Apologies for the lack of content so far. Between trying to get settled and figure this country out, I haven’t had enough time or reliable internet access to provide a meaningful update.
Where to start? Cambodia is cool. Very cool. Cooler than I’d expected, in fact.
A lot has gone down since I landed last Thursday, so I’ll just throw some random observations out there.
Culture Shock: I braced for it, but it hasn’t turned out to be a big deal (yet). Things are different, for sure, but not totally alien. There are plenty of tourists and expats hanging around, so I don’t feel too out of place. Dollars are the preferred currency, with a conveniently fixed exchange rate of 4,000 riels to the dollar. Pretty strange to roll into a supermarket and pay for everything with a twenty. Ox carts plodding through crowded boulevards and roosters living in internet cafes are considered normal.
Traffic: Organized chaos. The first thing I noticed as I took a taxi from the airport was that there were no rules, other than traffic generally drives on the right. It’s basically every man for himself, and somehow it works. Traffic just seems to flow like a school of fish. More on this later.
Food: Delicious & cheap. I could eat nothing but local food and never get bored. $3-4 for a full meal at most Khmer/Thai/Indian restaurants. Street vendor food is even cheaper if you can figure out what you’re eating and ignore questionable hygiene. Things sold at local markets are, for the most part, mysterious and/or repulsive. Except for fried tarantulas. I’m still looking for those.
People: Cambodians are very laid back. I have yet to see an argument or even a voice raised in anger. Extremely friendly & always smiling.
Weather: Perfect so far. 85-90 & sunny during the day, 75-80 in the evenings. I’m going to string a hammock outside my room. April is supposed to be unbearable, so check back with me in a month.
Haven’t gotten around to a serious photo excursion yet, but I’ve started posting some over here. Here’s a random photo: