A tourist in Phnom Penn

Just been on a town tour by very reasonably priced tuk tuk or remork, such a mix of old and new, rich and poor, wats more numerous here again with people, cars and bikes vying for space on the 6 lane boulevards to two lane dusty roads.  Noise, colour, balcony life and street life everywhere with beeping horns as always.  This tuk tuk driver was honest and interesting, taking me for a long drive – cycling in the heat! – and pointing out things and places, taking care to tell me to hold my bag or people drive by and snatch it! 

SO at the end I gave him a little extra and suggested he increase his prices a bit!  He was very grateful if surprised!  Not everyone does that obviously, and enjoys the cheap rates which is fair enough but when I can give a little more, I will and do.  

This is my favourite dish so far – chicken khmer amok is a thick sauced curry type dish with rice and just delicious, for just $4.50 plus pineapple juice.  Yum. 

It wasn’t as good at another place I tried, so I returned on the last night for this dish!   It was delicious, a small street front bar/restaurant just up from the temple by the river front in Phnom Penn.  

Sadly, that rainy night too, whilst I sat enjoying my food, a woman arrived and planted a sheet on the ground putting several children from baby to about 11 on there right next to us!   Obviously wanting money and sympathy, I don’t think these children were even hers the way she treated them!   It is so sad that children are displaced and treated as begging fodder, or thieves.   It’s just for money – no family, no love, no options.   

Circus visit

I went to to the Phare Cambodian circus tonight, with deprived young people trained for it over 8 years. Excellent entertainment but I can guess it wasn’t easy training for them and one little one about 5 only.

I bought some bits to support the NGO started after the war, like a pencil case and purse in silk for my great niece. I hope the kids benefit rather than the trainers.

The artists are young people, often no family, who are taken in and trained to perform in the circus but also given self-esteem, skills and support they would otherwise never have.   Like the sword and martial arts visit we made on the way up, these children would be on the streets starving, begging or abused if not here and at least gaining applause and a created family – and they are very talented, working every hour of every day to train – they have purpose, and I just hope it’s a happy life for them.  

This was something I was happy to have experienced on the spur of the moment, and learning about the help there is out here.

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