Cambodia and Phenom Phen
Well we have been on the road , going and doing. Neglecting this blog. You have to write the post and get er done. We flew into Phenom Phen as Rita was a bit concerned with the small skirmish on the border of Thailand and Cambodia . Artillery shells were exchanged as well as small arms and believe that rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s ) were also involved. At any rate we beat a retreat from Bangkok to explore a new capital city and country , at least for us.
First night after checking in to our hotel. Just across the street from the Tonie Sap River that makes the St. Croix look very small indeed.There is the Bassac River just down the street and we can see where these two rivers meet the mighty Mekong River. We are talking Mississippi River size flow of water. Massive. So Rita and I went out to grab a bite.
First we had a draft beer $.80 US(dollars are the norm and you will get change in both US and Cambodian realles -4000/1US makes for interesting counting) then walked down the street and soon found a small restarant serving grilled seafood and beef. We ordered shrimp and squid. Well we were seated at a long table that would seat 8 and as is the custom more dinners were seated with us . A local , as it turned out, family. Mom, Dad and two daughters we guested at 8 and 14. Wrong. Rita asked the older daughter her age , to see if we could communicate with our new companions. She was 19 and a freshman at University. Younger daughter also spoke a bit of English but was shy. However Maria and Rita hit it off and Maria translated for her Mom and Dad as they did not speak word one of English. A hansom family. Dad wore a perfectly ironed ivy league style long sleeve shirt. Turns out he’s a civil engineer.We got along famously despite the language barrier and we were invited to join them on a Sunday outing (tomorrow). We of course accepted. We paid our bill $10 and they also had a $10 bill for the four of them. We were offered a ride to our hotel and we said no no its only a short distance.
The Dad said how about a short drive around part of the city. Ok we said. They were driving a new Lexus SUV and we all piled in. He has been working on Diamond island development for five years and there was perhaps ten more years to go. Casino’s, condo’s , shops, apartments – the whole deal . Condo’s to a million USD and about 5000 square feet for the top of the line units. Apartments will be starting at 30,000USD, tiny of course about 1000 square feet. Despite the poverty, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the region, there is a lot of money being spent and being made here.
Can’t wait for family outing tomorrow.
Pictures to follow
Well we have been in Siam Reap for a few days and been busy doing not much.
First back to Phnom Phen and our new family. The youngsters told us that out of respect they could not use our first name so they made us honorary Grand Parents. Here are our new “grandchildren” they are great kids.