Some call me Priscilla DePrimo (comtefabu) wrote,
Some call me Priscilla DePrimo

Exhaust Fumes, Rotten Fruit, Mass Murder... but is it a home?

Never-ending expanses of rice paddies dotted with the odd coconut palm eventually gave way to row upon row of small wooden shacks sporting signs like "Cambodian People's Party" and "Angkor Beer." The curved roof struts of several wats could be seen popping up in the distance and gave the impression that every roof in town was made of snakes and dragons... the trash alongside the road got deeper and deeper and the crowds denser and more frantic the further we went. Traffic came to a standstill and i looked out of the bus window to see a solid line of immobile cars running the length of the main boulevard while moto drivers jammed their bikes into every available niche between the larger vehicles. Eventually even they had to stop. With the traffic frozen, i noticed the pedestrians. We were near a market and people pushed through the narrow lanes separating the fruit stalls with giant bags full of clothes or tires or pineapples; other ladies walked around hawking fried grasshoppers laid out in a platter balanced on their heads. I laid back in my seat and thought, "Motherfucking SHIT! I have to walk through THIS with a pack on my back?!"

In my paper journal i described the journey as entering a living being, meeting its parasites and pustules along the way.

I stepped off the bus and into Phnom Penh. It smelled like exhaust fumes and rotten fruit. It's a place i've heard so much about from people bumming around SE Asia, and its name has taken on a near-mythical ring over the past month. Stories of depravity, muggings, sex slavery, poverty... but upside perks like ganja being a common pizza topping and being able to actually strike up conversations on the street (english and other languages are more common here than elsewhere) tended to be standard raves. Phnom Penh has a pulse to it that not many other places have and just walking down a street reveals so many things about modern cambodia... monks in orange robes walking past a row of $5 brothels, a gun stall in a sidewalk food market, tuk-tuk drivers offering to take you to a place called the killing fields for "cheap-cheap". I'll run with congogirl and describe it as 'fascinating'... see previous post comments for details. It's chaotic, dirty, dusty, noisy, trashy, slutty, depraved and desperate. Goddammit, it feels like home!

Some streets remind me of Bombay.

Turn the corner and you'll find Bangkok.

Take a left and you'll be in Madras.

Go straight and there's Bucharest.

Turn around and take in a bit of Khartoum.

A brilliant place, fucking brilliant place! Thinking it was a saturday night however, last night i hired a moto to take me to the riverfront (at last reunited with my missing mekong)... i had plans to spend my weekend in the bars seeing what kinds of people show up and to keep myself in a lovely haze for a couple of days. What kinds of people live here? I've seen francophone africans... no idea exactly where they're from, i've seen geriatric germans i believe to be on an epic whoring expedition, and then there was the italian troll daddy i met last night who may have forever killed my idea that having a sugar daddy would be a good thing. In other words my so-far Phnom Penh expat scene is populated with suave people, slutty people, and repulsive people. Standard. In any case, i honestly can't wait until the weekend so the j-walker-fest officially begins tonight and will probably continue with minor interruptions for the next several days. Tomorrow i delve into traces of genocide.

I'm going to need a drink for a long time.
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