Sunday, October 26, 2008

Notes from the Road: the Thai-Cambodian border...

I just arrived in Thailand after a long, bumpy, hot, muddy ride from Siem Reap, Cambodia.  The people on the bus had a lot of griping to do, and the Cambodians in charge of the bus just smiled and shrugged.

I can't believe the mud everywhere!  Even the paved roads on the Thai side of the border are covered with mud.  Its been raining almost non-stop today.

Poipet, on the Cambodian side filled with scammers offering to take your money for services that are free, for things that aren't mentioned in civilized conversation, and of course just willing to take it.

There are also flocks of children with umbrellas offering to carrying your bags across the border through the no-mans land between borders.  They are soaked of course.  To get through to the other side, you must walk past rows of casinons, willing to take money from those willing to part with it.  Their glitz and modernity likes in stark contrast to the muddy kids carrying bags between the boards.

I carried my own things--just the bag on my back--but a Columbia-American woman I was traveling with paid to have a deaf-mute kid carry her things.  This kid didn't have much, was soaking wet, but he had the biggest smile.  He couldn't talk, but made a gentle chirping sound with his smile.

I was only in Cambodia for a few days but I fell in love with the people.  I'm spending a couple days on a Thai beach, but I find myself thinking more and more about home than the sand and waves.

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