Partyin’ in Phnom Penh

I spent multiple weeks hanging out in Phnom Penh visiting with my UNC friends, Jen and Erin, and hanging out with new friends. What on earth does one do in Phnom Penh for so many days?

Here are the highlights of PP.

I spent multiple nights attending Happy Hour at the FCC, aka the Foreign Correspondents Club, which is a nice drinking and eating establishment on the river in Phnom Penh. It is actually kinda expensive which is why we hit it up during Happy Hour when the drinks are half price. Gin-n-tonics all the way.

I attended a Democrats Abroad Event at the FCC where I got to watch the Democratic National Convention speech spoken by Mr. Obama.

I got to turn down or accept the tuk tuk drivers as they constantly asked me “tuk tuk, lady?”.

I hung out at Jen and Erin’s awesome new pad. They reside in the penthouse, i.e. the 4th floor. One gets a lot of exercise when one goes to visit J and E because you get to climb 4 flights of stairs. It’s a Phnom Penh 4th floor walkup, if you will.

J and E are swell friends and they let us have an impromptu housewarming party. The party included guests, MaryAnn, Caleb, Andrew and I, and included awesome activities.

Activity 1: Ate cereal (Cap’n Crunch) out of a community bowl because J and E didn’t have any dishes yet. Cereal is a prized item here and through out SE Asia, where one usually eats noodles for breakfast.

Activity 2: Created the best pick-up lines with Erin’s pick-up line magnetic poetry
Some Sweet lines: “You are the best looking organ donor in here.”
“Can I have tequila, so you look good like a piece of heaven?”
“Hi bedroom eyes, want a drink and a laser?”
“I’m sorry, can I kiss you?”

I hung out at the Okay Guesthouse where I had a single room; it was nice and *ahem* compact. It was so compact, in fact, that the bathroom door couldn’t even open all the way because it hit the sink. Therefore, to spit my toothpaste out in the sink I had to go all the way into the bathroom and close the door, otherwise I had to try to project my spit into the sink whilst leaning around the ajar door. It was quaint and entertaining. But seriously, if you are in PP head to Okay GH because the place is clean and the downstairs restaurant functions on the honor system–you write what you order in the book and they charge you when you check out.

Finally, when in PP I spent a lot of time dealing with traffic and traffic ‘issues’. You see, when in Cambodia, the traffic laws are quite different. You might even say “anything goes”. Here are some of the top Traffic Issues!

The yellow line is more of a guideline than a definitive separation between the opposing flows of traffic.

For instance, if you find there is more traffic heading in your direction, feel free to take over the opposing lanes of traffic for yourselves. They obviously need the lanes less than you because there are less cars heading in the opposite direction. (If you look closely at this picture you will see that the traffic heading the opposite way have taken over one of our 2 lanes of traffic.)

You are allowed to drive in either direction in any lane. This moto found the traffic too bothersome to wait in, so he just headed towards us.

Traffic lights are few and far between, so vehicles rely on a ‘yielding’/bullying system. One just inches forward until your vehicle gets through the intersection. Amazingly, there are a minimal amount of accidents considering it is really every man for himself out there. Here I am in a tuk tuk inching my way through a particularly crowded intersection.

A favorite mode of transport here is the moto–or what we would call a moped. Helmets are optional as are most conventional road rules, so you take your life into your hands when you hop on one of these. The RDI gang all have their own personal helmets, so that they are safe.

Here’s to Phnom Penh and the kind people who made my time there enjoyable.


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