As you can probably guess from a rather unrelated title (it's just something I pondered as we hurtled towards NFC this morning at 70kph - thats 3x time speed limit for those of you with multiplication and division charts) I'm rather tired to be thinking up witty titles, so your stuck with leftovers from today. In order to stave off the people attempting to claim my life insurance at the moment, I guess that now would be a good time to write another installment into the old blog. Ill even try to refrain to boring you all to sleep. So tonight's feature presentation revolves around a little area called Boeung Kak Lake, which youve heard me mention around these parts quite a bit, but as it is now a regular part of our days travels and adventures, I figure we can let you in on a few secrets.
Firstly, if you do by chance happen to do drugs (kids dont do it - they make you spontaneously combust during the night, and not only that but you will have Jim Hickey, John Campbell, and half the cast of Shortland Street stalking you for the rest of your life) then BK (note the abbreviation - its Boeung Kak, for those, like the person who is sitting next to me, haven't quite got to joining the dots yet), is inevitably your homeland. In fact im pretty sure that there hasn't actually been a time after 6pm that we have walked around the area that we havent been offered your favourite variation of ice, weed, or cocaine, and for those adventurous types a happy mix of all three. Now mix that in with the tuk-tuk drivers who now no longer offer Genocide Museums and Killing Fields but will more than happily, in fact they really do insist on taking you out to a local boom boom house (For those born in the 90's the song "Boom boom boom boom, I want you in my room, We'll spend the night together, for now and then forever" - your pretty much spot on with the concept). And in fact for anyone from World Vision here, you may wish to avert your eyes but underage boom boom houses are also widely advertised - and who in their cocaine-infused mind would disagree with the tuk-tuk drivers determined to make a buck!
We also now have a local Indian place there who pretty much treat us like deities and for around $3 each you can pretty much eat till you explode (though i dont really reccomend that option - instad go for the masala. v v v good). And around this area we also have many, many so called travel agents. Now these people, well, im not entirely too sure what they do. If you by chance happen to want to fly to Bangkok from here you would go and see these people who would be sitting at a desk in their office with some pad and a cellphone, they'll write down your request and then give someone a call who has internet access who will then call back in 10 minutes when they find something (to save on cellphone credit) who will then give the information, your newest travel agent friend (who by now is trying to convince you to book another flight back home with another airline because "oowee your airline very bad") will then relay the information and call back to say your interested and will then try and organise a mutually benificial price that is likely to be around 150% of what you could easily buy on the internet.
Needless to say we are finding alternate means to Bangkok, regardless of what roads we have to travel on and which countries may or may not be fighting at the border (for those who have requested some shrapnel from the Thai/Khmer conflict going on at the moment, ill do my best, but travel insurance will only cover me so far (not that thats stopped me before hahahahaha).
But in all honesty the lake area is very small, and in fact is becoming increasingly small - as I think I have mentioned to you all before they are filling in the lake now with sand and other bits and pieces they can find. For anyone who has taken geography and learnt that you just really shouldn't be going and taking megatons of sand from beaches and river inlets, they could do with your help up here telling them that but i'm sure they'll work that out in 20 years when Sihanoukville disappears (6th form Geo teacher would be so proud of me right now). This has basically meant that there is a slow movement of guesthouses transferring to the riverfront (tho there are still around 20 guesthouses by the lake) more recently but with any luck they'll make something of the area thats going to be filled in and bring the tourists back to the area (at the moment its a sort of seedy backpacker paradise).
Now there are a few other 'in brief' points that you may mind interesting but we just seem to find fairly run of the mill nowadays (not even joking here!). Elephants. Turns out they are as much of a tourist drawcard here as in the rest of Asia, but without those pesky animal rights people who will stop you from doing things like taking elephants into restaurants and for strolls down the main streets of the city. Often you'll find the pair of them meandering around Wat Phnom with a pair of 50+ XXL sized guys (who im sure if you asked would say they are ahem "life partners" to be PC) giggling like school girls about how they're on an elephant taking photo's of themselves throwing their weight around poor ele (I've become rather attached to elephants as you can tell, and as soon as Uncle Key says I can have one as a pet back home, theyll be on the next plane).
And to finish off with a few more brief notes from NFC (for those who havent kept up, this is the orphanage), the kids are coming along amazingly well and some of them have just sat their first computer studies exam (that admittedly was written rather hastily but oh well) and have made massive leaps and bounds, and the teacher who we are training as well is making even bigger steps forward and quite probably doing better than many of our own teachers back in NZ, so we'll see how he goes as we take the reigns off over the next couple of weeks. Also the library is coming along well, unfortunately with the classes and everything we havent been able to give as much time as we would have liked to it, but there are another couple of volunteers who are helping out (and are pretty much going for gold on it) and thats coming along really well (now we have found some decent wood to use as shelves). But thats it from the NFC front, oh and we are doing a few BP Technology challenges with them tomorrow (kids you'll remember these) and were actually not sure who is more excited, us or them!
Thats all folks!
Oooh except for the fact I am now in posession of a Myanmar visa...aint I fancy eh?