I recently returned from Cambodia where Bob has been involved with philanthropic projects for over 10 years. In addition to wanting to see his work there, I was curious about life in southeast Asia and what better time to head for the tropics than when it’s February in Chicago?
Of course, getting out of Chicago in February was easier said than done.
So he did, and after a minor delay, the plane took off. 24+ hours later (with Bob having joined me when I changed planes in Seoul), we arrived in Phnom Penh in the middle of a dark and balmy night.
I woke up the next morning, eager for Bob to show me around the city. We hired a tuk-tuk and set out.
This was my introduction to the chaos that is traffic all over Cambodia. Traffic lights are rare and cars, trucks, motos (motorcycles), tuk-tuks, bicycles and pedestrians just get on the road and go. There is a wide range of acceptable road behavior and if you navigate in the customary way, you seem to do okay.
A pedestrian’s lot is dicier. There are sidewalks, but they are not for pedestrians.
Pedestrians are forced into the street to walk alongside traffic. Crossing the street is a more terrifying leap of faith.
Eventually you get the hang of it, but you are constantly aware of the risk.
Like all the other new aspects of this culture, I thought I was starting to adjust.