I had to return by myself to Phnom Penh from the DDP annual staff meeting rather than with the group. I took a bus service and we made a stop halfway through the trip. Each company has an arrangement with the restaurant or shop where they stop, to allow the drivers to eat for free, etc.
For 30+ years Maryknoll lay missioners and brothers and sisters and priests have gone to Bangkok for medical treatment that just wasn’t available here in the kingdom. Things are changing now as is evidenced by this sign informing people that now another procedure, blood dialysis, is available at the Russian Hospital.
The guiding principle in transporting people and things in Cambodia is that if it’s not dragging on the ground, you’re good to go.
Cambodians have this unshakeable belief that whatever ails you, you need an IV. You can go into a pediatrics ward and every child will be hooked up to an IV. For many Cambodians, if they don’t get an IV when they’re sick, they might as well get nothing. Here two parents ride home on their moto, with their son in between them, and he has an IV in his arm.
New sewers are being installed in parts of Phnom Penh and in some respects they are literal life-savers. Open pits and holes along the roads like this are quite common, and when the road is flooded with water, you proceed at great peril. Things are better now but I remember walking along flooded roads with a staff, feeling for holes, pits, uncovered sewers, etc.
When I was a kid I remember seeing “sun dried” on boxes of raisins. Here in Cambodian culture, sun dried takes on a whole different meaning where there are few processed foods. People buy fish, fillet them, and leave them out on the street to dry–and catch dust and street grime.
It’s lunch time with street food all around. What will it be, vegetables (boiled corn on the cob)? Or fruits?