Rozee and I were joking the other day about my recent penchant for giving myself nicknames based on my location, so I need one to reflect status being AWOL and therefore not Tra Vincognito... MC-HCMC, HoChi-mamma? That is terrible I know but this is what happens when I am left to entertain myself for too long!
In any case tomorrow morning I am actually leaving this favorite city of mine to visit another intern (Chantal) in Cambodia. I am very excited and I think it is really time to shake things up a bit interms of my locale. I have spent so much time at this hotel in HCMC that even the xe om drivers and the street vendors know me here. That is saying something for an area that has so many foreign visitors (and really all white people look the same don't they?).
The trip from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by the regular bus takes about 8 hours, but the express bus takes six... although the travel agency seemed to think that it was likely that the regular bus could make it in 7 hours... I felt a little bamboozeled and so I decided to go with the regular bus instead of paying twice as much for a difference in speed that I feel a bit skeptical of. I may regret that choice, only time in a rattling tin-can bus will tell.
Dave asked me what sights I was planning to see in Phnom Penh and what my touring itinerary was. To this question I had only one response: "Don't you know me by now?". First of all I am not much one for detailed planning ahead, secondly my style of travel usually includes a lot more people watching in coffee shops than seeing of sights. I am usually more interested in trying to get a taste for how people live. After all the time I have spent in HCMC I have gone to only two sights, the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace. Maybe this is just an excuse for being lazy; you can draw your own conclusions!
I plan to stay in Cambodia until Wednesday when I hope to do the whole trip through to Tra Vinh from Phnom Penh so that I can pack up there, say my goodbyes and then be back in HCMC to fly out on Friday to Kuala Lumpur. But any of this could change at a moment's notice, a possibility I am prepared for these days! The security clearance has not come through yet for my new placement, but CAPI is hopeful that will happen soon.