Stories from Sihanoukville

So, after a fun 6 hour bus journey (apparently in a taxi it’s 2-3 hours max), we have made it to Sihanoukville. Again, as we arrived we could not get off the bus for all the tuk-tuk drivers shouting and bartering to get a handful of us as customers. As the bus had stopped on the side of the road, and not at the bus station as promised, we had to get a tuk-tuk to our hostel as we had no idea where we were. A short 3 minute journey and we arrived. The staff were all attractive young Cambodian girls, some with babies in tow and another was pregnant. We later discovered after spending some time at the bar that all the males in their lives are middle aged Americans who have settled here in Cambodia. The hostel was really nice, great food (Pez ate chickpea and sausage soup!) and had a really lovely pool. We have now moved to a hostel just around the corner as it is marginally cheaper with all the same amenities, a bigger swimming pool and a free pool table!

On our first afternoon here we wandered down to the nearest of many beaches in Sihanoukville (and the worst). The water is beautiful, great white sand, lovely bars, but it is heaving with people trying to sell you things. Pez zoomed off ahead of me saying no to everyone and I was stuck with a 10 year old called Pon trying to sell me bracelets, his 15 year old friend selling the same and a woman offering me a manicure. I said no, so they said maybe later and I foolishly agreed. So, they all held out their little fingers and insisted I made a pinky promise. I refused. Pon stuck with me for half an hour as we walked all the way along the beach. He was very sweet and told me all about school and his 3 older sisters. He told me his dad died when he was 8 and that his mother only has one arm and one leg. He also said he had “no business today”. Pez reminded me that it says in every hostel and guidebook not to buy off children as they should be at school so I said I would not buy anything today. All of a sudden the sweet boy and his friend changed their selling tactics. They said we must hate Cambodia if we do not buy, they told Pez he doesn’t love me if we do not buy, then he said if you do not buy “you will die of the body”. I’m not sure what that means but we had heard enough and told them firmly that they were being very rude and we did not want to buy from rude little boys. That was the end of that.

Sihanoukville has a very very poor electricity supply so for 2 days there have been lots of power cuts. Every decent bar and hostel have back-up generators though so within a few minutes everything is usually up and running again. However at our hostel the battery got taken away for repair this morning so the power cuts this evening have lasted indefinitely. It is good fun though!

On our way back from dinner this evening we stopped at the bar downstairs for a drink and a game of pool. Pez nearly squished a frog by using him as a beer coaster (he is blind without his glasses). The little frog jumped off the table and into the pool and swam away then hopped out the other side to freedom. I just wish we had our camera on us!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Paddington
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 22:56:06

    Jesse “The Body” Ventura: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Ventura

    Sounds like a horrible way to die. Commiserations.

    Reply

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