Monday, December 19, 2011

In Cambodia

I'm here, I'm here! And in about 12 hours my family will be too. The flight and customs were all really easy. It makes me laugh that although the airport is new, they basically have the same system for processing tourist visas as they did 14 years ago - which is you give your passport to one dude, and he passes it down the line to nine other dudes, and then they hand it back to you with a little paper receipt. Ah, Communism.

On the flight over I thought back to my first trip in 1997. I remember all day counting down the hours until I might possibly meet my sister (it was supposed to be a girl back then ... big surprise). I can remember the humidity and the sort of vegetal way the air smells down here, all exotic and new for an Alaskan kid. 

My taxi driver today spoke great English. He told me about his three kids, one in college, one just graduated and one doing graduate work in Japan. He told me his idea is that school is very important, but that most Cambodians think it's important to get married young, 19-20 for women and 21-22 for men. "If girl is 25 they say TOO OLD, TOO LATE ... TOO OLD, nobody love you." I got a kick out of that.

In unrelated news, the citizens of the happiest country on earth are pretty bummed out today. I can't say I understand their pain, but I did spend a few moments reflecting on the dear leader here. Pour one on the ground for that homey, he shouldn't have worked so hard.

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