Our hotel here in Phnom Penh is very new, modern and one of the taller buildings. We spent our morning enjoying the pool on the rooftop and talking about Angkor. Warning: I may never stop talking about Angkor. Ever! I truly miss Siem Reap and its beautiful spirit already.
After a run in the gym over-looking the city of Phnom Penh, it was off to enjoy the day with Brad and his friend Carlo.
Back story here: Brad and Carlo met in Boston over 10 years ago. During that time they pretty much just ate carbonara and drank beer. At that time neither could predict that in just 10 years we would all be hanging out in Cambodia where Carlo now lives. He owns a clean energy company here in Phnom Penh. Brad’s post (LINK) will tell you all about the incredible and literally life changing work he is doing here.
So, back to my post. 10 years ago beers in Boston. Now we all meet to do Yoga in Cambodia.
The class is held at a gym here in Phnom Penh that is inside a hotel. There isn’t a ton of yoga in town, but this instructor was really great — unlike the tragic class Brad and I went to the night before (bad yoga isn’t exclusive to the States), this instructor really led us through a nice class with challenges. It was so nice after 10 days without to get some yoga in.
After class there we were about 2ish kilometers from our hotel. 3 people one motorbike. Brad and I were prepared to get a Tuk-Tuk. But, we decided “when in Rome.” Which means we got “Cambodian” and all 3 of us got on the motorbike together.
In case you haven’t been here, let me explain. Due to the level of income and cost of gas, most people here ride on motorbikes. Similar to Bangkok. However, here is where we have noticed the most extreme carpooling ever. Anglenos take notes!
You can put a child in between parents as seen above. Or if you’re a mom we even saw the under-1-year-old in front and the toddler hanging on (like a they were a back pack) in back.
Also, you don’t need a truck around here. Actually, a motorbike is perfect for hauling all sorts of items. See below.
Yes, that’s a dining room table on the back of a motorbike. If you’re wondering about those children j-walking, don’t. First, there is no such thing as j-walking. There are no cross walks and even when they put in actual walls to divide lanes it doesn’t stop people from driving on the “wrong” side of the road. In fact, you can be going down a one way street the correct direction and actually wonder if you are wrong!
I truly wish I had a GoPro so I could show you just how close everyone comes to each other here. Before you think that it’s scary or crazy, I must add that no one yells, curses or even honks. Everyone just keeps on keeping on! You cannot hesitate here. You must just go for it. Left hand turners in LA, this means You!
Now, the three of us on a motorbike got the locals staring back at us! I mean Brad is 6ft tall and Carlo and I are about 5’10″… hardly the average for a Cambodian family on a bike.
Carlo and Brad were on a hunt for Cockroaches to snack on. Yes, you read that right. Until eventually they threw in the towel and it was off to a lovely dinner with Carlo and his father who was visiting from Italy.
Truly a lovely day spent enjoying the local side of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Really amazing to get to see the non-tourist side of life here. Today we shall see the Killing Fields before heading off to Japan.