17-28 february 05
It is quite unbelievable the way a simple, transparent, invisible line on a map can totally change the environment you are in - from Thailand to Cambodia, the change is radical. In the middle of a mess that cannot be named, where carts go from one country to the other, as well as people, cycles, bikes, cars and trucks, changing the side of the road they are riding/walking/driving on, where policemen, and not so real policemen go their business, where big black mercedes cars go from Thailand to Cambodia helped by a few multiple 000 bank notes, we make our way to Cambodia!
Passing this invisible line, that somewhat seems so arbitrary on a map, a sudden change hits us and confirms we have changed countries - in Malaysia, it had been the heat (most likely because we had just started our trip); in Thailand, the smiles; in Cambodia, it is the dust. Incredible dust, with which we will learn to live for 10 days or so, that covers, goes and filters into everything, everywhere. But that does not stop the Cambodians from sweeping their frontyard, driveways, the road or the side of it, on a daily basis. An activity we fail to find sense in...
Welcome then to Cambodia - a country marked by its recent history, some 30 years of civil war, that brings us back into a reality much poorer, much harder than that we have been encountering so far. But where we are still welcomed as warmly.