Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not everything is rosy

If you get the picture that Cambodia is an idyllic peaceful country existing in the bright green paddy-fields of Indochina, then think again. Shit happens, everyday. Last week my good friend Georgie was robbed for the third time in six months. This was the second robbery within her own home. They took everything of value, while she slept. Georgie works her butt off doing two teaching jobs, raising funds for a local orphanage and is a lovely person to boot, she doesn't deserve such cruel misfortune. She's not alone, robberies are on the increase here as the thieves target foreigners, including me, who they know will have phones, cameras, laptops, credit cards, cash and so on, either at home or on their person.
The traffic chaos on the city's streets was brought home to me on Saturday. As we left Phnom Penh on our way to Battambang, the traffic slowed to a crawl as we passed by a tragic scene in the middle of the road. A young woman on her moto had moments before been struck by a petrol tanker and her limp body was being held by a distraught friend who was shrieking loudly, as everyone stood by and stared. No-one lent a hand including the policemen at the roadside who didn't flinch, even though the dead woman's brains were splayed all over the road. The traffic laws, such as they are, are ignored by everyone. It really is every man for himself.
It was only a month ago that a member of the Hanuman staff, our office runner Mao, went to sleep and never woke up again. His parents found him the next morning. No post-mortems in Cambodia so I still don't know what happened to him. To me he looked like any normal healthy 26 year old. He was a nice, friendly guy. We all miss him. Shit happens, everyday.

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