Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Cambodia...

Siem Reap...
Hey every body. I went to Angkor Wat the other day which was very very cool. It's a ~1000 year old temple complex that has many temples, one of which was used in the filming of Tomb Raider. It was Angelina Joli that was Lara Croft who was n Cambodia, that's when she find that Cambodian baby from the orphanage and adopted hi/her. Please see pictures of the ruins. That day I came back from the Wat and, well to keep things short, I lost my map, was alone and it had gotten dark. I was in a remote poor city in Cambodia and didn't even know the name of my Hotel. I knew it was named Angkor ___ Hotel, but that didn't help on account EVERY DAMN hotel had damn near the same name. I wandered aimlessly for 2 hours and finally found 1 tuk-tuk driver that spoke SOME English, and I MEAN SOME. He said for 2 dollars he would drive me around all night until I found my place. I found it and was very relieved . I wrote in my journal then went out again...nigh market, eating $0.25 meals of god knows what on the streets, etc... fun fun fun...

Phnom Penh
The next day we took a 6 to 7 hour bus trip to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. During a 15 minute potty break I got a group of people to try some new foods...Only a couple did try though. The internet here is SO SLOW I can't upload my photos or videos. I will try again in a few days...
[here is the video of me eating a cricket]

We went down town in the Capital city and talked to some of the waitresses. One, who was 27, said she had a boyfriend from New York. When she showed us his photo I tried very hard not to laugh. He was 40+, had a paedophile's mustache, and was NOT attractive. I guess the term 'relationship' is a social construct and this was the first sort of culture shock' experience. It turns out many Thai and Cambodian ladies meet men (usually older, creepy, over weight, bald, greasy and just unattractive) and then 'date' them. What this means is the following:
  • The man typically sends money over to the girl
  • The man visits for several weeks (or longer) each year
  • The man has sex and companionship
  • The woman gets the ability to live outside of poverty.
The thing that blows my mind is that the men likely don't consider this AGREEMENT a relationship, but the girls are so vulnerable they believe anything. The power of un-education and poverty is enormous.

I must constantly refuse money for all the beggars. I counted last night but forgot the number so I counted again, of all the people, children and adults, that begged for money. I actually forgot that number again, but I do know that I had counted over 70 individuals that begged me personally for money BEFORE LUNCH TIME!

Today in Phnom Penh we went to the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. It was very reminiscent of the Holocaust. Afterwords we I went to the Russian Market with a couple of my friends. They had every animal and animal part you could think of (and couldn't think of). SHAWN...they had MANY types of Gucci, Coach, LV, etc. bags in all sizes. Let me know if you want any because I can get some in Vietnam or Bangkok. It was close to 100 degrees today and the smell of the raw, insect covered fish carcasses was not too appealing to us any more. Sonya and I were feeling adventurist so we decided to walk to the Kingdom Palace. A 6.5 km walk (that's about 4 miles). The other Germans came with us as well. After 2 hours and 15 minutes we arrived at our destination. It was more expensive than we though so only the girls went in and Stefin and I walked along the river and ate some food of the street. We ate some type of fried potato chive thingy? It was 800 Riel (about 18 cents). We took a motorcycle ride back to our hotel (two of us fit on one of the bikes). It was a 125cc engine, where as mine is a 650cc engine. So this thing was very 'scary' for me since I was on the way back and was nearly falling off. The driving on the roads here in unexplainable. There are not traffic signals or spot signs. No blinkers, NOTHING. People just drive with no regard for the lanes. 5 Motorbikes will span 2 lanes at times. If it's a one way street, it doesn't stop a motorcycle from just going up the center of oncoming trafic. I hear this is MUCH MUCH MUCH worse in Vietnam. I think I am going to get a suit fitted for me in Hoi An, Vietnam. I guess I can pick out any fabric (inside and out), style, and cut for about 50-70 dollars? Please help me MOMMY...

There is so much to say but it's hard to write it all out...I've been meaning to call but the times just SUCK, I am going to try to get a SIM card in Vietnam so I can call every other day or so.

I've been writing in my journal a lot, it's sort of a pain, but worth it. A couple other of the kids are doing it as well.

Tonight at dinner I had spicy frog leg stir fry and it was OK. The meat had so many bones and it was hard to eat. It was the hottest dish I've eaten thus far on my trip. I gave half a pepper to two other guys and they started crying and tearing and it was a mess.

I look forward to hearing from all of you and for the next two nights I will be in Sihanoukville staying on the beach and in a Bungalow.