritable being stuck in a box with no shoulder room for seven to eight hours.
When you finally arrive, you’re exhausted. Now you navigate to your place. We got to Phnom Penh around seven and it felt like ten or eleven. Navigating and being somewhere new taxes you mentally. Because you’re somewhere completely foreign, all your senses are on high alert. You’re fatigued but now you’re being drained mentally as well.
By the time you arrive at your hostel/ hotel/ guesthouse, all you want to do is shower and relax. It’s bittersweet because you also want to go out and explore and not waste any time. It’s almost a waste to pay for accommodations if you’re only spending one night because in the morning you have to pack up and do it all over again.
I’m writing this on a balcony outside of our hotel room. It overlooks a fairly busy street. The sound of motorbikes, horns, children playing and adults living their lives occupy my eardrums. I’m looking across the street to a patio where two older white guys talk to a younger white guy while drinking beer. They’ve been doing this for at least an hour and it’s only 11:30am. This comforts me. Not because they’re white, and not because they’re drinking before noon, which gives the A-OK to do that, but because it looks like they’ve settled here.
During our brief walk for food last night we saw a lot of bars and people. It was a mix of Cambodians and expats. Expats just look different than tourists. I’m sure there are scams here as well, but it looks like a culture that is more harmonious with one another, not the ‘us vs. them’ vibe I got in Siem Reap. But this is only first impressions.
There was a woman with a half-naked baby laying on the sidewalk that we passed, but even she didn’t hound us. The sounds and the people don’t seem to bother me here, but instead, comfort me. Big cities seem to throw out an exciting, energetic vibe. Guess I’m more of a city guy than I thought.
I’ll probably regret writing this, but so far I dig Phnom Penh.